This last week/month/year (take your pick) has seen a slew of big name deaths on the high street. Jessops, HMV and Blockbusters all fell in the last week and more will follow. The doom sayers will bemoan another boarded up shop and talk about the death of the high street, the sad lose of the jobs, and cast snide remarks at the internet stealing the soul out of town centres and the social aspect of the shopping experience (in articles published and read mostly on the very Internet they are bemoaning). Not me though. For some reason I’m in an optimistic mood tonight (possibly cause my glass is now only half full of this fine alcholic beverage) and have decided to concentrate on the good.
OK so this isn’t going to be exactly a revolutionary statement as most people seem to agree, but I think big, rich, multi-nationals like Starbucks, Google, Apple, Amazon…etc. SHOULD pay more tax. So why bother blogging about this? And repeating what countless others have already said? Well I specifically want to refute some of the (so far few) arguments on the other side. Not many people have risked bucking the trend and arguing for the companies however few like this opinion piece in The Register and this in the Telegraph and now this in The Guardian are arguing that the public are wrong in this case and I’d like to look into their arguments a little closer.
TV interfaces suck. TV manufacturers have spent all their time working on hardware: increased screen size, display technologies (CRT, LCD, Plasma…etc), cinema style surround sound and now the bugbear that is 3D TV. They have virtually ignored the software side being happy to lumber us with sub par, clunky SLOOOOOOW interfaces that are just plain painful to use.
Why is this? Surely it represents a massive waste of an opportunity? A TV is a large programmable screen that just about EVERY household has. It is usually in the prime place in the sitting room, along with a number of other sets around the house. People already accept advertising on it to! People flick it on when bored and are looking for something to do! Think of the opportunities! Think what companies would PAY to have this potential exposure? And TV manufacturers do almost nothing with this. TV broadcasters know the potential value and use this but TV manufacturers don’t exactly make it easy.