January 9th, 2009


In praise of Norton Antivirus

I know that this goes against accepted wisdom, but the latest version of Norton Antivirus is _great_.

They've had a lot of stick in the past for it being horribly slow, leaving crustiness all over the place, being unreliable and a memory hog.  And I've always avoided them because of it.

And then I read an article (I think in PC Pro) which said that they'd finally realised how bad their image was, cleaned the whole thing up, and produced something that was fast, non-intrusive, and cleaned up after itself.

So I tried it out on my machine - and suddenly files were opening significantly faster than they had when I was running AVG.  And then I installed it on Julie's machine - and it was loading levels on The Sims 2 in about 20 seconds rather than 2/3 minutes.

I managed to find a couple of cheap deals that got me 3 licenses for $50 - which meant that it worked out about £10 per PC.  Well worth it.

Delicious LiveJournal Links for 1-9-2009

overwhelming firepower

All your media companies are fucked

I was chatting to cairmen the other day about movie companies, and he was telling me that there's a major problem with the US movie industry - too many movies are being produced.  And the problem isn't that so many of them are shit - it's that there's just no way to market that many movies, nor are there enough cinema slots to show them. 

Way back at the dawn of time media was local - you'd produce entertainment for the people in your village (and usually for free).  A global market has the problem that you can produce media for 6 billion people with a few thousand producers.  If everyone produces media then you end up with so much media that everyone takes home a tiny slice of the pie, or even no pie.  This is fine* if the entry costs into the market are massive - as companies go bust they won't be replaced, because nobody can afford to make that kind of risk, and eventually you end up with a few media conglomerates controlling everything, and they can all make a profit.  When the barriers to entry are low enough that amateurs can make their own Star Trek episodes that actually look better than the original series - well, nobody is making money out of that.

Even worse, people are happy to produce lots of this stuff for free!  Over here** you will find an infinite page of pictures scraped from 4chan.  They're a mixture of photos, photoshops and art.  Many of them are not safe for work, and an awful lot of them are anime-based.  But that's not really the point - the point is that a hell of a lot of them are fucking impressive.  Some of the people making them are incredibly talented.  And they're making things and giving them away because they want to.

If you have ever had any interest in working in an industry where people are paid for producing art then you might find this a little scary.

Of course, none of this is new.  But it does seem to be getting bigger.  And you have to wonder what bits of industry will end up able to make money in the long run - and what niches they will be in.

*Clearly I'm using the word "fine" here in a very limited sense.
**Cheers to johnbobshaun for the link.  I has new wallpaper.
pickup lines

Warning of internet strangeness

Working on this LJ client - and I don't want to play around with adding/removing friends on my own account.  On the grounds that if I fuck it up I'd rather not lose the lot of you.

I've therefore created a new LJ userid andyducker and will be using it to add/remove people to test things.  So if you get added/removed by me then that's why...

(If you're being annoyed by it then just prod me and I'll use someone else.)