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Thursday, March 24, 2016

How the Dodgers’ $8.3B TV deal turned into an unmitigated disaster

Because Time Warner promised the Dodgers such an exorbitant sum, it wanted $4.90 per month from other providers for the right to broadcast SportsNet LA – an extra Abe that neither DirecTV nor any of their cable brethren were willing to charge their customers. So Dodgers games existed only for Time Warner customers, and the rest of the Los Angeles area was faced with a choice no company wants to foist on its consumers: get it illegally or don’t get it at all.

This is the consequence of sporting avarice, of teams valuing their TV rights above all and either ignoring or simply not understanding the changing landscape of content and how it was bound to turn this deal into a lemon. The Dodgers are still getting their money, and it’s enough that they’ve yet to shift their disappointment toward Time Warner for not fulfilling its end of the deal. Time Warner is taking a reported $100 million-a-year bath, which prompted it to cut the monthly asking price this week to a more reasonable $3.50 a month – a number at which DirecTV and others continue to balk.

Because the reality of content today is quite simple: You can get almost anything you want a la carte. And that is a powerful, emboldening truth bulldozing traditional cable companies’ business plans. Around 24 percent of Americans don’t have cable or satellite, according to a 2015 Pew Research Center study, and that includes 15 percent that are so-called cord cutters. The demographics on them, in particular, are frightening for baseball.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 24, 2016 at 05:16 PM | 47 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cord-cutting, directv, dodgers, television

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: March 24, 2016 at 07:33 PM (#5181711)
1) The problem here was TW, not the Dodgers. TW over-valued and then over-priced the content. As it says, the Dodgers are still getting their money.

2) There is currently no mechanism for the Dodgers to avoid this fate. There is no revenue-generating vehicle for them to offer their games over the internet to the LA market. The Dodgers and every other team should be screaming at MLB every single damn day to get this worked out so they can have local streaming rights.

3) Are the cord-cutters not cutting the cord on DirectTV and Comcast and everybody else in the LA cable/sat market? So even if TW was "fulfilling its end of the deal", the Dodgers reach would still be limited to the old fuddy-duddies.

4) The current world isn't a la carte. The current world is a Netflix sub and a Hulu sub and a whatever else sub. Here in Australia, near as I can tell, I now have to subscribe to at least 3, maybe 4 online TV services to get the non-broadcast stuff that I want, plus MLBTV of course. Netflix's website won't even list what they carry (it's still only about 20% of what US Netflix carries) ... their answer is "that's why we give you a 1-month free trial." Anyway, it's still not a world where I can just purchase this particular series and that particular movie without having to subsidize a lot of stuff I don't want (while those viewers subsidize me), so it ain't a la carte.

The old cable world was built on each company holding a monopoly within a given geographic area. The new internet world is based on each company holding a (legal) monopoly on particular content. It's not a hugely different business model. And now I have to sort out 3 subscriptions instead of one.
   2. TDF, situational idiot Posted: March 24, 2016 at 07:47 PM (#5181716)
1) The problem here was TW, not the Dodgers. TW over-valued and then over-priced the content. As it says, the Dodgers are still getting their money.

2) There is currently no mechanism for the Dodgers to avoid this fate. There is no revenue-generating vehicle for them to offer their games over the internet to the LA market. The Dodgers and every other team should be screaming at MLB every single damn day to get this worked out so they can have local streaming rights.
So is the answer for MLB to own the broadcast rights, buying TV time (and garnering the ad revenue; IndyCar did this for a while) and putting content on the web and MLBTV? How would that even work, with 30 different TV contracts having expiration dates over the next several seasons? And wouldn't that drastically cut the value of the big market teams?
   3. madvillain Posted: March 24, 2016 at 08:19 PM (#5181736)
I have a very hard time believing the Dodgers were in the dark about this possibility and that they even GAF. In theory, less games on TV means more people coming to the park. In theory, fans abandoning the team because they have to set a proxy or go to a bar or friend's house to watch the games is a process that will play out over years, if not decades.

In the meantime franchise value skyrockets as does revenue.

So is the answer for MLB to own the broadcast rights, buying TV time (and garnering the ad revenue; IndyCar did this for a while) and putting content on the web and MLBTV? How would that even work, with 30 different TV contracts having expiration dates over the next several seasons? And wouldn't that drastically cut the value of the big market teams?


