The Slashdot story, Father of PlayStation Admits Sony Mistakes (a repeat of Sony Admits MP3 Error), cites this AP Wire report: Update 2: Sony Video Chief Admits Strategic Mistakes [pdf]
Ken Kutaragi, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., said he and other Sony employees have been frustrated for years with management’s reluctance to introduce products like Apple Computer Inc.’s iPod, mainly because the Tokyo company had music and movie units that were worried about content rights.
Now, Sony’s divisions are finally beginning to work together and share a common agenda, Kutaragi said at the Foreign Correspondents Club in Tokyo.
[…] High-ranking Sony officials have rarely publicly said their proprietary views were a mistake. Kutaragi, who has long been viewed as a candidate to lead Sony, was unusually direct in acknowledging Sony had made an error and blaming proprietary concerns from its entertainment division.
Later: Sony’s quarterly report discussed here – Tax Credits Give Sony Profit, Masking Troubled Quarter
A lot – for quite a while now. And it’s really cold (16°F, if my thermometer is to be believed), so it’s not the kind of weather one goes for a walk in the snow – not a Robert Frost sort of snow.
But I had to take this picture of one of my wife’s garden ornaments. Somewhow, it just sort of sums up this storm.
Certainly, once the wind stops blowing enough to make shoveling something less that purely Sysiphean, I expect I’ll be feeling what he’s feeling now!
Bush Didn’t Invent the Internet, but Is He Good for Tech?
There is a long historical background to the administration’s choices, plus a variety of recent shifts and circumstances. The history stretches to the early days of the republic, and the idea that government-sponsored research in science and technology could bolster private business growth. Progress in farming, led by the land-grant universities, demonstrated this concept in the 19th century. Sputnik-era science, culminating in the work that led to the Internet, did the same in the 20th century.
[…] An environment in which the exchange of information is timely and inexpensive, rather than slow and costly, can foster the growth of many industries.
[…] During President Bill Clinton’s first term, the Office of Management and Budget issued a bold new document on balancing these interests. Although it reeked of “bridge to the 21st century”-style futurism, it had actually been prepared and approved by the previous Bush administration and was released under President Clinton virtually unchanged. The document was called O.M.B. Circular A-130 [current revision], and its crucial argument was that the government should distribute information as quickly, as broadly and as cheaply as possible – technically, “at no more than the cost of dissemination” – and that it should do so via the most modern channels available. Of course, that meant the Internet.
[…] When the George W. Bush administration arrived, it faced a choice. Should it dump the A-130 policy like other detritus of the Clinton era, sparing more companies disruption like Mead’s? Or should it push ahead, because of the assumed benefit of free information to the economy?
In general, and perhaps surprisingly, it kept pushing. Compromises were struck and adjustments were made – and information with any conceivable link to the “war on terror” was locked up tight. […] But for the most part, the federal government acted in the spirit intended by George H. W. Bush and put into effect by Mr. Clinton.
Music Fit for a King, Written for a Dentist
Patronage of music by individuals may seem like a throwback to the days when noblemen maintained court orchestras with composers to write for them. Today, a few private donors have made names for themselves commissioning new music (notably Betty Freeman, who since the 1960’s has supported the likes of John Adams, Steve Reich, Morton Feldman and John Cage), but most of the big patrons of contemporary music are linked with institutions, giving money to symphony orchestras, operas and new concert halls.
As it turns out, anyone can commission a piece of music. Like the Hoeschlers, Maurice and Lillian Barbash were inspired to celebrate their 40th anniversary with music: they asked Yo-Yo Ma which composer he would like to write a cello concerto for him. He chose Leon Kirchner, and the piece went on to win a Grammy.
[…] Of course, there’s a major difference between buying a painting by Modigliani and commissioning a piece for Midori. You can’t hang a piece for Midori on your wall. You don’t own the rights. It isn’t “yours.”
“At the end of the day, you have a few fun evenings and a CD,” Ms. Gould said. “When you collect paintings you have something that goes up in value. You can actually make money. What I do in music is strictly altruistic.”
Much of the time, you don’t even get a CD. The musicians’ union is notoriously strict about licensing recordings; musicians have to be properly paid for their performances, which means the cost of a professional-quality recording is often as much again as the cost of commissioning and performing a work in the first place.