T-Mobile/Sprint

Sprint sucks.

This is how the Democrats get it wrong, ruling by theory instead of practicality.

Sprint is going to continue to fade. What happens when it goes bankrupt, then is its spectrum auctioned off and ends up with AT&T or Verizon anyway?

This is like Warner/EMI… The European Union and Impala were so worried about this concentration in the music business. Then EMI goes bust and most of its assets end up with Universal and the Vivendi company ends up with half the overall market share. This is just? This is progress?

In theory, concentration is bad, it offers fewer options to the public, it augurs against price drops. But you can’t deal with mergers with a knee-jerk approach.

Antitrust law has taken a backseat. It should be applied more frequently. But the wankers in the White House and their minions ended up letting Facebook buy WhatsApp and Instagram, creating a singular monopoly in social media, but a reduction of four carriers to three in wireless communication is too much?

And you hear all about the digital divide. People who can’t afford computers and high-speed internet, those who live in rural areas outside of range, but the agitators are willing to let there be two tiers of wireless service, based on how much you can pay?

Sprint is a joke, its only good feature is its cheap plans. And the plans can’t go down to zero, with free iPhones, there must be some revenue, never mind profit. If the service was any good, people would be flocking to Sprint in droves.

As for T-Mobile… They’ve made something out of nothing. Outside the metropolis their LTE availability, availability of signal at all, is squat. Sure, T-Mobile gained market share by offering low prices, but without a robust 5G network, its customers would end up living in a tube-based village in a flat screen world.

When something becomes a commodity, there will be concentration. Hell, Samsung makes flat screens for Sony! Because the margins are so bad.

But don’t expect Verizon to sell access to its industry leading network to its competitors. The network is its marketing advantage. As for AT&T, sure, it’s improving, but if the company didn’t have a legacy name, it too would be in the crapper.

Sprint owns valuable bandwidth. It’s just that it lacks the cash to build it out. And to be a real competitor in 5G, T-Mobile needs that bandwidth. Not all mergers are bad.

Sure, price competition could wane, to customers’ detriment, but how is propping up a fourth-rate service rejected by consumers an advantage?

I won’t switch from Verizon. Unless it was literally proven there was a better service.

Meanwhile, everybody complains that there are few options for high-speed service in the home. One cable provider and you’re lucky if Verizon FIOS is available in your neighborhood. Don’t even talk to me about DSL, it’s the Sprint of home service. But with 5G, there will be competition in the home, and isn’t it better to have more options than fewer?

People will tolerate bad connections out in the wild, believing it’s the nature of wireless communication, but they’ve never been overseas, where you get a connection everywhere! The truth is American networks are just not that good. But if you don’t get good service in your home, where you’re watching TV, you complain ad infinitum. So, a crappy 5G system is a nonstarter.

This left wing position bugs me. It’s the same one that says we need to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. Sure, if you want to pay $3,000 for a flat screen. Or you’re Apple, trying to build the Mac Pro in Texas where they can’t get enough quality screws.

These people put out of work should be trained for new jobs, or else the U.S. becomes a second-class economy. Our strengths are intellectual property, tech. But then we have an Administration so afraid of immigrants that it refuses visas for those working in Silicon Valley, forcing them back to their countries where they create startups and competition.

That’s right, there’s ignorance on both sides of the aisle.

As for those on T-Mobile presently, happy with their service, wait until they actually get improved service, of the standard of Verizon or AT&T, they will be wowed.

You don’t know what you’re missing until you experience something better.

But in this brand-oriented world, everybody is convinced that what they own is the best, and marketing is all about subterfuge, you can’t figure out what’s best from the ads.

So this is a merger which must go through, even though John Legere’s team stayed in Trump’s hotel. Fine them, but don’t blow them out of the water.

Meanwhile, this is how business works. It’s built on favors and illicit activities. Sure, police it. But don’t live with your eyes closed, disinterested in digging deeper to find out the truth, how the world works, even if elements are abhorrent to you.

You can’t run the world on emotion, you’ve got to run it on truth. Just because your heart says one thing, that does not make it true.

In theory mergers, concentration, are bad. People lose jobs. Sometimes prices go up. But if the factory closes its doors completely, that’s even worse. As for going against economics, Trump keeps saying the jobs are coming back but the truth is these companies have shareholders and must make a profit, so Carrier exports jobs and Harley-Davidson builds overseas and…

You may want it, but that does not mean you can have it.

And if you put up too many artificial walls, you destroy the marketplace.

Unfortunately, this is a merger that must be approved.

The Society

THE SOCIETY Official Trailer

I never read “Lord of the Flies.”

