By Phished0ne 0 Comments
Seriously how could you not love this guy?
Seriously how could you not love this guy?
I am the last guy to call upon government to stick it's nose in private business, but something must be done about this. As a long time fan of live music, i can tell you first hand that online ticketing services are extremely broken and that i wouldn't be surprised to find out that places like Ticketmaster allow scalpers to "cut in" on online sales(i hate to sound like that conspiracy theorist guy). Taken as an example from my favorite band, Phish, who just announced their fall tour. Now Phish is by no means a Mainstream band, but they continually show up on "top grossing tour bands" lists year after year when they tour. They have a dedicated fan base that will travel hours upon hours to see them play, and i am one of them. Just in 09-10 i drove a total of 16 hours to see them ( 6 hours to their reunion show in march, 6 hours to philly last fall, and 5 hours this past summer to see them in Hershey PA), and i was ready to drive 7 hours this october....
People who follow me on Giantbomb probably noticed my status messages about trying to get tickets for their Halloween weekend Shows in Atlantic City. Allow me to weave you a tale of tragedy and despair.
First i would like to relate something that has been dubbed the "over 15 minute wait shuffle". What happens is this, your tickets go on sale at 10, you click the button to confirm your order, fill out your captcha, and you load up the "waiting in line" page. This is exactly what happened to me, i was "in line" by 10:00:30, i was told my wait would be 15 minutes, i started praying...it told me my wait was down to 10 minutes, down to 7, then magically, my wait is back up to 15. Now yes, the times are approximations,and there is no way to truly know how many people hit their order button at precisely the right time, but it still smells fishy to me. Also, its happened to so many people, its hard to imagine that its just being "too slow". I have heard at least 100 stories online of people that had the exact same problem, "its like ticketmaster just decided i wasnt cool enough to get tickets". My friend had 3 computers going trying to get the same tickets, and i had 2 going, none of us got any tickets. I've heard stories of full rooms of 20 or more people trying to get tickets, and not a single one scoring. What are the chances? You can say its extremely unlucky but i personally think something foul is afoot. Actually i kinda lied, my friend got through on his one computer twice, only to have the site tell him his order failed and to try again.
2ndly, 3 minutes after the tickets for the weekend went on sale, they were already up on places like stubhub with price ranges from 300-2000 dollars for a 70 dollar ticket. By my quick tally, there are 478 tickets available on stubhub(not counting other ticket resale site, tickets on ebay, etc) for the Halloween show, a small portion when you consider the venue holds about 14,000, but still enough that it makes you think "how the fuck do they pull this off?". If you take that number and multiply it by the 3 day weekend, thats 1,434 tickets that went to people who have no intent of going to any show the whole weekend, and never did. Is it that hard to imagine a reality where TM turns a blind eye to scalper-bots and computer farms, and captcha-cheating code, because they dont care where the tickets go, as long as they get service fees? Hell, maybe they are even recieving a kickback from places like stub-hub who thrive on scalpers ability to score seats(since sites like stub hub add a fee on top, making buyers pay more, and taking a cut from whatever profits each seller makes).
Now you might be saying, "well, its supply and demand, isnt it? if people wouldn't pay those exorbitant prices for the tickets, the scalpers never would try", or maybe you are even thinking "ahh, capitalism at its finest, buy low, sell high", Well sir, if you think either of those things, you are an asshole. Allow me to explain my theory, a Ticket to an event is not a "Good" per-say, its a service.
A ticket is like a contract between the buyer and the event organizer/promoter, a contract that allows you to enter the venue, the purchase of a ticket is your and the organizers signatures. You cant resell a service or a contract, I cant erase my name off the dotted line of a job contract and give it to my friend. Or resell my job to someone else, well, i could, but i ensure you, my employer would never give me another contract. In plain english, a scalper doesn't have the right to grant me access to a show he's not an organizer of. As an easier example, say i am at a nightclub, and the owner for some unbeknown reason invites me into the VIP room. I can't turn to my friend and say,
"hey bro, i dont feel like going into the VIP room, but if you pay me 100 dollars i'll let you in". I simply don't have the right to grant my friend access into the VIP room.
Also , people who say "its capitalism at its finest" are just plain jerks, scalpers make nothing of value, they simply use strong-arm mob tactics, and sneaky programming to create their own demand for tickets that otherwise all the demand would be taken care of by the original sale of the tickets. If scalpers didnt eat up 400 tickets(probably more) to each show, there would be little to no 2nd market demand for tickets, because most everyone that wanted tickets could get them. If i was a doctor, i couldn't get away with walking around town breaking peoples kneecaps with a tire-iron then offering to cast up their leg for 1000 dollars.
