Monthly Archives: June 2006

You’re losing me… AT&T

Opinion: Sticking with AT&T? You’re a fool
AT&T have changed their privacy policy.

An abridged version can be found here.

How many times do I have to say it?

It’s MY data!

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The Blog Moveth III

The blog move is well and truly underway. Following the Blogger debacle, I set up an account with WordPress, and it seems to have worked out quite well. I have migrated all of 2004 and 2005, and now I have only six more months of blog entries to move before I can finish migrating the site to its new location. All future entries will be made on the new site.

Once the move is completed, I will changed the DNS entry so that wizardprang.com points to the new location, so you won’t feel a thing.

The biggest change is that the new location does not support hotlinks from the headline, which means some rewriting is in order. Also, two years of link-rot have taken their toll on some of the stories, so not everything got moved.

Nintendo knows best

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata seems to think that Nintendo, and not the software retailers, should decide how much their products sell for, citing high development and production costs as a justification for what amounts to price controls. He refers to the current practice of discounting as an “unhealthy product cycle”.

So that’s what you call it. Hmmm… the rest of us call it “the free market”.

There are several reasons that discounting is not only necessary, but inevitable. Let me count the ways…

  1. Most games are heavily hyped and have a limited shelf-life.
  2. Many games do not live up to the hype. Word gets around and people stop buying.
  3. There is fierce competition for shelf-space. Every week new releases come out, and this week’s hot new title will be lost in the crowd next week.
  4. There is only so much money to go round – not too many kids have $50 to drop every week on the latest new game.
  5. Once a game has been out a while, it enters the second-hand market. How do you compete with that?

Games are experience goods. Like music and movies, their perceived value decreases over time. Even more so, as hardware capabilities and gamers’ expectations go up every year.

Iwata-San… You have come down with a bad case of ivory-tower syndrome, and need to go back to school. You seem to have forgotten the concept of free market competition. It is the market, not you, who decides what to buy and how much to pay for it. The retailers know this. They discount because they have to.

Yes, development costs a lot of money. If that is an issue perhaps you should consider producing fewer more high-quality and above all more original games.

If the suggested retail price of any and all software is marked down in 6 months or 9 months, the customers will learn the cycle and wait for the discounting, which will simply aggravate the decreasing sales of new software

You’re reaching here. First of all, you are assuming that the customers will pay full price. Secondly, you are assuming that RRP is the real price. I disagree. I respectfully submit that the discounted price is the real price. What do I base that on? My own experience. For a variety of reasons, I do not buy games until they have been around for a few months. Here’s a revolutionary idea… try releasing it at the correct (i.e., discounted) price-point to start with, and then they won’t have to discount it further.

Oh, and if your costs are too high, why not slash your marketing budget and spend a little less on your hype machine? I stopped paying any attention to game announcements and ads years ago, unless they included screenshots. Real Gamers aren’t fooled by the hype – they ignore the glossy airbrushed full-page ads and go straight to the reviews and look for a demo.

You can try to control the market – the kids will simply spend their money elsewhere, and Xbox, Sony et al will eat your lunch. Good luck to you.

Hee! Hoo! MJ’s dance secret revealed

Most of us have see Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” Video where he leans over at an impossible angle… EEP!

This website explains how he did it… OOH!

The “secret” is a patented invention that locks the dancer’s shoes to the stage and makes the lean possible… EEE-HEE!The coolest thing about this is that it shows how the patent system SHOULD be used… WOOP!

He still needs to do something about that Tourettes’, though…

US Smart cars in 2007?

US Smart cars in 2007?

Looks like those little Euroboxes I have been blathering about for more than a year will finally be available in the USA. Yay!

The Ultimate Lemon

Car dealer sues Mercedes as $1.7 million CLK-GTR wont travel 10 blocks

Guy buys a 1.7-Million-Dollar Mercedes, only to find that he can’t drive it ten blocks without it going wrong. The Dealership is less than helpful… so he sues to get his money back

The other side of the story

Considered felons by the government, these migrants fear detention, rape and robbery. Police and soldiers hunt them down at railroads, bus stations and fleabag hotels. Sometimes they are deported; more often officers simply take their money

Who are these poor unfortunates? Would you believe Central American migrants in Mexico?

And though Mexico demands humane treatment for its citizens who migrate to the U.S., regardless of their legal status, Mexico provides few protections for migrants on its own soil

Funny how this story never made it into the news…

Memo to El Presidente: Practice what you preach!

Man gets into Homeland Security HQ with fake ID

Homeland Security accepts fake ID

Words Fail Me.

The Blog Moveth II

I set up an account on blogger.com and started migrating my old entries…

…and then Blogger went down. The site for viewing blogs was still up, but the mechanism for adding and updating new entries went down, causing a lot of frustration.

After checking out their support forums, I have found out that this happens surprisingly often – it turns out that Blogger is owned by Google… and they have more important things for their techs to do.

I gave up and started looking elsewhere.

The Blog Moveth

I have been running this blog for nearly three years now. At first I set out to avoid the traditional “blogging” websites, mainly because I wanted to retain complete control over the ownership of my writing.

Since then, however, blogging has come of age, and blogsites now offer some neat features, including…

  • Submission of Comments
  • Trackbacks – Links to other blog entries
  • Pingbacks – notification when someone links to your blog
  • RSS feeds

Over the next few weeks I will be moving this blog to the new site.