That’s high school, you try not to read what you ultimately wish you had. All those books they make movies on, by Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, you wanted to avoid those in high school, actually, at my high school you didn’t even have to read them. But we did read “Moby Dick,” although our teacher did let us skip chapters, before he was accused of assault and sexual harassment, which I never would have predicted, you never know what goes on inside people, but that’s what keeps life interesting, it’s what’s below the surface that intrigues you, the struggle is to pierce the veil. And, just so you know, there’s a quid pro quo, if you don’t share, other people won’t either. It’s a mutual thing. Then again, there are oversharers, why do you think it’s my job to hear the minutiae of your life? I want a report, not a brain dump of all your anxieties.

“The Society” is based on “Lord of the Flies.” And at this point, even I know what “Lord of the Flies” is about, even though, like I stated above, I never read it.

We were watching “Patriot,” on Amazon. Although it was difficult, because we constantly ended up getting the chasing its tail circle. I’ve come to believe this is Amazon’s fault, not my ISP’s, because it doesn’t happen as much on Netflix.

Now “Patriot” is one of those rare series where the second season is better than the first. The whole series is whacked. It’s just the first season is slow. But you’re invested. And there are some famous actors, and I love the fat Luxembourg detective who looks like Hercule Poirot, but the truth is you don’t have to watch “Patriot,” hell, at this point it looks like there may not even be a third season.

So we needed a new series. To binge.

That’s the only way I will watch, and I will keep saying it until HBO and Showtime and the rest of the cable outlets get the message. I can’t wait a week for an episode, to the point where I have a hard time remembering what happened the week before! And you fall behind and give up. You’re just not part of the zeitgeist.

But when you can binge…

Dedicated fans finish new seasons in a day or two, they’re just that eager.

Casual fans could take a year. These series are time bombs, just waiting to be detonated, and when you see a good one, you tell everybody you know about it. It’s yours, for a while anyway, unlike with HBO, sure, you’ll have water cooler moments, but you won’t own it.

And no one is talking about HBO shows off season.

But Netflix series?

But the media industrial complex doesn’t like it this way. The media industrial complex wants all the hype and then the potential boom to happen in a matter of days. Why not spread the publicity out over time?

But these are the same idiots who take full page ads, billboards even, to hype shows for Emmys. This is kind of like states fighting for filming, offering different financial packages. Why are you giving the papers and magazines all this money? It could be better spent.

So we needed a new series to watch.

I don’t invest my time unless something is recommended by a blue chip source, or the internet tells me it’s great.

But there are very few great series out there.

But you have a yearning to binge.

And I don’t want to watch that which I’m familiar with. I lived through the Central Park 5 story, I don’t have to watch a miniseries about it. Same deal with Chernobyl. Which they changed anyway. And people believe the falsehoods. It’s not only the press that gets things wrong.

So I’m researching and I find this series “The Society” on Netflix. It’s got 82 on the Tomatometer. I live by the Tomatometer. The film industry hates it, it wants us to be rubes, investing our time and money in bad products.

But 82 is usually not enough.

But I couldn’t find anything higher than that that I wanted to watch.

Anyway, everybody but the parents die, and the kids are left alone, how will it turn out?

And the first thing I noticed is none of the cast members were familiar. Like “90210” back in the day. Yup, on that show they got all the faces the Big Three networks rejected. But now that there’s so much production, almost everybody is new, it’s kinda strange, we’re used to looking for familiarity, to prove that it’s just a television show.

And this is definitely a television show, if it were on network I almost definitely wouldn’t watch it.

But nobody else is watching it, I didn’t see any hype in the media, so I could go where no one else risked going, I could own the experience.

Then again, it’s summer, and this is when these unheralded Netflix projects percolate and become monstrous, because kids are home. So maybe “The Society” will ultimately triumph.

Now Cassandra, the #1 girl, who is going to Yale in the fall, theoretically anyway, bugs everybody else, she takes charge, she’s a know-it-all. And she bugs me too! And the question arises, how should you behave in a group? I’m not good at staying silent.

But Cassandra’s little sister rang true from the first note, she stood out. Then I read in “Vanity Fair” that she’s the new It Girl, or at least hot actress, she’s in this, “Big Little Lies” and “Pokemon Detective Pikachu.” I can see why, she’s got it.

Now Allie chafes at being the little sister, and takes risks her sibling will not. Sound familiar?

And boys will be boys. I’m not one of those boys, but some are, Felice asked why boys act this way. I think it’s herd mentality, they want to be accepted, they don’t realize they’re jerks.

And the relationships!

You know that’s a main element in teen projects… Who is gonna stay with who? Actually, one of the best moments is when Allie professes her love for Will and…

You always wonder whether to tell someone how you feel about them. If they don’t reciprocate, it changes the relationship forever, not in a good way.

