Yahoo to Reject Microsofts Buyout Bid

I don’t usually blog on the weekend. I like to have a few days off appreciate the internet without having to think of a blog worthy opinion on the news. But this recent article is bringing me out of that.

Yahoo board set to rebuff Microsoft bid: report

The most interesting of their reasons? “Yahoo Inc’s board believes Microsoft Corp’s unsolicited bid of $44.6 billion to acquire Yahoo “massively undervalues” the company” Yahoo is unlikely to take any offer under $40 per share. That would place their perceived value at over $143 billion dollars.

I think what Yahoo wants is to set the price so high so as to scare any prospective buyers away. The huge outcry on the internet when Microsoft made their offer proved that people don’t want this deal to happen. Yahoo wants to keep potential customers happy, obviously. If they do they can continue to make money without Microsoft’s help.

Interestingly, Yahoo doesn’t rule out a partnership with Google. “Yahoo has considered an alternate tie-up with Web search leader Google Inc to maintain its independence

Frequency of Posts

Nothing of much interest has grabbed my attention over the last few days so I haven’t really published anything on here. Which I’m sure may have gone undetected by many of my readers, since the majority of my traffic seems directed towards archived posts.

But this slight hiatus got me thinking about what and why I write, about my readers and the resulting daily statistics. I know that its good blogging to write daily, but is it worth turning out some half-assed post just to check “blog post” off the daily to do list?

I’d  much rather write something relevant with insightful commentary every other day then one mediocre post every day. What do my readers think? Not just on this blog, but would you rather wait to read something longer that makes you think, or just hear a few words from your favorite blogger regardless of quality? I a quick link or video on occaision enough to ensure a return visit?

Don’t worry, I have a couple of longer posts that I’m working on. Ones that actually require research…

London Podcast and Blogger Meetup

Tonight is the monthly London podcast and blogger meetup at Molly Blooms. Its held on the first Wednesday of every month and gives Londoners the chance to talk about all aspects of new media. The attendees come from a variety of backgrounds; programming, podcasting, blogging etc. Molly Blooms has free wi-fi and they don’t seem to mind us hanging around for several hours. I’d encourage anyone in the area to make a stop by tonight, I’m sure you’ll have a good time!

Time: 7:30 pm
Place: Molly Blooms (map)
More info : BlogLdn, Facebook

Apple Announcements

So today two new items appeared on the online Apple store, the typical way Apple announces things. A 32 GB iPod touch and a 16 GB iPhone. The iPod touch is now $519 CAD which compared to the USD price of $499 is not really all the bad. The iPhone is $499 USD.

This is a pretty cool announcement. When I bought my latest iPod I decided not to get a touch because of it smaller size I decided against it. I’m sure Apple will see an increase in sales as a result.

I’ve delayed getting an iPhone here in Canada because of the costs and lack of full features due to the high data costs. But if the cost of the phone would drop even further, I might considered getting a hacked phone.

I Was Screwed Over by iTunes

I am a big fan of the iTunes music store. I purchase a lot of my music there, individual songs and full albums. I’m willing to live with the lesser quality and high DRM for the convenience of desktop music purchasing. Up until now I have had no problems, that all changed last week.

Over a year ago I purchased a song, it never ended up on my computer and I totally forgot about it for quite some time. Last week I was browsing through my purchase history and saw this song. Since I did not have a copy of it on my system I emailed the service desk to ask the song be added to my download queue so I could download it again.

This is what I got back:

Thank you for purchasing music from the iTunes Store. I apologize, but I am unable to place this item back in your download queue.

We encourage you to back up your hard disk regularly. If a song needs to be replaced, you can restore your music and other data from the backup and avoid the need to purchase replacement copies of your collection of songs.

Well that didn’t really solve the problem. So I email them back telling them that this was unacceptable. Since I had purchased the song I wanted a copy of it. I thought I had purchased the rights to the song not just one copy and therefore saw no problem with a new copy. And because of their DRM, it would be almost impossible for me to violate the copyright law.

Another reply:

“I’m afraid that there may be some confusion. When you purchase a file from the iTunes Store, you are purchasing a specific copy. This is like purchasing a CD. When you do so, you own that particular CD rather than all copies of the album.

While I can appreciate your frustration, a new copy will not be provided. I understand that you have seen a new or modified version of the file on the iTunes Store. You are welcome to purchase this item but the payment for a previous copy of the item cannot be applied toward the purchase.”

I was shocked to say the least, I was not aware at all that I only had rights to one copy. Their ridiculous false analogy about CD sales aside, there seemed to be nothing I could do. Checking the user agreement though reveals this gem “Once a Product is purchased or rented (as applicable) and you receive the Product, it is your responsibility not to lose, destroy, or damage the Product, and Apple shall be without liability to you in the event of any loss, destruction, or damage”

I knew that there was strict DRM on all Apple media purchases I didn’t know that it went this far though. But what do I do now? Amazon’s music store is not available in Canada yet and eMusic only has a limited stock, most of it independent labels. It looks like I’m either back to brick and mortar or I resign my self to poor service and high DRM.

Another issue though. As far as I was aware when I purchase a CD, at least in Canada, I own any copies of that album. I can rip it to my computer and I own the mp3s. I can burn another audio copy and I own that. I know this is not what the RIAA in the U.S. wants but as long as Digital Millennium Copyright Act style laws stay out of Canada I can still do that here.

More then ever now I’ll be supporting Michael Giest on his crusade to protect Canadian consumers from unfair copyright laws. I’d urge everyone else to do the same.

Audible, Apple, and Amazon

It was announced yesterday that Amazon is going to acquire Audible.com for $300 million.

I wonder how this will effect the relationship between Audible and iTunes. They have always had a strong relationship, and Audible purchases are synced seamlessly into iTunes and onto iPods.

Since Apple and Amazon are competitors in the music market, I don’t see how they will want to cooperate the spoken book market. TUAW thinks that there must have been provisions made for Apple in the deal. I’m not so sure Amazon would want to do that. I think that Amazon wants to move into the web based music store market. Now they have DRM free, cheaper-than-iTunes, music, as well as audiobooks, they could really threaten Apple’s dominance. Their plan might be to cut off Apple’s access to all their audiobook subscribers and force them into their service.