I'm not sure why the hell the Dodgers should be screaming there way out of an 8 billion dollar TV deal. The minute the Dodgers start offering their games via the Internet is officially the day the 8 billion dollar revenue stream dries up for good. MLB teams are simply piggybacking on the cable monopoly and its absurd profits. I don't see them jumping off anytime soon. The cable companies will have to be out of business before that happens.

Anyway, it's still not a world where I can just purchase this particular series and that particular movie without having to subsidize a lot of stuff I don't want (while those viewers subsidize me), so it ain't a la carte.


Um, Amazon exists and has al la carte for a staggering amount of shows and content. You can even choose your resolution.
   4. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 24, 2016 at 09:32 PM (#5181765)
Um, Amazon exists and has al la carte for a staggering amount of shows and content. You can even choose your resolution.


Took the words right out of my mouth.

But yeah, the Dodger ownership got a great deal. It sucks for TW and it sucks for the fans. Depending how long this goes on for, it could lead to some fans leaving for good, which is the real problem for Dodger ownership. I noticed that games weren't very well attended when I went to Dodger games last year, which may have been residual from the lack of games on TV. They still sold the tickets, though.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: March 24, 2016 at 10:14 PM (#5181790)
So is the answer for MLB to own the broadcast rights, buying TV time (and garnering the ad revenue; IndyCar did this for a while) and putting content on the web and MLBTV?

No. The answer is for MLB to allow teams to sell their "local" internet streaming rights to either MLBTV (i.e. MLB sells it to fans giving the local team the bulk of the take) or to whoever will stream it locally -- which might well be TW in the case of the Dodgers. Or the Dodgers and TW renegotiate their "cable" deal to include local streaming rights.

The cable companies will have to be out of business before that happens.

How much longer do you think TW-LA is going to keep losing $100 M a year on their Dodger contract ... while supposedly everybody is cutting the cord?

   6. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: March 24, 2016 at 10:38 PM (#5181806)
But yeah, the Dodger ownership got a great deal. It sucks for TW and it sucks for the fans. Depending how long this goes on for, it could lead to some fans leaving for good, which is the real problem for Dodger ownership. I noticed that games weren't very well attended when I went to Dodger games last year, which may have been residual from the lack of games on TV. They still sold the tickets, though.


They were still around 3.7 million in ticket sales, so I don't think they care yet.
   7. Ziggy: The Platonic Form of Russell Branyan Posted: March 24, 2016 at 11:32 PM (#5181833)
I don't see how this is a problem at all. Dodgers are making a fortune, TW is stuck holding the bag. And losing fans isn't a problem for Dodgers ownership. That's going to be a long, slow process. Their deal is 25 years long, right? No chance current ownership is going to own this team in 25 years when they need to negotiate a new one TV deal with reduced Dodger fandom in southern cali. This deal is, for the Dodgers at least, working out splendidly.
   8. SuperGrover Posted: March 24, 2016 at 11:35 PM (#5181834)
Um, Amazon exists and has al la carte for a staggering amount of shows and content. You can even choose your resolution.


Sure but the a la carte prices are ridiculous. GoT is $3.99 per episode or $38.99 per season. For that I can buy the damn DVDs. Why would I go that route when you can get HBO go for $15 month?

Cord cutting works when you don't watch a variety of networks religiously and your live sports appetite is somewhat limited. As soon as you want more than a handful of live sports coverage and more than a handful of series you are going to end up spending more a la carte than you will with a cable package.
   9. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 25, 2016 at 12:33 AM (#5181848)
Many series are available for free on the network website, though.
   10. Cargo Cultist Posted: March 25, 2016 at 03:39 AM (#5181867)
I cut the cord and watch baseball on MLB TV via a Roku. It works great.

Cable TV slept raising and raising its rates and I finally had enough. I replaced it with Sling TV, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu and MLB TV for far less and I get to see more of what I want to see when I want to see it for far less money. Screw cable.
   11. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 25, 2016 at 07:09 AM (#5181874)
Cord cutting works when you don't watch a variety of networks religiously and your live sports appetite is somewhat limited. As soon as you want more than a handful of live sports coverage and more than a handful of series you are going to end up spending more a la carte than you will with a cable package.