But why I’m writing this, the question I want to ask, is are you a hoarder or a sharer? Are you gonna grab on to everything that’s not nailed down in order to survive, or are you going to share with your brethren and ultimately find out there’s not enough. Although many times, a solution arises before your hoard dissipates. Like after the earthquake (and in my world there’s only one, back in ’94, I still haven’t recovered from it), when my local market was closed and I stocked up with peanut butter and jelly at the minimart, just in case… But the power came back, the stores reopened before I’d depleted most of my stash.

Better safe than sorry?

But if it’s not only you?

We’re not deep in the series. And this is one I’m not really recommending either, but somehow it’s hooked me, I’m invested, I want to see how it all plays out.

That’s the power of story.

That’s the power of Netflix.

This is the modern world.

Counting Sales (& Bundles!)

Ben Sisario:

A Billboard No. 1 Is at Stake, So Here’s an Album With Your Taylor Swift Hoodie

Counting CD and track sales is like toting up the number of feature phone purchases. We live in an era of streaming and smartphones, why does the music industry insist on holding on to the past?

This is how hip-hop ended up victorious, by moving online, by embracing Soundcloud, by using the new tools and giving away product in the process.

But no, the music industry still sells CDs and files, even though most people no longer have a CD player, they don’t even come in cars, and Apple killed the iPod.

Actually, Apple was famous for killing old formats. Killing ADB for USB. Leaving out the floppy drive. Steve Jobs did not worry about the complainers in the background, he just soldiered on.

And now Apple is the most valuable company on the planet, or close to it, depending on the daily stock market.

Ironically, the present Apple killed the 20 pin port for Lightning, even though every hotel room had that connector built into the room radio, and even switched to USB-C on the new iPad Pro, but…for some reason, their Music app still works with both files and streams, which makes it confusing, which Jobs abhorred. It was supposed to just work, be easy, require no manual, but I still can’t figure out how to make sure my search is of streams not files, and it makes me reluctant to use the app.

Steve Jobs. Everyone says he was anti-streaming, all about sales.

Believe me, Jobs would be behind streaming today, making it even more convenient, because Jobs was willing to admit he was wrong, and change and leave the past behind. But many musicians still refuse to believe streaming has won, it’s been demonized, it can’t be sold after the show…it’s like bitching you can’t sell standard transmissions when even Formula One cars have no clutch.

And the internet/tech works on a different ethos than the traditional music business. The facts are real, and the war is even more intense. Record companies can always depend on their catalogs for revenue, in tech it’s purely what have you done for me lately, and if you haven’t done anything, soon you’re no longer a player. Can you say Blackberry and Gateway and…

Streams can be quantified. They’re harder to fake. Of course people are always trying to scam, but there are algorithms to check that too. Ah, the glory of the machine.

In other words, it’s easy to add up how many streams a track has. They’re even visible on Spotify and YouTube. And streams are raw consumption, a true judge of popularity, whereas if something is sold, you don’t know how many times a purchaser listened to it. Furthermore, with streams you get paid forever, while with sales, it’s one and done. Do you want to invest in yourself or sell out now and forget your future?

The “Billboard” charts have been manipulated from day one. Sure, SoundScan added some truthiness, but still, shenanigans were prevalent.

And “Billboard” could change its chart overnight.

Then again, what makes the “Billboard” chart worth anything anyway, their special sauce? Why do you need Nielsen to tote up what is easily seen online?

So what you’ve got is a trade magazine, servicing the trade.

So, there should be no attention paid to “Billboard”‘s numbers.

But they’re distributed by media outlets as if they mean something, when the truth is they don’t mean anything.

Sure, it’s all about the add-ons, but who was the wanker who approved this to begin with? What are we counting here, marketing efforts or music consumption, this needed to be nipped in the bud.

And “Billboard” could have done it, but NO, it was afraid to piss off the labels and the acts, who do very little advertising anyway, “Billboard” is now a consumer-facing product, why does it keep one foot in the past? Hell, why don’t you pay fealty to retailers, Best Buy doesn’t even sell CDs anymore, not that I’ve been to an outlet in years, why, when there’s Amazon.

We need to wave a wand and immediately go to streaming totals to determine popularity. Leave all sales behind. That’s how Steve Jobs would have done it!

But the truth is the labels like it this way, they kick and scream as they add tchotchkes and manipulate the chart themselves.

Hell, the government nearly eradicated the Mafia, but the music business is still run like organized crime. These are public companies, why so much subterfuge?

Cover Is Better Than The Original-SiriusXM This Week

Tune in tomorrow, Tuesday June 11th, to Volume 106, 7 PM East, 4 PM West.

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