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Personal Finance Links (Minor Technology Rant Edition)

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Regular readers know I'm a bit of a technology nut. Blame it on my parents for getting me an IBM PCjr at age 8. (Side Note: It certainly is amazing when you look at where computers have gone in the last 30 years.) This week, I share a couple of the more interesting technology articles I read over the last week. For you personal finance nuts, just fast forward to the end of the article.

In probably one of the better CNET articles I've read in some time Molly Wood says "UltraViolet: DRM by any other name still stinks". She nailed the article dead on. Media companies need to stop making things more confusing with DRM to protect their profit margins and look to the future. Consumers will continue to copy media for back-up purposes now that they can. The toothpaste isn't going back in the bottle. Consumers realize that they shouldn't have to pay 4 times for a LaserDisc, VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray, and UltraViolet versions of the same movie.

My proposal is that media companies look for the end-game. I see it where consumers buy a license for the creative work (movie, music, etc.) and a small fee for media ($1 or less for Blu-Ray, DVD, CD) or digital transmission (this should be fractions of a penny). If you are going to remaster something, then charge an optional $1 fee for the costs of remastering. Also, consumers will want you to make the license transferable. If I can transfer media to a great grandson, I should be able to transfer the license.

Moving on, I'll get a couple of jokes on Apple before they announce they are hiring me to blog for them with their extra hundred billions in cash lying around. Another CNET article I saw this week was, "Some people don't have a clue as to why they need the new iPad". Great paraphrased quotes from that article include: "Hey, I really don't see any difference between this new iPad and my iPad 2. Can you show me what's different?" and "Hey, I still really can't see any difference." Not to be outdone, The Next Web, actually tested Apple customers to see if they could tell the difference with them side by side and in many, many cases they couldn't. It was clearly not a scientific test, but the point is well-made.

Here are the personal finance links. I'll try to get another more substantial article out today. I hope to not be too slowed down by celebrating the Patriots signing Brandon Lloyd and a bunch of other veteran free-agents to low-cost contracts. They only needed to address a few areas and they got most of them in some form before the draft.

Posted on March 19, 2012.

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