Helping Out a Customer

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I have been selling compact disks and DVDs for over fifteen years. In fact, my father was among the first people in our village to own a 42-inch television flat screen this enabled me to have exposure to digital content, like learning the camera resolutions used in different types of video production. I am now a full-fledged techie in keeping with the times. The lesson here is to listen to your parents. You never know!

As time passed, I have stayed in the business, operating from an urban town. I have noticed tremendous changes in storage technology. Earlier, we use to sell cassettes, but more recently you were given a flash drive or hard drive to copy or duplicate content. Focusing on my day-to-day experience, I want to share my knowledge of the trends observed in DVDs/ CDs that drive duplication of digital material. This is something that pertains to most everyone who uses a computer today. We all want to save dozens of documents and files to retrieve them expediently in the near future. Nowadays it is all about the cloud. Just don’t put anything private out there.

Even the everyday person needs to archive material. Take my plumber for example. He came over to install a new tankless water heater since my old monstrosity was on the fritz. It was about time and I was tired of taking cold showers. I welcomed him with open arms. After a while, we got to talking. He had a collection of instruction manuals for both indoor and outdoor units, including sales brochures. He had lost some of his older files and was complaining on and on, without knowing that this was my expertise. He begged me to help when he found out and said he would give me a discount! Now that was an offer I couldn’t refuse. I help him and he helps me: an even trade.

I dutifully helped him find the missing documents and move them to a safer storage place—a flash drive. This seemed most expedient for his needs. He could take the drive with him and use a customer’s computer for an instant download. I also opened a Dropbox account for him so headquarters could quickly send something new. He said all this was going to revolutionize his old-world trade. Imagine that. Yes, the digital life is for everyone.

Consumer rights on digital content

Due to the need for a system that protects the consumer when purchasing digital content, it has led to the emergence of consumer’s rights on digital content. It means that as a buyer you are protected against exploitation by the owners of the copyright.

What are the examples of these digital content; anything that you can download or stream like; films, books, computer software, mobile phone apps, computer games, virtual items purchased within computer games, television programs and software systems for operating goods such as toys and motor vehicles. It also includes for something online you have paid for or data on a physical medium like CD or DVD.

There are standard rights that apply during the supply include;

Must be:

  • Of satisfactory quality
  • fit for a particular use
  • As described by the producer

If it does not meet the above criteria you are entitled to;

  • Repair and or replacement
  • the right to a price decrease where it is not possible for the repairing or replacing or where this process will take a long time thus inconveniencing the buyer
  • Rights to reject if it does not conform to the contract

Satisfactory quality

Factors that analysis the quality include’ the description, price and all the relevant issues including the advertisement and labeling. The product condition or state considered to be valuable if it fits the intended purpose, observes safety measures, it is durable and does not have minor defects. Note that, consumers’ subjective judgment such as disliking a downloaded piece is no inclusion in the unsatisfied aspects.

Particular use

It means that before the contract is made the client confirms to the supplier its intended use. That becomes the contract term expected to meet. Therefore, under this category, it is whether or not its fits to its purpose.

However, there are exceptions in the case where; example the buyer goes ahead to download an app even before the manufacturer replies to whether it will meet the purpose. That automatically becomes the customer’s failure and therefore not eligible to claim.

AS described

The content must match with the description given by the trade; it is the cause for the binding of the contract. Most of these products are due for upgrading over time, but even so, it should currently have the feature in the description or contain additional or enhanced aspects that are relevant.

Before the binding, the trader should provide specific information about; main characteristic, functionality, compatibility and type of warranty available should the product display defects upon arrival. Also, the supplier can include other services that they offer.

Other rights that you should consider apart from the above include; the right to supply.

Right to supply

It is a requirement to whether the supplier has permission to sell the digital content or not. The seller should have a license that they use and not ownership. The reason for this is to ensure that no breach of the intellectual, which may cause severe penalties.

It is essential to check the retailers’ terms and conditions on repair, refunds and exchange.

Alternatives for modern-day filmmaker

We cannot assume the fact that the filming industry is under dense technological changes due to the many issues related to CD and DVD.

