Wires Crossed #96 – 17 August

Tweets From Daughter Make Dell Antsy
Oh to be the privileged offspring of a computer multi-billionaire! Well, maybe not in the case of Alexa Dell, who is the daughter of Dell Computer Founder Michael Dell. It seems Dell Jnr has been inadvertently tweeting and posting pics of what the family is up to – including GPS information and the real time family movements around the globe. This is none to pleasing to the guys how run security for the family, which, considering their wealth, are a ripe target for the less moral elements of our society.  Apparently pics the 18-year-old posted on her Instagram account have disappeared, and her Twitter account has gone silent. Maybe ‘dads’ the word.

Digital Downloads Cause Royalty Headache
Back in the day, it was a simple task. Recording artists and their producers would come to an agreement with the record company over a royalty rate of each album sold; the artist would get their cut, the producers theirs, the record company, distributor and retailer the balance and everyone would be happy. Sure, record companies would fudge the numbers a little so artists might miss out on the odd cheque here and there (don’t believe me? Read former CEO of CBS Records, Walter Yetnikoff’s autobiography, Howling At The Moon), but at least you could physically account for units sold etc when doing an audit. But with the advent of digital downloads, the game has changed, much to the chagrin of some – including producer Roy Thomas Baker. Baker has worked with some of the biggest names in the business including Ozzy Ozbourne, The Cars, Queen, Guns n Roses and The Smashing Pumpkins. Baker is unhappy with the way Sony Music distributes its royalties from digital downloads and is taking them to court over their accounting practices. It seems he might have a case after a judge recently slammed Universal’s music department over similar tactics. This could get interesting for both artists and producers. Watch this space.

Finally – Some Good News For RIM
Blackberry manufacturer, Research In Motion, has been copping it from all sides lately. Its share price is struggling; it can’t seem to halt its market share sliding faster than a penguin on a mountain of ice; and its latest handsets are not causing Apple, HTC or Samsung to quake in their boots. However, there is some good news. Just over a month ago a jury decided the company owed device management company Mformation $147 million in royalties over a patent the latter company said it owned. However, they appealed the decision and a US District Chief Judge agreed and the company doesn’t have to pay a dime. Now, if only they could put out a handset with an operating system that can take on Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7.5.

Jailer Friends Jailbird On Facebook – Gets Fired
A deputy in Georgia, USA, has been fired after sending a Facebook friend request to an inmate who was in his custody. A colleague resigned before he was fired after doing the same. Why, you ask, would a person put his career on the line to befriend a crim? Well, it appears the inmate in question was 23, a female, and had caught the eye of both men due to her appearance. Unfortunately for them – but luckily for the judicial system – her boyfriend took exception to the deputies Facebook antics and reported them to their superiors.



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