Continuing on the music theme for my forthcoming book, and the disruption caused by the Internet to established industries…
In 1996, the song ‘Until it sleeps’ by Metallica became the first track to be illegally copied from CD, encoded as an MP3, and made available on the Internet by a user operating under the nickname ‘NetFrack’. NetFrack announced the revolution in music piracy to Affinity disk magazine, a diskette based news sheet circulated in the computer underground:
I’ve thought of the idea of somehow pirating, music. … The problem in the past … was HD [hard disk] space. … We eliminated the size constraints. We use a new format to compress our music. The MP3 format.
The development of the MP3 marked a pivotal moment in the history of the recording industry, ruining distribution and business models, and challenging the future of the major labels. This revolution, as with much else in the digital upheaval, started in the early 1970s. Continue reading
A thought on an area that I’m going to have to tackle for the book. In 1999, the top 10 albums in the United States generated sales worth over 54.6 $M. By the end of 2008, that figure had fallen to just under $18.7 $M. What is happening? Continue reading
Researching my book on the history of the Internet, I asked Len Kleinrock three key questions yesterday. I asked him at what point it was clear that the early ARPANET – the forerunner to the Internet – became dominated by informal chatter between researchers. The answer was interesting.
The point at which it became abundantly clear to me that people-to-people communication was the dominant form of traffic carried by the internet was in mid-1972 shortly after email was introduced to the internet (network email was introduced in April 1972). Email traffic took over the traffic very quickly. Continue reading
I have been thinking about the following problem recently: Maths.
In 2001, the bipartisan Hart-Rudman Commission warned that the failure of math and science education posed a greater threat to American power than any conceivable conventional war in the new century. In his 2005 book, and in later postings on his site, the conservative US politician Newt Gingrich, who was on the Hart-Rudman Commission, warned that “American high schools are obsolete” Continue reading