Paul Mason on Capitalism Failing

An interesting video by a mainstream commentator commenting on some of the major issues of our time and the inter-relationship of them.

Of particular interest was the statement,

Radically de-link work from wages

Apple TV and HDCP

Recently I was bought an Apple TV which I intended to use primarily for Airplay mirroring. However, as I am also a Netflix subscriber I thought I might as well use it for that as well.

So after logging into Netflix I tried to play some content and got the HDCP content warning reminding me that the world of unhelpful, DRM continues on. Solutions to such a problem include, turn everything on and off, trying a new cable (as its a cable missing a physical strand) or get a new TV. Guess it is an illustration of a time when not all digital cables are equal.

Should I Be Scared of the Left?

An interesting article in the The Independent today illustrating ‘left-wing’ policy positions held by Jeremy Corbyn that perhaps have a majority public support. Many commentators over the last few weeks have suggest that Jeremy Corbyn becoming the leader of the Labour would be great for the Conservatives arguing that such an appointment would make the Labour party un-electable.

However I think such a position is coherent only if the continuation of the disillusionment with politics continues. It is interesting to consider how many of the policies listed in the The independent article people support but were offered no option to vote for at the last election. Often people suggest that voting makes no difference but, a Corbyn led Labour government would be a undeniable radical change from the last four governments.

Personally as a Green voter (in a safe Labour seat), I think a Corbyn led Labour party is far more likely to entice me than the other options.

The Guardian on The End of Capitalism

The Guardian has an interesting piece entitled, The end of capitalism has begun.

It is well worth a read as it pulls together a number of frees regarding the purpose of finance, the value of work and the future on consumption.

A particular interesting quote for my currently is,

The coming wave of automation, currently stalled because our social infrastructure cannot bear the consequences, will hugely diminish the amount of work needed – not just to subsist but to provide a decent life for all.

The most alarming feature of this kind of discussion, is the way it feels so far removed from the current political discourse with its focus on the need to reward near valueless work to support unsustainable consumption.

TV Licenses for BBC Online Services

The Huffington Post reports that the upcoming budget will see the BBC acquire responsibility for the every growing number of free TV licenses in exchange for inflation linked increase in the TV license and the extension of the license onto on demand services, iPlayer services. The current settlement has always been problematic and while the extension to the license fee to on-demand services makes sense it only does so with a refocusing of the materials it covers. Yes its crazy that you can watch Dr. Who an hour later without needing a TV license on iPlayer. Its also crazy that you need a TV license to watch Eurosport Player delivered over IP.

I personally don’t have a TV License but have used iPlayer to watch Doctor Who and TopGear on catch-up. Currently I almost exclusively watch Youtube, TWIT and Netflix so will the new style TV license also be required to view these services, even though they are produced, hosted and managed overseas?

I do actually believe that the BBC and the license fee offers exceptional value for money for many people its just that I prefer to consume content focused around my personal interests rather than share a viewing experience with the majority.

Additionally while the move of BBC 3 to an online service was clearly planned with the license fee parameter change in mind, how does the BBC plan to retain relevance if it increasingly moves content that consumers are paying for away from its terrestrial broadcast base? You could imagine a situation of BBC 1 and 2 catering almost exclusively to the free TV license holders very soon.

So if I was to revisit TV licensing these are the questions I think need to be resolved,

  • BBC funding
  • Parliamentary Engagement
  • Broadcast Fibre / Internet Provision
  • Content Creation

I think the solution to these challenges is the actually the opposite path to the once currently be followed.

Firstly abandoned the TV broadcast licensee before it at best becomes irrelevant or at worst a means by which other online content providers are suppressed.

Secondly switching funding to core BBC services such as news, education, parliamentary activity and world service to general taxation.

Finally seek to monetise the extensive back catalogue through subscription based services, imagine iPlayer with every Top Of The Pops 2 for on demand streaming under a subscription service.