Cut the cord 3 months ago. Got a FireTV box, side-loaded some media apps, and I've never has more access to live sports than I do know. Who the hell watches all this soccer?
   12. pthomas Posted: March 25, 2016 at 07:49 AM (#5181876)
The amazing thing about the Dodger blackout is how, in the space of two years, the team has stopped being of any interest to me. And, now that I no longer have a cable subscription, I've noticed how quickly Kings hockey has dropped off my radar, too. I've never watched HBO or most "mainstream" television, so when the conversation turns to things like Game of Thrones or whatever costume drama is on PBS I immediately move on, since I have no idea what is being discussed. The same is now true for the Dodgers. As a lifelong baseball fan, I'm shocked at this. When baseball disappears from the TV, it soon becomes irrelevant. I have so many other choices of what to do with my time.

The real fears for the cable competitors is, I think: will this cable bill increase for the Dodgers (and the price goes up during the course of the contract, so 3.50 is just the starting point) accelerate the cord cutting process? On top of cancelled subscriptions, will this price increase cause subscribers to change their cable package, and move down to a less expensive "tier"? I think the answers here are yes and yes. Which means any cable supplier who takes this price increase will lose money on the deal both ways, and when the Dodger's prices increase year by year, the cord cutting/subscriber churn, and loss of revenue, will accelerate.

And, the use of Vin Scully as a selling point just doesn't work here in LA anymore.
   13. jmurph Posted: March 25, 2016 at 09:35 AM (#5181908)
Haven't seen this mentioned yet: Playstation Vue just recently went nationwide. You need either a FireTV box or stick, or a Playstation. I just did a free 7 day trial and am going to drop cable in another couple of weeks (waiting on installation of new internet service so I can officially get rid of comcast). But this is the first realistic (legal, at least) streaming option for sports fans. Prices and channels vary by market, but in my market for $35 per month they have ESPN/ESPN2, FS1/FS2, my regional FSN, NBCSports (for soccer), BeIn (for soccer), plus TNT/TBS and most of the other cable networks. It also has a cloud DVR which works great, and really sets it apart from Sling TV.

For me, the sports channels and the DVR have kept me from dropping cable prior to this. The DVR in particular is huge- as a parent of young kids I'm rarely watching anything live anymore. So with Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime/Sony Vue, I'm going to save about $90 per month compared to my current comcast bill.
   14. no STIGGLES...no STIGGLES......you're the STIGGLES Posted: March 25, 2016 at 11:59 AM (#5182028)
GoT is $3.99 per episode or $38.99 per season. For that I can buy the damn DVDs

does anyone else find this as odd as i do?

it's akin to saying the most valuable part of the constitution is literally the paper it's printed on.
   15. Manny Coon Posted: March 25, 2016 at 12:29 PM (#5182041)
Sure but the a la carte prices are ridiculous. GoT is $3.99 per episode or $38.99 per season. For that I can buy the damn DVDs.


Then you need to mess around DVDs, taking up space in your house, taking longer to load up, possibly needing an extra device to play and being way less portable. Given the choice between a full digital copy and DVD, the digital copy is much more convenient. I'm not sure about Amazon, but the stuff from Google Play I can download directly onto my tablet or phone as well, so I can watch it without network, which works well for travel.
   16. spycake Posted: March 25, 2016 at 01:18 PM (#5182059)
Haven't seen this mentioned yet: Playstation Vue just recently went nationwide.


I was just about to post that. It's still not cheap ($35/month), but it blows, say, DIRECTV out of the water ($47/month promo price in my area, for 1 TV/DVR -- non promo price $84/month for 1 TV/DVR).

It's still not perfect either -- DVR recordings and some live channels aren't available when you use the mobile app away from your home internet -- but it's the best option to date for the traditional cable/satellite experience without dealing with the cable/satellite companies. (SlingTV proved pretty weak in that regard.)

Unfortunately for Dodger fans, SportsNet LA isn't on the Vue service either.
   17. AROM Posted: March 25, 2016 at 01:19 PM (#5182060)
If the price is about the same, I'll just take the full digital. Then I don't have to leave the house to buy a DVD or wait a couple of days for the DVD to be delivered.

