Pandora Buys South Dakota Radio Station

In a move that shows just how out of whack the record industry is, Internet Radio powerhouse Pandora is purchasing Rapid City radio station KXMZ-FM in a move made strictly to give them lower royalty rates.

The company agreed to purchase KXMZ-FM, a Rapid City, S.D., terrestrial radio station. Its first foray into traditional radio broadcasting, the move has little to do with strategic shift and everything to do with royalty costs. 

Pandora pays two royalty streams, one for actual sound recordings and another to composers for publishing rights. The sound recording fees make up the lion’s share of its content costs. But by buying a terrestrial station, Pandora piggybacks onto a settlement that gives better rates on that smaller fee stream.

Maybe a new revenue stream for Governor Daugaard to pursue? Credit cards and radio stations…

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What 4th Amendment?

While most were rushing to protect their 2nd Amendment rights against non-existent threats last week in the wake of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting, the California Supreme Court issued a ruling that further erodes what is left of our 4th Amendment rights and we hardly blinked.

In California’s People v Diaz (pdf), it was determined that the police had not violated the defendant’s rights by searching the text message folder of his phone without a warrant ruling that it was “valid as being incident to a lawful custodial arrest“.

We granted review in this case to decide whether the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution permits law enforcement officers, approximately 90 minutes after lawfully arresting a suspect and transporting him to a detention facility, to conduct a warrantless search of the text message folder of a cell phone they take from his person after the arrest. We hold that, under the United States Supreme Court?s binding recedent, such a search is valid as being incident to a lawful custodial arrest. We affirm the Court of Appeal?s judgment.

Until recently, legal warrantless searches had been limited under common law to those that focused on weapons concealment or destruction of evidence such as looking for items that could harm law enforcement personnel but with this ruling we have continued to slide down the proverbial slippery slope started a few years ago during the restructuring of FISA. Under FISA the government had already been granted wide latitude to listen in on our phone calls without first getting warrants and now they can search your phones. So what’s next?

Never bothered to pattern or code lock your smart phone? Maybe its time as I still think the 5th Amendment is still valid…

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Even Google Hates South Dakota

Readers here are aware of my rants on the lack of choices South Dakotans have when it come to cell phone technology. My thoughts on the subject especially when discussing my frustration over the Apple/AT&T exclusivity deal for the iPhone have been posted here on a regular basis. With that in mind, rumors of a mysterious Google phone that had been swirling around for awhile now gave me hope that a revolutionary smart phone might be just around the corner to compete with Apple and that it might actually be available for those of us that are geographically challenged.

The Motorola Droid was an opening act, being the latest and greatest built on Google’s Android operating system and taking advantage of Verizon’s excellent network. I was so impressed by the initial hype I went out and purchased one but despite many great features and excellent first impressions, a month later it has me wishing for more. (more on that in a future post)

So imagine my excitement when stories began emerging over the weekend on a real honest to goodness Google phone. The Nexus One as it has been officially named, is real and could possibly be available as soon as next month.

As the weekend progressed, more and more details began emerging further increasing my excitement including Google’s willingness to sell the phone directly to consumers meaning that it would be unlocked and available to use without having to sell your soul to a wireless provider for multiple years.

Awesome!

To this point we had an open source smart phone with the clout of Google behind it being sold unlocked to anyone who wanted it. Sounds pretty good right? Well this is South Dakota after all so there has to be a catch in there somewhere and this is no exception, and it is a big one.

The Nexus One will be GSM only. For those unaware of what that means, you will have the choice of exactly 2 major cell phone providers, AT&T and T-Mobile.

That’s right, the next big thing in the cell phone business will at least initially only work on providers that do not provide service in South Dakota! (AT&T has purchased AllTel’s assets here as part of the Verizon merger agreement but what that means is still anyones guess)

To make matters worse, Google supposedly initially approached Verizon with a proposal that would have had them partnering on this phone. If Verizon would have agreed it would have meant that not only would the phone still have been sold unlocked by Google as it will be now, it would have likely been CDMA based making it available for use on most every carrier in South Dakota including Verizon and Sprint.

Of course, like they did with the iPhone, Verizon said no and Google instead went to T-Mobile meaning the phone will be GSM and South Dakotans will remain in the semi-dark ages using a network that severely limits our phone choices.

Oh well, I guess there will always be the next big thing…

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How Bad Is The Technology Void In South Dakota?

How bad is it here in South Dakota when because of Apple’s exclusive deal with AT&T, we can’t get the iPhone but the Taliban whom are in exile in Afghanistan and normally seek to ban almost all technology are singing the praises of Apple’s technological wonder.

We doubt Apple will sign this guy up for an endorsement deal, but Mullah Zaif, a former Taliban official, raved about his iPhone to Al Jazeera correspondent Hamish McDonald during a visit in Kabul.

I asked Zaif about his gadget. His response was pretty much the same as everyone who owns an iPhone.

“I’m addicted,” he said, “the internet is great on this, very fast.”

He proceeded to show myself and our film crew his favourite websites. I half expected him to log on and show us ‘Taliban Twitter’.

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What, 2 Years Or More Warning Wasn't Enough?

The RCJ has a story this morning detailing how Congress is talking to the FCC about pushing back the February deadline for the switch over to digital TV broadcasts.

According to Sen. John Thune, Congress has been talking with the Federal Communications Commission about possibly extending the Feb. 17 deadline for switching from analog to digital television.

Thune says it’s at least being talked about because many Americans don’t understand the process or haven’t yet redeemed their coupons for digital converters.

“I think this is going to catch people by surprise and there’s going to be a lot of people in South Dakota who are going to be impacted,” the Republican senator said.

My question to Thune and the rest of Congress would be this. If someone isn’t prepared for the switchover to digital broadcasts after all these years of warnings and the past year or so of seemingly constant media bombardment detailing the steps needed to change over, will a longer deadline make any difference?

I doubt it.

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5 Million iPhones Will Be Sold In Q4

And not one of them will be sold (officially that is) in South Dakota.

Based on the latest retail sales data from the NPD Group, Munster writes in a report to clients issued Monday that he is “incrementally more confident” in Apple’s unit sales for its three main product lines and has raised his targets as follows:

* Mac units of 2.8 million (vs. 2.5 million previously) in Q4
* iPod units of 11 million (vs. 10.8 million)
* iPhone units of 5 million (vs. 4.1 million)

Added to the 2.4 million first-generation iPhones Apple sold in the first six months of 2008, that would bring the total number iPhones sold this year to 7.4 million.

Just think Mr Jobs, if you had chosen an exclusive partner that served South Dakota, you might have sold a couple hundred more….

(Source – Fortune)

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