• 25

    Jan

  • 0

By Ron Carter Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/Fighting Anti-Piracy

English: "G" rating of Motion Pictur...
MPAA Rating Sign

I am an ardent movie fan. As a hobby, movie watching ranks high on my list of things to do when I am not working. So, I am paying keen attention to the recent Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) Stop Online Piracy Act. I am not fully vetted on the details of the legislation, but this I know the optics of the MPAA’s conflict with some technology business interests are not good.

More than a decade ago, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) was faced with a somewhat similar challenge. Napster, a peer-to-peer file sharing (mostly music) internet service, was omnipresent among millions of music fans who shared the company’s typically audio MP3 format.

The RIAA fought to shut down Napster because of copyright infringement. Millions of music fans rebelled against
commercial music companies by finding other pirate file sharing internet services to obtain free music. Napster was eventually shuttered, but the collateral damage from closing this popular and well loved internet service was a Recording Industry which no longer was profitable. Several record companies went out of business. Moreover, several of the companies (Tower Records, Virgin
Record Store among others) that sold music closed. Today, the Music Industry is trying to find the way forward from its glory days.

I trust the MPAA will be strategic in dealing with their adversaries during the antic-piracy discussions they are engaged in at the moment. I know, “it’s Hollywood and Hollywood is powerful,” but I would hate to see the same thing which happened to the music industry occur in the movie business. That would be a sad day for me and millions of movie fans.

 

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  • 17

    Jan

  • 0

By Ron Carter Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/Is It Right?

President Lyndon B. Johnson and Rev. Dr. Marti...
USA President Lyndon B. Johnson and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today, Tuesday, January 17, 2012, the day after Dr. Martin Luther King‘s Birthday, I am inspired to post one of his many profound remarks as this week’s blog. Below is the text.

“On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question,  ‘Is it politic?’ And Vanity comes along and asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’ But Conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right.”

Enough said.

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  • 10

    Jan

  • 0

By Ron Carter Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/Listen At Your Own Risk

Seal of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commi...
Image via Wikipedia

Several years ago, I was watching Jim Cramer, TV personality and host of CNBC Financial Show “Mad Money,” on television.  On this particular night, Mr. Cramer was advocating to his viewers to buy Conoco Phillips (COP) stock. He was bullish on COP and enthused it would rise from its current price (lower $80s’ at the time) to $125.00 in a short while. Oil stocks he raved was hot and this one (COP) was going to be a good investment. The next day, I did some research on COP and was impressed with the dividends the stock paid, moreover, Jim Cramer said it was going to rise to $125.00. So, I bought several hundred shares of COP. Several weeks later, to my chagrin COP fell to the low $50s’ and I lost thousands of dollars. Rightfully, Jim Cramer was ridiculed in the media and thousands of his viewers lost faith in his stock predictions. Many investors were infuriated, yours truly included. If you mentioned Jim Cramer’s name in the same breath as COP to any stock investor during this period, you would have heard a few explicit words (which cannot be reported in this blog) describing him. Even the ratings for his show fell a few points.

In 2009, TheStreet.com, the financial Web site founded by Cramer, was investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Presently, Cramer is on television giving stock advice to his ardent fans. I have noticed that he has not said a word about COP’s bullishness during his recent television rants. Maybe it’s because COP has not been higher than $82.00 in the last year. And, Cramer’s prediction of COP rising to $125.00 remains a pipe dream.

I learned a valuable lesson listening to Jim Cramer; listen to the stock experts’ advice at your own risk.

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  • 03

    Jan

  • 0

By Ron Carter Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/Don’t Shoot Bullets Into The Air

Police Departments across the United States of America urged citizens to refrain from shooting their guns into the air in a celebratory mode on New Year‘s Eve. Yet in cities across the country, some individuals chose to ignore the public safety message and shot their guns anyway. What is the significance of firing bullets into the air on New Year’s Eve? Whatever the tradition is I say it is dumb. It is obvious the individuals shooting bullets into the air have no regards where the bullets ultimately land. There are no shortage of stories in the media where innocent individuals are killed by bullets fired from a gun on New Year’s Eve. The unfortunate scenario surrounding this mode of celebration is there are not enough Police Officers to stop this behavior.
Individuals who must shoot their guns on New Year’s Eve should go to a shooting range where it is guaranteed their actions will not endanger another citizen’s life. There at the shooting range, they can fire as much ammunition as possible at targets provided for them without injuring anyone. I don’t know who or where this dumb behavior started, but it has got to stop. Innocent citizens are dying from the silly irreverent actions of ignorant individuals. We need a national campaign which mirrors the strategy Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) employed to assist in changing the “shooting guns in the air on New Year’s Eve” behavior. Police Departments cannot do it alone.

I am all for having fun on New Year’s Eve, but let’s do so without shooting bullets into the air. The law of gravity says what goes up must come down. Moreover, the velocity of a bullet on a downward trajectory is just as deadly as one fired from a gun horizontally. So, the next time you hear your neighbor shooting bullets into the air on New Year’s Eve call the Police Department, because you may save someone’s life.

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