Month: April 2003

File swapping tools are legal!

File swapping tools are legal!

The movie and music industry has been attacking Kaazaa and other peer to peer networking companies for a couple of years now, the record industry in particular is claiming peer-to-peer networks are to blame for the incredible down turn in music sales.

Here’s a newsflash for the record industry.

Your product is marketed poorly, it’s not compelling, it’s not new, infectious or catchy. In short, it sucks.

This isn’t just some cranky old codger saying this either. I love trying new stuff, but there’s no incentive to. The last really good album I bought was Eminem’s “The Eminem Show”, despite the fact that I had half of it from a P2P network weeks before…but I tried it, I liked it, and I bought it. No different than Custom, who’s album I bought last summer based entirely off of the three free songs that I listened to on their web site (except for the fact that in one case, the band and/or label paid for the bandwidth, while in the other fans shared the bandwidth with each other).

Now if the record labels got together, and created a P2P network of their own, I’d gladly join. Just think, they could monitor who is downloading what, track usage, create statistics from it, use it to measure who was downloading what, where downloads were taking place in, what was generating a lot of buzz, what wasn’t. I’m not talking about charging for this service, I’m saying, keep it free, the information you’re going to generate from it is a hell of a lot more than the income you would generate from a service like this (which is basically free for the provider to run other than keeping up a couple of servers that do the stats taking), and it’s a ton more than the money you would generate from lawsuits against individuals.

Hell, you might even learn something, and end up making a better product.

Now wouldn’t that be something?

Producing RSS Feeds

Producing RSS Feeds

Just something real quick for me (not everything’s for other folks you know). Producing RSS feeds, the how’s, why’s, and where fores.

I’m getting closer to being finished HeadsDown for now, and I’ve still got to finish up the Templates for Ryan, but things are coming along. Slowly, but surely. The site is usable right now, but there’s still quite a bit to be done to get it all finished. Now that we’re farther along, I’d like to do some tweaks to make it even more usable, especially with regards to the demo stuff.

The Big News!

Now it can be told. We’re buying a house. We put our first deposit down last weekend, and we’ve just been waiting for our mortgage stuff to go through. I just picked it up off the fax machine, and we’re good. We’ll be moving into our house (the Haney) in the Hamlet on October 12th, 2004 if all goes well.

Woo HOO!

Now that’s freaking cool!

Finally Canada gets a break! After years of getting the short end of the stick when it comes to DVD releases (I bought the Crow 2 disc set in California a full year before it was available here in Canada as an example), but now we get a kick-assed special edition that our American friends will have to buy up here!

Those of you who loved Roman Polanski’s The Pianist will be happy to learn that a 3-disc version Limited Edition of the film will be released in Region 1… but to Canadian consumers only. It will be a 2-DVD special edition, along with a 3rd disc – the CD soundtrack. That’s a much more elaborate version than we’ll get here in the States from Universal (which will be only a single disc). The title streets on 5/27 in Canada, and demand is sure to be high.

So cool. I didn’t get to catch it in the theatres, Char went with her sister instead, but it’s one of those movies that I’d like to see when it comes out on video.

Another big weekend

On Friday night Charlene and I went and saw Anger Management at the Beach. It was total popcorn (yet another movie that I barely remember after seeing it), but we had a great walk down to the theatre. Saturday morning we got up early and went on a walk down by the boardwalk. That’s one of the nice things about living in the beaches, we’re literally five minutes from the lake from our front door.

Saturday night we saw Chantal Krevaziuk, who had an amazing show, she had no back-up, just her and her piano. At one point a string quartet backed her up for a couple of songs. Her voice is just amazing, and I couldn’t believe how powerful it was. The venue was great, Convocation Hall at U of T is a great place for an intimate concert.

Today I met up with Joe Tek and had some brunch at the Marche so we could go over the class that I’ll be teaching at Centennial. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and I’m really looking forward to it.

We went up to Ajax again this weekend, and really looked over Hamlet, checking out the various lots, and the different things about each lot. We got a ton of questions answered and have a great footing for our next steps. I don’t want to Jinx it, but I may have some really big news here later this week.

I got my new car

I actually picked up my new car yesterday, but I didn’t get around to writing about it.

It’s a spunky little dude, manual transmission, and it got me where I needed to go today without any problems. That’s all I’m looking for (plus it’s fun to drive).

I’ve been looking for a way to write DSN-less connections so that we can have multiple databases on our site…and I seem to have found something on called DSNless connections from ASP Quick Lessons. Just what the doctor ordered.

Lots of good stuff

Lots of good stuff

Man, there’s a lot of good stuff going on right now.

On the HeadsDown front, Ryan and I have done some amazing things with the HeadsDown League Managment tool. We’ve built a nice little app that allows an end user to update their website from start to finish. Right now we’re targeting roller hockey leagues (because that’s what Ryan’s made inroads with already), but once we’ve really built that up, I’d like to start targeting small retail offices, and other places that want a quick, no-hassle, web presence.

$550.00 a year (plus domain registration), would be a decent little chunk of change for a starter package with Headlines, contact, links, and customizable templates. Then everything else would be a relatively inexpensive add-on.

We’re definately going to go with a yearly subscription fee for everything, and we’re going to package some stuff up into bundles to encourage people to take the big deals. Even still, our most expensive package will be about $2000.00, which is chump change compared to what some places charge.

The way we’re looking at it is; it cost us very little to develop it. Maintenance will be fairly minimal, and it doesn’t change much whether we have 1 site or 100 sites, other than the fact that we’ll make more money with it and be able to enhance, improve, and market it better.

On the car front, I will get it by Wednesday of this week at the latest. Unfortunately the ice storm screwed with everybody’s ability to cope with anything in this city. On Friday only one out of every three people came to work, it was a little nutty to say the least. None-the-less, Margot, our friendly sales person, promised to try to get me the car by EOD Monday. I’d really like that since I need a car to get around on Tuesday (which is my downtown, then uptown meeting day). PLUS I really want to play with my new car!

On the home front, we’re very close to putting something down on a home. We’ve settled on a town (Ajax), a builder (Tribute), neighborhood (The Hamlet), and even a house design (the Haney). Now all that’s left to do is talk to a mortgage broker, and then go to the builder and say “Build it and we shall come!”. We’re pretty excited about the whole prospect…and when we do start the process, I’ll create a blog so we can update and record our progress.

Finally the job front. May will see me start my new part time job at Centennial College. I’m teaching one day a week at the E-Business school. I’d love to turn that into something more full time, and run my business on the side eventually (we’re talking 5 years). For now though, this is a great opportunity. At TSN things are going great. I was given my official new terms of employment, which haven’t changed much since my BGMi contract, and I’m being given the opportunity to really run with the ball…which is something I’m pretty good at. I really like the freedom and responsibilty that I’ve been given.

I’m currently writing something of a “Brian Garside Manifesto” for what I’d like to see happen at TSN and CTV in the next 12-18 months. It has a lot to do with adopting web standards, making our site simpler, yet more elegant, and really streamlining our back end code, front end code, processes, and everything we do. I’m so glad that the BGMi experiment is finished, and I can finally “put up, or shut up” with all of the things that I used to say I could do better.

That’s a lot of stuff going on. I guess I better actually get to some of it.

We’re getting a new car!!!

Yay me. We filled out the lease forms tonight, and I’ll be taking posession of my brand new Hyundai Accent either Friday or Saturday, depending on when they can dig a silver Accent GSi up for me. I’m very excited, not only about the prospect of a new car (mmm…new car smell), but also of the fun of a stick shift! It’s been ages since I’ve driven stick, so I’m really looking forward to that.