Linked by Kroc on Thu 30th Aug 2007 13:03 UTC
Editorial I hear often that when something new appears that "competition is good". The primary reasons competition is seen as good, are: it drives down prices; it gives consumers more choice; it pushes technology forward, quicker. Competition is not good because: competition is why consumers have to choose between HD-DVD and BluRay; competition is why DRM exists; and more. In this article, each of the supposed benefits of competition will be looked at in more detail.
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by kaiwai on Thu 30th Aug 2007 13:58 UTC
Member since:

I read the article, and in all due respects, you simply don't have a clue.

Lower quality? I certainly don't see that. If there is lower quality its due to idiots purchasing the same junk from the same vendors over and over again. Heck, Gateway and Packard Bell, the two biggest con artists of the IT world - recycling remanufactured parts in new products and are still gettign idiots to purchase their products. Everytime I hear of a customer go "ooh, I bought myself a gateway" I truly want to slap them silly - obviously they've learned *NOTHING*.

Competition is a two way street. If the customer is damn clueless about products then competition plain well doesn't work. If customers act like vulnerable idiots when purchasing computer equipment rather than informed consumers, of course you'll have non-reputable companies staying in business by virtue of simply having a good marketing budget.

Competition in standards, its great - who can implement the standard in the best possible way. The whole thing falls to pieces, however, when you have roaches like fraunhofer who demand royalty payments for mp3 technology that is under an open ISO standard. That is when things fall over.

If patents weren't there, and technologies were freely open to implement and people to compete, there would be a level playing field and everyone would be able to compete. The simple fact is, its patents which hold back competition which could challenge the status quo.

Regarding DRM - the issue is this Almafeta, DRM is used by the established companies to crush competition and new forms of distribution. The very idea that an artist could possibly record their own music, distribute it themselves thus bypassing the establishment, quite frankly, scares the living crap out of them. Gone of the days where they can leech the artist for money.

It would also force artist to actually produce good music; gone of the day where talentless hacks hide behind the scenes and leech off the collective success of the company. They're on there own, they either sink or swim. The internet levels that playing field. I can assure you that if the britney spears of the world had to compete in such an environment, she would be back serving chocolate thick shakes at McDonalds by lunch time.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Pardon...
by google_ninja on Thu 30th Aug 2007 14:50 in reply to "Pardon..."
google_ninja Member since:

I totally agree about the whole lack of a clue part. Competition in a free market is why capitalism works, and the lack of competition, or any other real incentive to create, is why communism fails, and at this point I believe there are more then enough examples from history to prove that to be true.

With DRM though, we really differ. There are two things really, DRM the idea, and current DRM implementations.

<soap box>

There has been this massive dis-information campeign going on for a few years to get the idea that DRM = evil into peoples heads. This is just as wrong as the RIAAs campeign to get Copying = Stealing as the widely accepted truth.

There is nothing wrong with DRM as an idea, in fact it is downright nessicary in a world where people cannot be trusted. Where it gets wrong is when companies start implementing dracionion measures that screw their customers.

What is wrong with asking to input a 15 character key to get the full version of software? I don't think anyone has a problem with it, in fact it is this model that has lead to alot of great software being made, and lowers the barrier of entry for a programmer to make a small business. However, compare that to MS activation. Same idea, different implementation. One is simple, yet nessicary. The other goes beyond all realm of reason.

We'll go on to movies. Sure, there was alot of evility going on with CSS, but in a general way it didn't inconvenience the vast majority of us. AACSS on the other hand, is absolutely insane. For DVDs, buying a 20$ dvd player is all that was required. For HD-DVDs, you need a new tv, new sound system, and new player, and if any of these do not meet the HD specs, then you end up with degraded content.

It is not evil to want to protect something you sell in a form as easy to copy as digital media is. Any time you walk into a store, chances are there are cameras on you. There are metal detectors. Do you care? no. Because this is a reasonable level of protection, and as long as you aren't trying to steal, it in no way inconveniences you. If the store detained everyone for strip searches before leaving the premisis, that would be another story.

At a certain point, they have to accept that there will always be people who will steal, and to try to protect against everything will only end up hurting your paying customers. As consumers, we need to vote with our dollars and show them what we will tolerate, and what we won't. Buying the media, and cracking the protection does absolutely nothing. Boycotting anything that in your eyes goes too far, does.

</soap box>

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Pardon...
by porcel on Thu 30th Aug 2007 20:42 in reply to "Pardon..."
porcel Member since:

I have no problem with your comments on DRM and the way that the patent system is abused, but do you have any sources to prove that Gateway uses or has used remanufactured parts in their products?

That's a very serious claim to be making. I haven't bought a Gateway product in years, but I did buy two P-II 400 Mhz many years ago, one which received a 3ware card recently and two 400GB drives and acts as my home file server and the other which I gave away to my sister who uses it to surf the net. These systems are about nine or ten years old and they still run well.

In fact, the server has been on non-stop for years, which is why I refuse to replace it.

I am not claiming Gateway is a good hardware company.
I certainly haven't bought anything else since I bought these systems, but you make them out to be crooks and a little bit of evidence would make you more credible.

It seems to me that if they were known to be using remanufactured parts, the news would be all over the net.

Edited 2007-08-30 20:45

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Pardon...
by kaiwai on Thu 30th Aug 2007 23:08 in reply to "RE: Pardon..."
kaiwai Member since:

It seems to me that if they were known to be using remanufactured parts, the news would be all over the net.

Depends on how old you are - would have been around 10 years ago. Packard Bell being the biggest of the lot. Their poor track record of being able to rebuild their brand in North America, for many people it has been synonymous with a poor quality and dishonesty.

Gateway did started to do the same thing around the time they bought PC Direct in New Zealand (not the be confused with the PC Direct which exists today) and used it to cut costs. I had a mate who worked for the company who saw it first hand, hence his refusal to purchase anything from his employer.

Both focused on cutting costs rather than the product - the net result, you end up with a product line that is profit orientated rather than outcome oriented. When you're in the consumer market that is the greatest cardinal sin. Talk to anyone who is successful and they'll tell you that one should focus on the product and the profits will follow.

Reply Parent Score: 2