I don't fully trust the digital, I'm not 100% convinced that 50 years from now the things I buy will still be around for my family to use (and I certainly doubt I'll be around in 50 years, or have eyesight left to enjoy a movie). But that's a minor concern, I expect in 50 years in whatever format it exists in it will be pretty easy for my kids and grandkids to get all the content they want. Stuff from more than 20-25 years ago was on videotape. I still have a few VHS, and a few that I inherited from my father, but don't even have a VHS player anymore.

As far as DVDs and CDs go, storage is pretty mild. Get a leather binder and store your collection in those, throw away the CD and DVD cases. A big collection doesn't take much room at all.

Contrast that with books - I will go to great lengths to avoid print copy and prefer kindle. Even though in many cases kindle is more expensive than buying a used book. For most books I want to read it and then store it, in case I ever want to re-read or just use as a reference. But my shelves have been too full to add anything for years now.

Very happy to see Baseball America prospect handbook is on kindle this year, first time as far as I know. I've got every edition for the last 15 years, finally don't have to make more shelf room.
   18. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 25, 2016 at 01:25 PM (#5182063)
The only issue I have with digital streaming vs physical media is one of overall quality. All streaming media formats have to be compressed versus a proper 1080p BluRay version, that's just a limitation of bandwidth and it's only going to get more problematic if we transition to more 4K content. Naturally the ISPs are all agitating to get their cut of the streaming pie by implementing data caps and slowdowns, because after all they're typically the cable providers in many regions and they deserve your money by dint of their monopoly.

Other than that I love digital streaming for ease and convenience. Imagine a future of "Netflix For Everything". That's what the consumer wants.
   19. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 25, 2016 at 02:24 PM (#5182087)
I don't fully trust the digital, I'm not 100% convinced that 50 years from now the things I buy will still be around for my family to use (and I certainly doubt I'll be around in 50 years, or have eyesight left to enjoy a movie). But that's a minor concern, I expect in 50 years in whatever format it exists in it will be pretty easy for my kids and grandkids to get all the content they want. Stuff from more than 20-25 years ago was on videotape. I still have a few VHS, and a few that I inherited from my father, but don't even have a VHS player anymore.


Unless you do some serious planning I doubt a DVD is going to last 50 years. Most of my CD's from 20 years ago are pretty toasty now. Granted, I didn't keep them in great shape, but optical discs were not exactly made to last.
   20. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 25, 2016 at 02:30 PM (#5182093)
And losing fans isn't a problem for Dodgers ownership. That's going to be a long, slow process. Their deal is 25 years long, right? No chance current ownership is going to own this team in 25 years when they need to negotiate a new one TV deal with reduced Dodger fandom in southern cali. This deal is, for the Dodgers at least, working out splendidly.

Not working out for "the Dodgers". Working out for Dodgers ownership, an almost entirely separate entity. You say yourself that the current Dodgers ownership is not going to have anything to do with the Dodgers in 25 years.
   21. AROM Posted: March 25, 2016 at 02:32 PM (#5182096)
Yeah, I have no idea about 50 years. I think the first CD player in my house was 1985 - so 31 years. I started collecting CDs instead of tapes about 25 years ago. But so far mine still work pretty well.

I guess if you really care about handing down to future generations you need to stick with vinyl.
   22. Randy Jones Posted: March 25, 2016 at 02:38 PM (#5182102)
There are some blu-ray discs that are designed for archival storage. Believe they are only 25GB, but are supposed to last for up to 200 years if they aren't physically damaged. Solid state drives and flash drives, depending on the actual hardware used can last over 100 years also. Though I wouldn't be on your random usb flash drive lasting that long, even without physical damage. This is a journal article that is over 10 years old now that looked at various solid state storage lifetimes.
   23. PASTE does not get put on waivers in August Posted: March 25, 2016 at 02:42 PM (#5182104)
I do enjoy the tactile pleasure of turning pages as I read a book. But for me the advantages of digital reading far outweigh that one advantage of dead trees.

