Archive for November, 2007

Writers Guild math?

Written by Cornelius J. van Dyk on . Posted in Blog

OK, so I don’t have an opinion one way or the other about the Writers Guild Strike out in Hollywood, but I did stop by a related link from Wil Wheaton’s blog and noticed a YouTube video titled “Why We Fight“. Now either somebody’s seriously got to check their math skills, totally possible given today’s educational standards (don’t even get me started), or some gross misleading is taking place here. I’d like to believe that someone just didn’t do their math properly.

If you check out the video, they tell you that writers got 2.5% royalty fees on their work. Then to boost home video sales, they agreed to an 80% cut with the understanding that they’d get that back when the home video market was flourishing. FIRST QUESTION: WHY DIDN’T YOU GET IT IN WRITING? So that takes their royalty rates down to 0.5% (2.5 * 20% = 0.5). OK, so they’re getting 0.5% royalties. Now here’s where the math goes seriously wrong. They say that if you buy a movie for $20 (they actually say $19.99, but this is just 1c short of $20 so for easier math, we’ll just use the round figure of $20 instead) then they only get 4c on the deal.

OK, so $20 * 0.5% = 10c. Checked it twice! Its 10c NOT 4c as they state in the video. SECOND QUESTION: WHY THIS GROSS UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE NUMBERS? The problem I have with the video is that they then predicate their entire pitch on the 4c figure, mentioning it over and over and over again. They also state that all they’re asking for is another 4c. Now while 4c appears to be a small number, that’s exactly what they want you to believe. Oh it’s only 4c. We should actually look at it in a sense of percentages. In essence, they’re asking for a 100% raise. When was the last time you went into your boss’s office and asked for a 100% raise? Even better, when was the last time your boss actually gave it to you? I bet NEVER on at least the latter. But it’s only 4c right? THIRD QUESTION: IF THE AGREEMENT ON THE 80% CUT DID EXIST, THEN WHY ASK FOR ONLY 4c? WHY NOT ASK FOR 16c (OR 40c IF YOU USE THE CORRECT MATH) AND GET THE ENTIRE 80% CUT BACK? That makes we question the whole 80% story in the first place. Nonetheless, it seems to me that the studios can correct the math, show that writers are actually getting 10c and since all they’re asking for is 8c, apply another 20% cut to royalties and end this strike right now!

Makes you think, doesn’t it?



Cheers
C




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My latest gadget – a DROBO!

Written by Cornelius J. van Dyk on . Posted in Blog

OK, so I’ll do a full write up and review of this awesome gadget, but thus far I must say that first impressions just blew me away! Yes, it’s expensive, but man, oh man, what an awesome way to make data redundancy, expansion and disaster recovery totally brainless! Stay tuned for my review in a couple of weeks after I’ve stretched its legs and put it through its paces some more. 😉

  • http://www.drobo.com


Cheers
C




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We the people…

Written by Cornelius J. van Dyk on . Posted in Blog

have spoken…

Not in 40 years has an Indianapolis incumbent mayor lost a bid for re-election, but yesterday, we went to the ballot box and delivered a very clear, very strong message not only to former Mayor Bart Peterson, but also to Mayor Elect Greg Ballard. The message is simple. “You are beholden to the people. Treat us right and with respect.”

Ballard got 51% of the vote while Peterson only managed 47% in the biggest “shock” of the election.

I’m not quite sure why it came as such a shock though. The city council in general also changed significantly as several incumbents there were voted out too. Why? Taxes. Peterson and the council thought they could get away with the exorbitant raise on our taxes. They thought they could just push it through and we would just accept it. They were wrong. People took to the streets, exercising their constitutional right to petition their government. The protests eventually forced Governor Mitch Daniels to order reassessments for most counties.

The next mistake was that of over confidence. The media kept telling us that yes, the taxes issue was bad for Peterson, but Ballard didn’t have a strong campaign and Peterson was going to win anyway. I guess the people didn’t agree.

Peterson did many good things for the City of Indianapolis, but he also did some things that rubbed people the wrong way.

  • Make no mistake, we love our Colts, but I’m not sure too many people wanted the new stadium which is in large part being paid for with our tax dollars.
  • The systematic cutting of the police force over the years was also not good at all. We’ve seen crime rates in the city rise significantly to the point where it now became a problem. Then suddenly we have to raise taxes some more to pay for more police. Not that I’m opposed to more police, but what happened to all the “savings” they got from cutting police in the past? Why couldn’t that money just be reappropriated back to the police force?
  • Taxes. The property tax scandal this year was the final straw. Most people saw a rise of 35% or more in their taxes while in some places taxes doubled or even tripled. Immediately you wonder, what the heck are they doing with the budget that so much more taxes are needed? Should fiscal constraint be the first order of business, rather than raising taxes? Of course, when the news broke that only residential properties were adjusted, that just did it. If you truly can’t keep the budget in line and you must raise taxes, at least do it uniformly throughout residential, commercial and industrial properties.

Now Ballard will have an opportunity to do it right, but the message from the people is clear. Tread lightly Mr. Ballard because if you take us for granted, you’ll go the same way Peterson did. We are not your subjects. You work for us, not us for you…



Cheers
C




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