The so-called ‘Australian Tax’



Compare these two screen shots if you will. The same TV show (Travis is obsessed with Scooby-Doo currently) in the US and Australian iTunes Stores. The US version is available in both HD & SD, the Australian version is only available in SD, and look at that price difference. You are kidding me right!

The Australian Dollar is on parity with the US at the moment, and has been pretty close to parity for quite some time, so why is the difference still so massive? And don’t give me the stupid line about it being because of the size of our population, digital distribution doesn’t work that way.

I wonder if there’s more to it than just being an ‘Australian tax’. I wonder if part of the pricing difference on TV shows, movies, and music, is due to the local ‘rights’ holder, in this instance Channel Nine. I wonder if the contracts they have restrict the way this content can be distributed?

We’re all familiar with this problem in Australia. A new show will come out in the US, and because it doesn’t fit their schedule, or whatever crap line their touting, the Australian TV channel who bought the broadcast rights sits on it for 3-6 months till we finally get to watch it.

No wonder people resort to torrenting. This is just ludicrous. I really hope the ACCC actually has some positive findings with all the investigating they’ve been doing over this sort of price gouging.

Oh well, time to find a new provider of US iTunes cards so I can actually pay a reasonable price, and get the HD versions. It’s still not entirely legit, but it’s better than piracy.

Hosted blogs aren’t that bad

There seems to be a small but vocal migration away from self-hosted WordPress blogs, many citing that they just want to write and not worry about the rest of the guff that goes along with managing one’s blog. Squarespace seems to be the current weapon of choice, along with static options like Jekyll, and even Github.

From what I can tell, it’s a painful process, with Justin Blanton being the latest to experience the drama, From WordPress to Jekyll/Octopress or Squarespace?

One of Justin’s reasons for moving, or at least checking out his options, is one of the reasons I moved my site over to the hosted WordPress platform;

Frankly, I’m just tired of having to upgrade WordPress (and then make all of my little one-off modifications each time I upgrade), tired of having to manage memory on the web server, tired of having to think about whether something I do is going to break the site in some fatal way that I simply don’t have the time these days to fix.

Another one of the reasons was that it would stop me tinkering. For those of you who are regular readers here, cast your minds back 6 months or even further, how many times did you arrive at my website and see a different theme? Looking through my site archive I keep on one of my other servers there’s at least 20 different themes, and that’s only over the last 4 years! Since I’ve moved over to a hosted, apart from adding in the sidebar in the last couple of days I haven’t tinkered at all.

Granted there’s a few things you can’t do on the platform i.e. Linked List style posts, shopping carts, I think even advertisements might be off the list, but if you’re just wanting a simple little blog where you can just write and not worry about all the other stuff you might want to give blogs a look.

Squarespace is pretty awesome as well, though I tended to tinker there a lot too, and the new version 6 doesn’t appear to be quite ready just yet…but it’s pretty damn close.