There are five significant conditions, that affect them they include;

  • Environmental conditions
  • Physical handling effects

Environmental conditions

  • Temperature and humidity; the optical disc perform differently under different less or extreme environmental changes.
  • Light exposure; though the results are minimal, with prolonged exposure to sunlight may lead to degradation effects that often appear as ‘clouding’ or ‘coloring.’
  • Moisture; the disc’s material includes polymers which are vulnerable to moisture if water spills on them they will absorb hence reacting with the layer which may lead to permanent damage.
  • Organic solvents; contact with harsh organic solvents like acetone and benzene, damages the disc beyond repair.

Surface handling effects

  • Scratches; Depending on how thick the scratch is on the laser reading side, it can cause misreading of data; if the scratch is very deep, then the disc may not be repairable.
  • Fingerprints, dust and dirt; the effects caused by these may create a more serious problem than even scratches; they block the light intensity of the laser. Thus, may cause the disc drive to miss data.
  • Marking; most people and sellers label the CDs and the DVDs for easy identification, however that marking ink should be considered; some of them contain the chemical composition of solvents which is to avoid.
  • Flexing; bending of the discs is the most common challenge especially in a house where there are kids, they sit on them or even literally bend them when playing. This way it will not operate properly because the laser will not follow the track.

Due to all the above stresses, most consumers are looking for stress-free and an easy to maintain, a form of storage entertainment. For these reasons, a filmmaker may consider the below five alternatives.

  • USB stick; flash-based drives, particularly US thumb drives can be the best option due to durability and portability. With a 128GB, thumb drives it will offer more storage capacity and do not depend on optical drives.
  • SD (HC) card; similar to the USB stick their life depends on the write/erase cycles, they are available in different sizes and depend on SDHC card reader. You can comfortably carry them around.
  • External Hard Drive (HDD); they are the most efficient, cheap and offer a large storage capacity. It suits with any device with a USB port. However, some file systems may prevent recognition or functionality.
  • External solid state drive (SSD); they are durable, expensive but offer higher storage facilities. They have a potential long lifetime.
  • Cloud storage; it is shaping most of the companies and business that require the access to the data without having to carry portable drives but through the internet accessibility. Read our article on cloud storage to learn more.

Most of the alternatives offer long lifespan and better long time investments.

Will the CDs and DVDs make it through post-millennial?

The CDs have been around since 1978, the reason it was developed was to take over from the laser disc technology. Since then we have seen tremendous changes and adaptation to new forms of storage to the diverging nature of human beings like; the use of a disc that is portable and gives high video resolution and also the need for one to save the things he/she considers to be of use or favorite.

The above is the first set of people; the second set is the people who still cherish the older storage device for some reasons; they may not know how to make use of the new technology, or they are merely rigid to the older system of doing things.

Consider this; even in this age of streaming, the compact discs still have value in the entertainment industry. It still has employed a lot of people who offer duplication and replication services, among others. It is still efficient because it is an affordable means of providing the solution to storage. Cost of products or services is highly a significant consideration to the current world economic recession. Therefore, the services or products, which provide a quality solution on the least cost, have high chances of surviving in the market.

CDs still have value in the music industry; some of the music bands and artist are not seeing a fall in their sales. Most people always want to buy something to take home with them, whether a disk, t-shirt anything that they love. Recent research has revealed that there are some types of music genres that are CD bias in their demand compared to others. Examples include Gospel, Classical, Children’s, Indie, Jazz and seasonal songs like Christmas. Its resilience in the markets is through the process of duplication, where it involves the burning of the audio directly to readymade blank discs.

However much, their impact and market dominance, we cannot assume that the technological changes that will later have an impact on the efficiency of the DVD and the CDs. Today, the Blu-ray is slowly picking up in the market the reason being; it has a more significant storage capacity of 25 GB on a single layer-disc which is more than most of its counterparts. Although it is expensive, studios and big industries are embracing it.

The second technology that may disorient the disc’s storage is the E.coli; this is a research ongoing in the Hong Kong, where it has been discovered that a single gram of bacteria may hold more information than a 900TB hard drive, this is new and amusing, right? This process of bio storage is a growing interest in many technology researchers. Who knows? Maybe in future, we will use a thumb drive that has bacteria’s that provide solutions to storage that cannot be hacked. Pirating is the worst disaster, that has proved to be problematic to most people and has led to lost or information leaking to unauthorized persons not forgetting the cyber bully.

The changes may not affect the CDs and DVDs systems currently but who knows the future, that day is still to come.

New digital content security measures

Digital rights management refers to the access control to technologies that limit the use of digital material; publishers use it, hardware’s manufactures, own contents and copyright holders.