Shelf space is premium, as AROM said--my bookshelves are full with books of historic value or reference-ish books that it's handy to be able to flip pages rapidly rather than search around an e-book (like the Historical Baseball Abstract, for instance). Just last month my wife and I got rid of three large bins full of books we'd been storing in the attic for years. We just aren't going to open most of them again. Plus there's this, that when we moved back in 2007 moving my book collection required five large, very heavy bins, whereas when we moved in 2012 my book collection was in my pocket.

Besides that, a Kindle is so much more convenient to carry around everywhere--and I do carry it around everywhere--than a book. Easier to grab and just read a few paragraphs at a long stoplight or standing in line somewhere, without needing both hands or to mess around with bookmarks and so forth.

The Kindle Paperwhite is pretty much everything I ever dreamed of for reading. The backlighting is very natural, can be turned off when you're in a lit room or outdoors, and can be kept very low in an unlit room. It doesn't strain your eyes the way a tablet or phone screen does. My wife has a Fire because she does more video streaming than reading. I don't give a rat's ass about video streaming so the Paperwhite is perfect for me.
   24. cardsfanboy Posted: March 25, 2016 at 02:49 PM (#5182112)
I do enjoy the tactile pleasure of turning pages as I read a book. But for me the advantages of digital reading far outweigh that one advantage of dead trees.


My girlfriend is an avid reader, and very much opposed the kindle and the like, but eventually she caved and unbelievably her reading has increased now (to the point that it's damaging....instead of sleeping, she reads books non-stop for 12 hours)

I like owning physical copies of whatever, but even though I don't currently have a Blue Ray player, I still buy the blue ray disks with the digital downloads, because that is enough for me now. (it used to be the premium format was blu-ray, dvd and digital download, but about two years ago that changed that if you buy the blu-ray/dvd format you don't get the digital download, but if you buy the higher end blu-ray you do get the digital download, I prefer having the digital download.
   25. BDC Posted: March 25, 2016 at 03:00 PM (#5182119)
This is distressing to hear about DVD lifespan. We watch a lot of TV series and I tend to buy DVDs, much like AROM, because they're cheap and I like owning physical things. DVDs are much more compact than books.

Again like AROM, I have the opposite attitude toward books. I currently own a tiny percentage of the physical books that I have earned in my life, and an even smaller percentage of those I've read. The few books I've kept I keep for sentimental reasons or because I like them as objects; sometimes because the given text is hard to find, or because I've collected a set of a particular author.

But if I'm reading a standard text – Dickens or Hugo or Shakespeare – or a library book, I am completely happy to read e-books.
   26. Randy Jones Posted: March 25, 2016 at 03:21 PM (#5182134)
If you are concerned about your DVD's, rip them, then store them on digital media with backups. Then every 5-10 years, copy them over to new primary and backup storage devices.
   27. PASTE does not get put on waivers in August Posted: March 25, 2016 at 03:23 PM (#5182135)
Or, y'know, just torrent the high quality rips others have made. Ripping your own DVD's is equally illegal so far as the Media Powers That Be are concerned.
   28. AROM Posted: March 25, 2016 at 03:31 PM (#5182141)
whereas when we moved in 2012 my book collection was in my pocket.


That's a goal I'd like to reach. Preferably before we outgrow our home and decide to move.

When talking about historical preservation, 100-200 years for blue ray discs or SSD sounds a little depressing. Printed books can last hundreds of years. Carving something into stone can last for thousands. What will future humans be able to piece together about the world of today? Though all it takes is one click through the off topic politics thread and I think maybe they'll be better off not knowing.
   29. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 25, 2016 at 03:34 PM (#5182144)

Then you need to mess around DVDs, taking up space in your house, taking longer to load up, possibly needing an extra device to play and being way less portable. Given the choice between a full digital copy and DVD, the digital copy is much more convenient.


Except that the digital content is a lot easier to modify or doctor. We've already seen Amazon modifying people's purchased ebooks to remove politically controversial content.

The future Ministry of Truth won't have to worry about replacing all of the newspapers on the library shelves, it'll be done with the press of a button.
   30. DL from MN Posted: March 25, 2016 at 03:51 PM (#5182156)
That is an interesting perspective. Most of the books on my shelves are things I haven't had a chance to read yet. After I read a book I'm more likely than not to get rid of it. I have some reference textbooks, dictionaries, thesaurus and the like that I hold on to. Everything else is fleeting, disposable entertainment and I'm unlikely to return to it. Movies are much the same. I rarely buy a movie but I like renting DVDs because the picture and sound quality is better. When given a choice between re-watching a movie and watching a new one I'll almost always pick watching a new movie.

