Paying for recorded music is a voluntary act -- you can get almost any tune you want on demand from streaming music services or YouTube. Of course, musicians wind up making little or no money from this arrangement, but thanks to crowd-funding, bands can get paid in advance of making a record. At least initially there are no freeloaders, so the band really has an incentive to record! The same Internet that made it harder than ever to make a living from recorded music has made it possible for bands to directly connect to their fans.
As the bidding war between Dish and SoftBank for the merger of Sprint intensifies, SoftBank is pulling out all the stops to block Dish from getting in the way.
The Japanese wireless carrier launched a new Web site on Tuesday pointing out the reasons it believes it should be the company to acquire Sprint. It also funded a study (pdf) for an industry expert to question the benefits that Dish claims would come from its Sprint merger.
Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen is ratcheting up the war of words with SoftBank over who is the better suitor for Sprint Nextel.
After SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son referred to Dish's unsolicited $25.5 billion bid to buy Sprint from under the Japanese carrier as "incomplete and illusory," Ergen reiterated earlier arguments that a U.S. buyer would be best for the troubled wireless carrier.
Longtime Microsoft veteran Charlie Kindel, who left the software giant a year and a half ago to launch a startup, just joined Amazon to work on a "secret" project.
Kindel held several jobs in his 21 years at Microsoft, including general manager in charge of rallying independent software developers to its Windows Phone platform. His hire at Amazon could stoke more speculation that the online retail giant is readying a mobile phone of its own. Kindel isn't saying, noting on his recently updated LinkedIn page only that he's working on "something wonderful."
The news … Read more
AUSTIN, Texas--If there's one man in the world who can convince thousands of people to take off their pants in the subway, to follow the disembodied instructions of a downloaded MP3, or to high-five a stranger on an escalator, it's Charlie Todd.
The brainchild behind Improv Everywhere, a New York-based "prank collective" that has been culture jamming society since 2001, Todd knows a thing or two about how to get a group of perfect strangers involved in something very unexpected and very funny.
Over the years, Improv Everywhere has grown from Todd and a couple of … Read more
Leaked from today's 404 episode:
- Just say no: Polaroid returns with an instant camera shaped like...the Instagram icon.
- "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" theme song prompts school lockdown.
- You should watch "Room 237," a fan theory documentary about "The Shining."
DANA POINT, Calif.--You might think that Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen wants to kill TV advertising. With the introduction of the Dish Hopper with Sling HD DVR nationwide this week, the company ironically launched a new series of commercials to promote the latest version of its ad-skipping product.
In one commercial, the "Boston guys" sit on a couch paying their last respects to commercials. "Now that we have the Hopper, we can watch commercial-free TV," they said. "Commercials are out of our lives."
Granted, viewers keep the fast-forward button handy to skip ads … Read more
Every now and then, I like to report on the best new discs that have come my way. Let's get started!
Amy Winehouse: "At the BBC" (CD/DVD) Fourteen stunning performances from 2004 to 2009 showcase aspects of her talent that the studio recordings gloss over. The DVD, "The Day She Came to Dingle," is a documentary featuring Winehouse at the height of her powers in December 2006 in a tiny church in Ireland. She's backed up with just guitar and bass, so her voice, in all its glory, is upfront and clear. Awesome!… Read more
Jeff Bezos is the master of ecommerce, but is he ready to take on Walmart and others in the brick-and-mortar world?
In conversation with Charlie Rose, Bezos addressed the question.
We would love to but only if we can have a truly differentiated idea. We don't do a me-too product offering very well. When I look at physical retail stores, it's very well served. The people who operate physical retail stores are very good at it. The question we would always have before we would embark on such an thing is what's the idea, what would … Read more