The increased dependency for entertainment and productivity on digital products led to the rise of other criminal offenses such as; people trying to manipulate files that are not initially theirs or other cases people using the ideas of others to make a living. Thus making its original owner a fraud, and the worst case of all is where others; take someone’s products; change the serial numbers and the brand to personalize as their items of sale. For this reason, the law had to step in and find solutions to protecting one’s work.

Some of the methods to control viewing and copying include;

Identity and authentication

Under this category, employ HTTP and User authentication; Https is a very fundamental level towards protection of copyrights. Deliver your contents over it; the encryption is between a single client and the destination; therefore, no one can intercept the transmission.

User authentication is the process, which requires your users to provide their information before access is permitted, most common include; username, password, CAPTCHA and answer to the security question.

Digital rights management

This applies mostly if your part of the digital experience is video, this helps you to prevent unauthorized people from viewing. You can read more on the steps involved in DRM.

Encryption

This is the most common and hard to hack way of protecting personal information such as name, address, emails or credit card numbers. There are common logarithmic used for coding such as RSA, Blowfish and Twofish among others.

Obfuscation

This is a method of concealing the location of your content by masking the site using a server-side script.

Tokenization

Tokenization is an advance of obfuscation; it is a system where parameters in the URL are used to determine the authenticity of a request. If it is not authentic, the permission is denied and displays as HTTP 401 error.

Restrictive license agreement

You can impose some restrictive license to the consumers as a condition of downloading or entering to software; this will ensure that the copyright information is updated and used appropriately.

Watermark overlays

It is easy because no designing tools are required; you only need to overlay watermarks, before image download and just for specific users.

Regional access

This is a way of securing a content that is restricted the access to specific geographical locations. This security mechanism is known as geo-fencing. If the area is in the whitelist access is granted and vice versa happens.

By controlling the accessibility, it provides with positive benefits such as;

  • It protects personal identification information against malicious persons.
  • It protects the intellectual property if it is not impacting on productivity or through collaboration.
  • It helps to determine; who is accessing the information, from where and when and the communication speed.
  • It ensures that the recipients have the original and updated version of the content.

You now have the best tricks and measures in protecting your digital content.

Cloud Storage 101

Major online players have demonstrated how cloud storage is useful such as Google Docs. For this and other reasons, people are beginning to pay attention to it. I will share with you important things that will help you understand how it works, some of its benefits and drawbacks.

Cloud storage means; rather than having to save your documents on your computer which may be a risk if the hard drive crashes thus losing all your valuable info, you instead keep them on a remote server accessed through the internet. It is a cloud computing model that is maintained, operated and managed by a cloud storage service provider.

Now you get the difference? This technique relies on the accessibility of the internet and a service provider. You may ask yourself how does the whole process work and is it safe.

This model of operation is through storage of digital data in logical pools. It then spans multiple servers in the different location. The hosting company owns the physical environment. It is then through the hosting company of your choice where you will pile your data on their remote database. You will access the information through the internet.

How do you access your info; you will need to have a data server connected to your host server (supplier) through the internet, this will enable you to send and receive copies of the file from the remote database.

With this form of storing files, there are two critical issues; security and reliability. It is difficult to know how your information is hacked, therefore to avoid security stress; get your services from reputed hosts and also ensure the physical hard drive is safe. Reliability is the other issue; big companies that are offering the service rely on redundancy. Redundancy is the process where the same information is stored on several machines simultaneously; this provides accessibility alternative to the case when one of the devices is out.

Online storage has various advantages; one is that the location of your data is unknown to hackers; it is because it is impossible for them to find your specific server. Any point data accessibility is one of its fundamentals; all you will need to have is a computer or laptop and internet. Finally, the back is automatic; this provides a real-time solution.

It also has its drawbacks; small businesses and companies are slightly disadvantaged due to the cost, poor network connection at the time of need may render the service as inefficient, security is the last issue in this category. Like in the recent incidences breaching of interconnected servers have immense damage due to the connected nature.

Cloud computing has impacted heavily on the entertainment industries; due to the need to store massive music or movie files. For your digital content to be fun to the viewers, online accessibility from anywhere is essential.

If you produce digital content, you surely need to understand the cloud system; it is maintenance-free because your provider takes care of it and more so it is convenient and easy to use.