I would probably be interested in a digital print reader but physical books are just cheaper, especially if you buy used paperbacks for 50 cents or (even better) check them out from the library. Ditto for movies.

Music is different - I'm much more likely to listen to music for years but I hate listening on earbuds due to physical fatigue. Nearly all my digital music experience is streaming and my older music is still on CD. I have no interest in ripping my old CDs to bring them along with me. I see no reason to purchase digital music.

I have no illusions that anyone will want any of my possessions after I leave the earth. I'm expecting all my entertainment to be carried off to the thrift store within a week of my passing. The tools in the garage someone might find useful. I think my most valuable possessions might be LEGOs. Someone will want those.
   31. Bote Man Posted: March 25, 2016 at 06:33 PM (#5182246)
The tools in the garage someone might find useful.

Don't count on it. Dear Old Dad left behind 80-100 year old steam fitter's tools like heavy metal mallets and wrenches, really classic useful stuff. I advertised them on the Practical Machinist web site and not even a nibble. Sad, really.

The lesson for the Dodgers is clear: make your billions while the Sun shines. If it's more than 5 seconds old, nobody wants it any more.
   32. just plain joe Posted: March 25, 2016 at 07:00 PM (#5182256)
Don't count on it. Dear Old Dad left behind 80-100 year old steam fitter's tools like heavy metal mallets and wrenches, really classic useful stuff. I advertised them on the Practical Machinist web site and not even a nibble. Sad, really.


When my father-in-law died several years ago I inherited a couple of tool boxes full of carpenter's tools that had belonged to his father and his grandfather. Beautiful, well made items (that I have no use for) that no one wants, even for free.
   33. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 26, 2016 at 02:54 PM (#5182419)

Don't count on it. Dear Old Dad left behind 80-100 year old steam fitter's tools like heavy metal mallets and wrenches, really classic useful stuff. I advertised them on the Practical Machinist web site and not even a nibble. Sad, really.


One thing you could try that might be out of the box is to offer them to a sculpture program at a local community college. Lots of work being done with vintage tools, repurposing of materials, etc.
   34. Gaelan Posted: March 26, 2016 at 03:15 PM (#5182426)

When my father-in-law died several years ago I inherited a couple of tool boxes full of carpenter's tools that had belonged to his father and his grandfather. Beautiful, well made items (that I have no use for) that no one wants, even for free.



You should read this book, Grandpa's Workshop. One of the best children's books I've ever read.
   35. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 26, 2016 at 03:41 PM (#5182429)
Scary. I have an intense dislike for digital books. I was given a Kindle a year ago. I've never used it because I simply can't understand how to get it to communicate with my computer. I've hooked it it to the computer, and it just sits there. It doesn't register at all on the computer. Apparently you need to use wi-fi, which I don't have, and don't really understand what it is. So the Kindle is useless to me because I can't put any content on it.

I understand using streaming services to watch something you're probably not going to watch again. I use Crunchyroll and Funimation to watch anime that otherwise is not available in the US, and it's great for that. I very rarely use streaming for music (for one thing, 90% of the music I want to listen to isn't available on streaming services). I have used Spotify or Hoopla very sparingly to hear a band I wasn't familiar with, to see if I liked them. But I'd never use if for something I liked. Content can be taken off a streaming site at the drop of a hat. If I care about a piece if music, I want to own it, either on CD or digital, rather than have it disappear through someone else's control. Same with DVDs I care about...

   36. Make Meatwad great again Posted: March 26, 2016 at 07:09 PM (#5182479)
Don't count on it. Dear Old Dad left behind 80-100 year old steam fitter's tools like heavy metal mallets and wrenches, really classic useful stuff. I advertised them on the Practical Machinist web site and not even a nibble. Sad, really.


