* Posts by Dan

3 publicly visible posts • joined 28 May 2007

Jobs: Blu-ray wins HD format war then loses to downloads

Jobs Halo

Other parallels to 1995...

Actually this whole format war reminds me of a similar escapade in the first half of the nineties. Sensing the need for something else other than CD to deliver music – ideally something more portable, and that allowed recording, but at similar quality to CD – Sony developed MiniDisc and Phillips developed Digital Compact Cassette. Huge amounts of R&D investment, huge marketing budgets, huge hype.

MiniDisc won the battle, with the vanquished DCC disappearing in 1996. But it lost the war.

In 1998 the first mp3 player appeared. In 2001 the iPod appeared and killed MD for good. So perhaps Jobs, love him or hate him, has some form on this type of question.

The pertinent question is whether people want the level of HD associated with HD-DVD, or just want something that looks good on their 42” TV. It’s not about downloading the entire Blu-ray disc, it’s about downloading something the consumer is happy to watch in their lounge. And perhaps that’s coming earlier than 2018…

Telstra in Second Life 'Ayers Rock' kerfuffle


concept of ownership

My point was simply that people seem very keen that others respect their cultural and legal traditions (like not camping in your garden), but seem less keen on respecting the legal and cultural traditions of others (those Aborigines have a different concept of land ownership to us, so lets use that as an excuse to exploit something that’s sacred to them. But let’s not worry about the fact that under our own cultural and legal traditions long-term occupation of land infers ownership. They don’t understand that either, so we can pretend it’s not the case for them.)

Anyway, as I also pointed out, the cultural issues (although important) are moot in any case. In 1985 Uluru (and the surrounding land) was handed over to the Pitjantjatjara people. So they ‘own’ it both in the cultural / historic sense, and also in the legal sense – they hold the title to the land under Australian law. If they don’t want people taking photos of it, then that’s their prerogative. Although the reasons why they object to photos of parts of it are in fact quite interesting, and not related to an objection to photography per se – look it up if you’re interested.



Quote: >>As for the "traditional owners", I was under the impression that the land owned the people, not the other way around.

So you don’t own your house, it owns you? Fantastic, I’ll come and camp in your garden. You can’t complain, as you don’t own the land, it ‘owns you’ in some manner.

Quote: >> That rock has been there since before we humans crawled down from the trees. For any one group of people to claim it as "theirs", even so far as to ban depictions of it, seems just a bit silly.

What claptrap. The Aboriginal owners are just that. They own the land, just like you own your land. If they decide they don’t want people going there, or taking photos of it, that’s up to them. As the owners, why should they have to give a reason? Do you have to give a reason why you don’t want people camping in your garden? As it happens, they ask this out of a deeply held set of religious and cultural beliefs which should be respected, even if you don’t share those beliefs. I’m not a Christian, but when culturally important sites for Christians ask people to not wear revealing clothing when visiting I comply out of respect for those beliefs, even though I don’t share them.

Quote: >> Does… London prevent people from seeing Trafalgar Square without paying admission?

Not at the moment, but they could if they chose. They could also choose to install a huge tarpaulin over the top to prevent you viewing it in aerial photos. And as has been mentioned, they reserve the sole right to exploit commercial images of it. Leaving aside the cultural issues, the Aboriginal owners of Uluru own a significant asset. And like anyone who owns an asset, they might reasonably want to protect its value, and not see other people exploit it for gain without permission.

The law might be rather grey in this area, but it seems absolutely reasonable for me for the owners of Uluru to want to better understand their legal position in respect of Telstra’s use of Uluru imagery in a marketing stunt. It just saddens me that people somehow see this as inappropriate because they don’t hold the same cultural beliefs as the owners of Uluru, and somehow think their enjoyment and convenience is more important that the legal rights of the owners.