Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Random Thoughts - February 2, 2011

(Trying something new, similiar to the Monday Musings that I have done in the past. It should cover stuff that isn't big enough for an actual blog post, but still enough to put a paragraph or two together. Let me know what you think!)

This story from the Daily Beast on the spoiling of Survivor is huge, if true. In short, a spoiler from the Survivor Sucks forums was sued by Mark Burnett's production company for spoiling Samoa. He gives up his source for the season - Russell Hantz, the biggest Survivor star since Rupert Boneham, and the soon to be star of the next Survivor season.

If the allegations are true, then CBS and Mark Burnett are in a bit of a situation. On one hand, they have fought dilligently to stop any information from getting out, believing that it would ruin the season. On the other hand, they are in a position of possibly having to punish their big draw on the upcoming season and likely do so in a public manner (if they do it discreetly, how will it act as a deterrent to the rest of the world?). It will be interesting to see how Mark Burnett and CBS eventually react to this.

(I use allegations very strongly here; the end of the Daily Beast article gives a better idea of who the spoiler from Survivor Sucks is, and it gives you the impression that he is confrontational and willing to hold a grudge. As well, Hantz's story is not really available; we should wait until he's able to tell his side of his story before truly passing judgment.)

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When the iPad came out, it was viewed as a threat to eReaders. It was a singular device that could be used not only to read books, but to watch videos, listen to music and surf the internet, while an eReader just allowed you to read books. As well, the iPad would be linked to Apple's iTunes suite, which would have an iBooks section to purchase new books. Amazon, Barnes and Noble and the other eReader makers moved to mitigate the effect of the iBooks section by offering applications that allowed users to read books purchased through their online stores on the iPad. Now it appears that Apple is on the defensive, as they have implemented tighter controls on eBook applications.

This looks like a plain attempt on Apple's part to take a cut of the revenue of the existing eBook retailers in one way or another. They're giving the other retailers a choice - give us 30% of all revenues derived from purchases initiated on apps from our hardware, or don't be on our hardware. If they do remove themselves from Apple hardware, that would likely drive people who used their Apple iPad to read books from Amazon, Barnes and Noble etc. to find another method to read their books - which convieniently would be found on iTunes via iBooks. Either way, it's a sign that Apple's grand plan to take over the eBook world hasn't quite worked out as they planned, and they are trying to strongarm their way back into the market.

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