When my father-in-law died several years ago I inherited a couple of tool boxes full of carpenter's tools that had belonged to his father and his grandfather. Beautiful, well made items (that I have no use for) that no one wants, even for free.


thats a shame. some of those tools might be worth something if you find the right person.
   37. PASTE does not get put on waivers in August Posted: March 26, 2016 at 08:40 PM (#5182491)
I'd come take them, if I lived anywhere near you.
   38. BDC Posted: March 26, 2016 at 09:46 PM (#5182501)
physical books are just cheaper, especially if you buy used paperbacks for 50 cents or (even better) check them out from the library

Nearly all the e-books I read are public-domain or public-library texts. Physical books still offer an immensely greater selection, though.
   39. Ziggy: The Platonic Form of Russell Branyan Posted: March 27, 2016 at 11:45 AM (#5182596)
Practically all of the reading that I do (besides Primer) is research related, and for that nothing beats digital, because of "control F". A million times better than an index.

'Course much as I love digital, practically every flat surface in my apartment is still occupied by physical books. Some publishers just don't make digital copies yet, and lots of older stuff doesn't exist in digital either.

The proprietary digital formats which give the content provider retroactive access to your files is worrying. With PDFs you don't have that problem, but I bet Amazon et al. want that retroactive access and so don't sell PDFs. (Also PDFs can be copied while I bet Kindle files can't.)

As for durability: just back your stuff up and store the backups someplace different than the one that you use. There are cloud services for this, but I just keep an external hard drive with duplicates of everything. (And when a computer dies I pull the hard drive in case I missed something.)
   40. BDC Posted: March 27, 2016 at 12:07 PM (#5182603)
I think I'll stop worrying about my DVDs. They will probably outlive me, and I'm not sure my son will mourn if his eventual kids don't get to inherit Season One of Boardwalk Empire.
   41. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 27, 2016 at 03:36 PM (#5182662)
I prefer physical books, but the rest of my family (wife, parents, sister) prefer ebooks.

One thing that I'll cling to until my dying day will be my preference for physical graphic novels/comics.
I've read quite a few comics in a digital format, and I'll still purchase the hard copy instead (even at a significant cost difference). They are much easier to read, and I prefer that tactile sensation.
   42. RMc is Fairly Irrefutable Posted: March 27, 2016 at 05:14 PM (#5182700)
What exactly would constitute a mitigated disaster?
   43. zzz Posted: March 27, 2016 at 05:15 PM (#5182701)
Internet is all I need. No cable, no kindle, no phone.
   44. zzz Posted: March 27, 2016 at 05:16 PM (#5182702)
One thing that I'll cling to until my dying day will be my preference for physical graphic novels/comics.
I've read quite a few comics in a digital format, and I'll still purchase the hard copy instead (even at a significant cost difference). They are much easier to read, and I prefer that tactile sensation.


Are skin mags still a thing?
   45. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 27, 2016 at 06:57 PM (#5182735)
I prefer physical books, but the rest of my family (wife, parents, sister) prefer ebooks.

One thing that I'll cling to until my dying day will be my preference for physical graphic novels/comics.
I've read quite a few comics in a digital format, and I'll still purchase the hard copy instead (even at a significant cost difference). They are much easier to read, and I prefer that tactile sensation.
I prefer physical books in the abstract, but (a) I love being able to download a book instantaneously, rather than waiting two days for it to be delivered via Amazon Prime, and (b) I love being able to carry multiple books with me while commuting or traveling. Oh, and (c) I love not having to try to find a spot for it in my house; I am long out of bookcase space.
   46. Brian C Posted: March 27, 2016 at 07:29 PM (#5182740)
What exactly would constitute a mitigated disaster?

"It's just a flesh wound!"
   47. Randy Jones Posted: March 27, 2016 at 09:16 PM (#5182764)
The proprietary digital formats which give the content provider retroactive access to your files is worrying. With PDFs you don't have that problem, but I bet Amazon et al. want that retroactive access and so don't sell PDFs. (Also PDFs can be copied while I bet Kindle files can't.)
Kindle files have DRM which prevents you from using them if you copy them to a device that is not attached to your Amazon account, but it can be relatively easily removed. If you google around there are many sites that have instructions for doing so. Then you can convert the files into whatever format you want and use them in other e-reader applications or share them. For reference, PDF's can have DRM on them also and can be encrypted and password protected. PDF's are just generally not preferred for eBooks as they weren't designed for that purpose.

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