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BoJo on Facebook…

For the record I’m on Facebook and essentially it seems to me a method by which people I didn’t get on with at school pretend they are my friends. Whatever! I appreciate how it works and indeed what it is for.

Boris Johnson doesn’t but wishes we had a similar “get-up and go” attitude to the internet. The article is extremely dull and full of BoJo-ish bumptiousnessness until..

I don’t pretend to grasp the economics of the web, which seems to me to be a colossal destroyer of value, reducing the price of text, music, images and voice telephony to virtually nil.

There is one word I object to there. Guess! It’s “value”. Is hearing your favourite song via an iPod via iTunes less valuable to you than if you’d bought it on disc at HMV? Is telephony worth less because it used to cost more?

OK. Here’s a personal tale on the conflation of price and value. My Great Aunt (and family – she was the draw being a qualified nurse) emigrated to the land of Oz in the ’60s. At the time the parting was such sweet sorrow. She honestly never thought she’d see my Gran (her sister) again. On roll times and she can afford to come back on holiday for a visit which she did. So I get (on a number of times) to meet my Great Aunty Pat from Melbourne. “Cost” and “Value” recall? My sister-in-law is currently in the country – we had a roast dinner in Derbyshire on Sunday – though she normally lives in Silesia. She came over because her Gran took a tumble and is currently in Stepping Hill Hospital (Yes, that one). She came over at the drop of a hat because you can these days. She keeps in touch with folks back here via Skype. Hell’s teeth, last autumn I and my wife (her sister) was over her end and but for the tender ministrations of our own version of the TSA it was like getting on a bus – to travel half a continent away.

The only thing that annoyed me was they have (in a small town in Silesia) better broadband and HDTV for a nominal sum compared to what we have to shell-out to Sky. Sky for perverse reasons (this also applies to Virgin) aren’t allowed to lay cable (or absolutely not) run it on overheads. Those BT ads make me wanna puke. They still have the local loop and are still a de facto monopoly.

Anyway. I’m typing this on a Lenovo S205 laptop/netbook (nobody seems able to make their mind up) and whilst it my have cost less in both real and actual terms as my first PC – the Elonex 386SX16 or yore – it brings more value to my life than that heffalumping thing did. And it was beige.

So Boris, please work this out. “Value” does not equal “Cost”.


  1. Mr Ecks says:

    Ken Leninslime is the only reason anyone, anywhere would ever vote for a cretin like Johnson.

  2. David Davis says:

    Our first “home computer” was a 386sx16, with 2Mb RAM and two “hard disks” of 60Mb and 80Mb. It was built by AT&T (really) in the US and was bought second hand for £375 28 yeears ago. It ran under DOS-5 (quite good) and had Windows 3.1 (slowly.) We sold it on to my wife’s cousin in Poland for $100, and I believe it’s still operable although in a cupboard. My boy’s newest laptop cost just over £300 and is a core i-5 etc etc etc….Moore’s Law still holds.

  3. David Davis says:

    I meant 18 years(ago)!

  4. NickM says:

    Yeah, I was gonna say David! My Elonex had a stonking 4 Meg of RAM. So Win 3.1 ran fine. As did DOS 5. I quite liked DOS 5 though it was a bit of a comedown from AmigaDOS. My main PC (note “main”) has 16 Gig of RAM.

  5. Lynne says:

    Sorry this is off topic, Nick, but the commenter, Jerome Herrada who left a daft comment on an ancient post of mine earlier today, appears to be a spammer. The name links directly to a gambling site.

  6. NickM says:

    You are allowed to be OT ;-) I do my best to fight spam but… On the case.

  7. APL says:

    “Is hearing your favourite song via an iPod via iTunes less valuable to you than if you’d bought it on disc at HMV?”

    I don’t think Johnson is talking about value to the buyer, I think he is thinking about the price for the seller. Where these two meet a trade takes place.

    But for Johnson a supposed Tory, the market is the most efficient means to fleece the greatest number of people. He is basically yearning for closed shop and restrictive practices to drive the price up. The internet is the very opposite of that and consequently things found for sale on the internet are usually very keenly priced.


  8. APL says:

    Since David has started the ‘My Pc was crappier than your pc’

    My first IBM (second hand) had 64k ram, a 20MB 5 1/4 inch hard disk, one floppy 5.25 inch ( I think) and a VGA display with perhaps 16 colors, or something like that.

    Before that I had a Commadore 64. Wanted a BBC but the Commadore was half the price.

  9. APL says:

    Ugh! 640K Ram.

    Mr Ecks: ” nyone, anywhere would ever vote for a cretin like Johnson.”


  10. Andrew Duffin says:

    What Boris is trying to say is that his pals in the publishing and music industries – they’ll be the suits on the fourteenth floor of course, not the actual creators of the content – will soon have to manage with only two houses and one yacht, and may even need to sell a racehorse or two.

    All of which would, of course, be a terrible shame.

    Long live technology!

  11. wh00ps says:

    I was going to rant about BT and how long we had to languish under per-minute dial up connections…
    But. Is the music business really dying? Prices per unit may have fallen byt people being able to buy recordings cheaply and directly on their iphones must surely be making sales go up?
    and if not, those 14th floor executives always have the option of making money in other sectors…

  12. RAB says:

    No the Music business isn’t dying, but the record companies may be, and bloody good job too! The cheeky fuckers have had a monopoly for 70 years or more, pay their artists peanuts in royalties and trouser the rest on the precept of being experts in promoting and marketing said artists. Bollocks!

    They even play clever little strokes like selling the same stuff over and over again when all the productions costs have long since been covered, when an album by say the Beatles or the Stones goes from vinyl, to cassette to cd etc at vastly inflated prices. They have cut their own throats with their greed.

    There is more great music out there than ever, and the talent is getting to keep more and more of the profits for themselves, but all the Record companies can do is whine, not innovate.

    They would seriously like the Internet taken down, just to profit their lazy arsed selves, and our Govt masters would like that Too. But Heh heh heh, …

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