"But what could you do, scalpers have always existed", this is where it gets tricky, but as a start, places like Ticketmaster could start actually giving a shit, and investigating. If someone is buying 5 orders of 3 tickets on the same credit or debit card, isn't that a little suspicious? Think about this, the most you could order for one night of the halloween show was 2 tickets per order, but somehow, some people on Stubhub are offering 8 tickets, how does that work? Simply put, if someone is ordering 4 orders of 2 tickets on one card, those orders should be invalid. It's what phish does in their lottery pre-orders, you can't put more than one order in on one card if you do, your order priority is put low, or your orders are straight up canceled, why cant TM do the same? Oh, because no matter how much they talk about how "Scalping is bad" and "We try to stop it" they don't care at all, as long as they continue to rape whoever is buying the tickets with 7-13 dollar services charges, they are making their money. If the federal government made scalping illegal, sites like stubhub could be shut down, and people couldn't charge a 300-500 percent increase on face value on ebay. Im not saying you shouldn't be able to fairly resell your tickets to friends or other fans if you cant go for some reason, but there is no way that there should be commercial enterprises based around the principle of holding down music fans and fucking them in the ass.
The Digital Comics reader for PSP is a pretty nice little application. The menus are slick and easy to navigate. It is easy to keep tabs on your collection, how many new comics you have, how many you have total. Each tab has numbers telling you right from the main "collection" menu. A Bookmark feature lets you mark pages if you need to pick up later, or if you simply like a piece of the art. But there are 2 very nice features i would like to talk about the most.
First of all, you can play any music on your psp while reading comics. Nice, finally sony gives us an app on the psp we can use while listening to music. Maybe this means in the future browsing websites while listening to music. The only thing i dont like about the music player built in is that there is no fast forward or rewind, but everything else is smooth. Notification boxes pop up and give you song title, and artist. Oddly, my live Phish tracks do not pop up notification boxes. I dont know if this is because the songs are in a seperate folder or just a character limit but no big deal the songs play fine.
The 2nd is the way it "reads" the comics, it zooms the screen in on each panel, and pans across. So that if there is a character across a panel, you see them first, and it will pan across/up to words. In the comic i bought, Astonishing X-Men #1 it did a lot of neat things like showing a word as a full panel then after i hit the next zooming out to show art for that panel. After you are through a spread it shows you both pages, allowing you to look around or go to the next page.
Overall, a pretty neat little app, and as long as Marvel keeps updating, i will most likely keep buying(DEADPOOOLLL), every once and a while at least. It seems like it could be a neat little program that will help me figure out what comics i should try and pick up for real.
Comic Prices so far are 1.99, with some 99 cent comics from publishers like archie comics. Disney has some kids comics up for free. Lets hope Marvel keeps updating along with all the other publishers. Also, lets start complaining to DC to sell their comics digitally so i can get some batman up on my psp.
After looking through a bit more i realized there is one thing this app needs to make it perfect, making store purchases directly from the app, ala Rock Band, so i could download a comic and read it without needing to goto the store and come back.
I was Scouring Joystiq a few minutes ago and saw 2 interesting articles.
Firstly, Interplay may be counter-suing Bethesda over a Fallout MMO. A user of the RagingBull(link to related forum post) forum claims he has a copy of the court documents. In summation, Interplay claims it sent an outline of a Fallout MMO to Bethesda before the April cutoff date. Also, Interplay is counter-suing, mainly accusing Bethesda of bullying Interplay, by withholding their approval of marketing materials related to the original games. Also according to the post, Bethesda sent emails out to places like GameTap and Good Old Games, telling them that Interplay no longer had the rights to Fallout 1, 2, or Tactics. This is an interesting turn, Interplay is laying out a pretty interesting case if they can bring in the material to back it up. The Forum post is actually a pretty interesting read.
Secondly, I noticed right below that article... CIVILIZATION COMING TO FACEBOOK!!!! you heard me right, coming in 2010, a free-to-play, "Fully Persistent" , Civilization game coming to Facebook!, the game's page on Facebook says they will be doing a closed beta soon...SIGN ME UP!
I was listening to the latest Bitmob podcast and Jeff dropped the bomb (pun intended) that an engineer is currently working on Trophy Support for Giantbonb.com.
that is all.
While listening to the August 4th episode of the Adam Carolla Podcast Featuring The Crystal Method as guests. I was supprised to hear one of the guys from the band bring up MAG. Just basic info really, but it got my gears turning...Crystal Method Soundtrack for MAG, SOLD...
I posted a new blog(a school project for my podcasting class) containing a video i made about downloadable content on my Blogspot check it out!
Much to my supprise i found in my email a communication from Treyarch announcing a 4 map DLC pack for WAW.
In "Nightfire," players take to the streets of a war-ravaged Berlin with only the flames of the burning city to expose the enemy.
"Station" offers a bombed out underground train station littered with hidden passageways and destroyed subway cars.
"Knee Deep" takes place on the island of Peleliu in a once tranquil village turned chaotic Japanese command center.
Verrückt (Zombie Asylum)
The fan favorite 4-player co-op Nazi Zombies Bonus Mode returns with "Verrückt," a terrifying Zombie asylum featuring more weapons, perks via the addition of Perks-a-Cola machines, electroshock defenses and the endless zombie horde.
I AM EXCITED! Anyone else???
Use your keyboard!
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