$1.29 a song

As many people around the net have reported today, Apple has started selling songs using its variable pricing scheme. And unfortunately, it looks like Amazon may be following suit.

Now, I like DRM free music as much as the next guy. But for popular songs, I’m not jazzed about paying $0.30 more per track. For some reason, I’d rather be locked into the DRM than have to pay more. Apple was probably going to get less of my money when this scheme first came out as I was going to buy more songs from Amazon if they were staying at $0.99 / track. But I guess they too have seen the higher prices from the record industry and more cash in their pockets. I have a feeling that the record companies are the scape goat here and Amazon and Apple know that they can make more dough by doing this.

Now my question is…where are the $0.69 cent songs? I know that I have looked up some old albums with some tracks that should be a lot cheaper. Unfortunately, I have yet to see the prices drop.

Overall, I think that this is going to hurt the consumer more than help us. But unfortunately, our options are limited for legitimate music going onto our iPods.

$24 for Voice Mail

I got a letter in the mail the other day from my internet, phone and cable TV provider Mediacom. The letter stated that due to the higher costs of providing the service and the decreased demand, Mediacom would no longer be offering voice mail as part of my included service. That’s right, as a “triple play” subscriber, someone who is now paying well over $100/month with the company, they will no longer offer voice mail as a part of their voice package.

Now, they are making me a ‘sweet’ deal. I can sign up before 11/15 for $1.93 a month for the service which is normally $4.95. Wow, thanks a-holes!

This normally wouldn’t be a huge deal. Sure it would tick me off, but not send me looking for other services. But seeing as I signed up for the HD service 2 months ago and they have yet to fulfill the order, I have to say, we’re definitely looking for other providers. The only service that I really like out of the triple play is the internet service. If it wasn’t for that, I’d be gone by now for sure.

So for any Mediacom employees out there that can do something about this. Feel free to spread the word that you’re about to lose a customer over $24 bucks a year for freaking voice mail. Outstanding work!

Bailout Failure

I have to say, I was a little shocked that the bailout plan failed today.

Not that I don’t think some version of it won’t pass in a few days. But there is outrage over this bill. People are pissed that our tax dollars, for generations to come, will be spent bailing out the greedy bastards on Wall Street. Apparently Congress was receiving calls from constituents at a rate of 9-1 disapproving of the bill. Congress failed to pass it, good for you. You listened to the people that are going to re-elect you.

So, let’s play a little game shall we. Let’s imagine that Congress figures out that this bill is crap and lets everything be for a bit. What does that really mean. Well, for one, the market is going to correct itself and there are certain companies that will go out of business. Big companies. REALLY big companies that own mortgages and insurance on mortgages. Does this mean that you’re going to lose your house? If you’re one of the millions that makes their monthly payments, probably not. If you do not meet your payments, are you surprised if you lose your house? You shouldn’t be. But, this also means that people will not be buying a lot of houses and the abundant supply of houses on the market are going to stay on the market for a long time. So I wouldn’t plan on moving anytime soon. I know that I’m not moving for at least 2 years, maybe more if this market keeps up.

So what happens if your mortgage company fails. Free house? No, that’s not going to happen. Someone will buy up the loans and you’ll start paying them instead.

What this really means is that people are going to have to be more financially responsible. It will be harder to get a loan for a small business, house or car. You’ll have to make sure that you have a good credit history. You remember that, the thing that people have been saying for years is something that you need to have.

In the coming months/years, the market will consolidate, re-group and start kicking ass again. It will be tough, jobs will be lost. The companies that do not have the strong financial backings will go out of business. These are companies that have been running in the red for years. Going out of business shouldn’t be that big of a surprise for them or you if you work for one of them.

Unfortunately, Congress will not let the correction happen. They’re going to step in and possibly make this a worse situation. They’re already busy regrouping and will probably be voting on another financial bailout on Wednesday or Thursday. Don’t worry folks, Congress will be sure to make this bill just as bad as the first.

32 words

I typically don’t read the Huffington Post. At least not on a regular basis anyway. But this article caught my eye on digg so I hoped over there.

First, read the article. Its rather shocking.

Then, contact your state Senators and Representatives and express the outrage you now have for the fact that the executive branch can spend 700 billion dollars of our money on bailing out their idiot friends.

I’m sure that there will be some people that may comment on if we don’t do this, we’ll have another depression. And that *may* happen. But I’m willing to bet that even after we bail out all these companies, most of them will still fail. And we’ll be screwed out of our money because in reality, they should fail.

Greed is an ugly thing.