It Done Broke.

Skype Subscription Rate Change

I have a Skype Unlimited Country subscription which, here in the UK, cost me £1.95/month.  It seemed like a great deal.  Just moments ago, I got an email from Skype telling me that my subscription renewal had failed because it had been refused by PayPal.  I logged into PayPal and there was no record of the transaction.

That’s when I headed over to the Skype site and noticed that my subscription was about to run out in 2 days because of this renewal “failure.”  However, I also noticed that the subscription rate had jumped from £1.95/month to £2.95/month without any indication as to what had changed.  The subscription forum makes no mention of it (but there does seem to be a lot of complaining going on over there).

You know, it’s just a little thing, but I would hope that if you’re going to summarily hike the rates, you’d at least (a) tell me, and (b) convince me it’s worth it.

Palm Pre Beaten iPhone?

Citing a dinner conversation in which, surely, there was too much wine involved, this article on VentureBeat posits that developers might have a chance of making a bigger impact on the application ecosystem of the Palm Pre than the iPhone.

The question really comes down to the availability of the SDK.  While the iPhone SDK is freely available to everyone (unless you intend to upload to the App Store or develop on a hardware version of the phone, as opposed to the software simulator), the Palm Pre’s Mojo SDK is kept tightly in Palm’s…umm…grip.  One assumes this is for some semblance of quality control but until developers can actually start coding the Pre’s software offering is going to remain thin.  This does sound vaguely similar to the beginning of the iPhone’s SDK history, but it’s certainly premature to start the hyperbole of “Has The Palm Pre Already Beaten The iPhone?”

Gamma Correction

There’s a posting on TUAW about how to set your display’s gamma in OSX Leopard to match Snow Leopard’s.  It describes in detail how to go about doing it without actually telling you what you’re messing with.   It’s a concept that isn’t Mac-specific, though.

When I was working at an animation studio back in the late 90s, I was introduced to the avuncular Charles Poynton who has made a career out of sitting on panels, making recommendations to technical boards and writing books on video, color and especially gamma.  I took a course from Charles along with some colleagues because we needed to implement color correction and set a mutual standard across our studios around the world.  So knowing what it was we were trying to achieve was somewhat key.  We had digital ink and paint and compositing people on SGIs, color artists on Macs, a renegade CGI team that switched from Maya to 3D Studio Max and then editors on Macs in Avid but did their viewing through expensive Sony Evergreen reference monitors.  Finally, an art director who looked at the work on all of these systems and wondered why everything looked different.  The majority of people don’t need to ever concern themselves with this stuff and should probably just move on.

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I’m not in love with Twitter like some – it’s fine.  It’s a thing.  But I think I just coined a name for people like Maureen Dowd who rail against Twitter without a clue.

iTunes New Tiered Pricing Exposes Labels For The Gougers They Are

I like how the new iTunes tiered pricing the major music labels have been calling for exposes them as the greedy gougers they are.  It’s not like the cost of distributing one digital song is any more for them so the only rationale for raising the price to US$1.29 for a popular song is that they think they’re going to make more money.  This is called price gouging.  The cost of distribution, the cost of manufacturing and packaging, the cost of advertising & promotion, are all completely decoupled in the digital music world from the only cost that is real which is the cost of recording.  And this has been plummeting for years now.

Music say they can make money with more flexible prices and possibly help make music retail a profitable enterprise again.

“If we can gain traction with $1.29 that will be good for greater margin,” said another label executive, also involved in discussions, but who did want to identify the record label.

…because that’s a really healthy thing for the market and what consumers want.

Twitter: crankietech

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