Does Adele selling a billion albums prove the music industry if full of shit?

I don’t doubt that the average musician can’t make money in this new world of streaming and free music, and that it is something that should be fixed. However, I did always doubt the words of the music industry (i.e. record labels, producers, music executives) complaining about how they were making less money.

It has always seemed to me that the narrative was too self-serving for an industry that never really tried to make the standard musician successful anyway. It’s an industry about making mega-stars (Adele, Taylor Swift, etc.), and those type of mega-stars have always directly or indirectly hurt the smaller ones.

I think selling the most albums ever proves the music industry machine is actually quite healthy in some respects, and the calls from music executives about the problems with streaming are more about pennies lost rather than music being lost.

Corporate governance is boring. 

Mark Zuckerberg signing on the wrong line here and resulting in a potentially multi-million dollar lawsuit illustrates a couple things to me:

  1. Rich people are just people and make stupid mistakes. 
  2. Shareholders are always looking to sue (maybe for good reason)
  3. Boards can kinda do anything (including decide how much they get paid?!?!!)
  4. Corporate governance is clearly a super important topic that involves only the richest people in society but like who cares because it’s so unbelievably boring. 

    Podcasting is big business

    I listen to podcasts basically all day at my desk. Some of my favorites are Accidental Tech Podcast and B.S. Report, and, for completely different reasons, there are rumors about how much each of them net a year. The numbers floating around are basically 500K+ for ATP and 5mil+ for the B.S. Report.

    That’s insane for a medium that I would say has still to hit mainstream. I’m really surprised some bigger business (or even Apple) hasn’t tried to come in and formalize some of the process around this. Here are some pretty basic ideas for things I think that could happen:

    • A large scale media publication buys podcasts into a more syndicated feed a la radio network. The small networks are lean and move quickly, but a large media company can really get podcasting into the hands of people who are stuck on radio.
    • Podcast editing apps for iPhone and iPad. Like, a lot of media, Amateur becomes Professional becomes Amateur again. I think a high quality podcast editing app could be a good opportunity for a small-medium size develop/developer firm.
    • Cars (through properitary, Apple Pay or Android Auto) get podcasts. The millions of commuters a day need this.

    Strong AI; who cares?

    Strong AI is basically the concept that machine intelligence will be indistinguishable from human intelligence. I think the interesting thing that happens is if you think a lot about computers or use them a lot; you think about them so much more like tools than something that could possibly achieve sophisticated intelligence.

    AMP HTML is awesome

    If you haven’t tried it yet, I would go play around with, try the query [obama] and then click one of the news stories in the carousel at the top. It is STARTLING how fast they make the loading of the webpages in the carousel and that’s why you should be excited about the web.

    It’s not a wall garden. It’s the open web, and it’s hopefully why Facebook Instant Articles and Apple News won’t be successful.

    There’s a lot more information about the project on the Github page.

    Nice images of the result of the downsampling on the iPhone 6 Plus

    The iPhone 6 Plus screen is 1080 x 1920 pixels, but that’s not an even multiple of 414 × 736 (the point resolution of iPhone). That means the iPhone 6 Plus renders the screen into a 3x buffer of 414 × 736 ( = 1242 × 2208) and then downsamples it into 1080 × 1920 (by 13%).

    The idea that is there are SO many pixels on the screen to the human eye you shouldn’t notice any weird downsampling artifacts. I’m a little skeptical that at 400ppi (pixels per inch) we’re at the point where that is the case. The article here gives a good breakdown of the method and the results. post from Larry Page

    I love and hate the internet because nothing is ever forgotten. Like this post from Lawrence Page, a.k.a. Larry Page, on the Usenet group about setting the HTTP header for a web crawler (which became Google)…

    How the hell do they make plywood?

    You always see large single pieces of wood, one that are like 8ft by 10ft, and I always wondered how they made it like that when trees are basically never that wide.

    Home Depot has the answer, and it’s basically unraveling and layering.

    Note: the video falls to the classic corporate video editing failures; horrible stock music and titles.