iTunes overtakes Wal-Mart in Music Sales

from the Associated Press release

Clearly Apple has gained with their first mover advantage and their dominance in the MP3 market but I think it won’t be long before Amazon begins matching or beating iTunes for market share of digital downloads. I also think that if and when there are more high demand non-Apple MP3 players are on the market then Wal-Mart can leverage these devices and have more impact and higher market share but not before then. I also agree with Michael Arrington’s assessment that the big music labels know their time has come and gone and are trying to enforce payment schemes to prop up a dying business model (The Music Industry’s Last Stand Will Be A Music Tax). Here is an excerpt from the AP Article.

Apple Inc.’s iTunes online music store vaulted past Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in February to become the top overall music retailer in the U.S., a market research firm said Thursday.

Best Buy Co. was ranked behind Wal-Mart and iTunes, with and Target tied for the fourth spot in January and February, according to consumer surveys conducted by The NPD Group.

The firm tabulated units sold, counting every 12 digital downloads as one CD. It did not count sales revenue, nor mobile music sales.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple touted the latest signs of its music retail dominance, noting it has more than 50 million customers. A survey NPD released in February covering annual sales proclaimed iTunes leapfrogged to the No. 2 ranking in 2007.

Itunes has sold more than 4 billion tracks since its launch in 2003, thanks in part to the popularity of its iPod portable music players.

The music store sold around 25 million tracks in 2003. Three years later, it surpassed the 1 billion mark, and by July, it had sold more than 3 billion tracks.

Apple’s rise in the NPD survey also reflects a trend this decade of declining CD sales and rising digital music sales, which favors digital music retailers.

Solar is the Solution – Duh!

It’s time to harness the world’s virtually inexhaustible supply of solar energy and start building a brighter future.

Is there really anything else that needs to be said? Great article by Steve Heckeroth over at Here’s a single portion serving for you.

We know that relying on coal, oil and natural gas threatens our future with toxic pollution, global climate change and social unrest caused by diminishing fuel supplies. Instead of relying on unsustainable fossil fuels, we must transform our economy and learn to thrive on the planet’s abundant supply of renewable energy.

I have been studying our energy options for more than 30 years, and I am absolutely convinced that our best and easiest option is solar energy, which is virtually inexhaustable. Most importantly, if we choose solar we don’t have to wait for a new technology to save us. We already have the technology and energy resources we need to build a sustainable, solar-electric economy that can cure our addiction to oil, stabilize the climate and maintain our standard of living, all at the same time. It is well past time to start seriously harnessing solar energy.

60 MPG and zero to 60 in Five Seconds

Fast Company LogoJust read an excellent article from FastCompany about Johnathan Goodwin, a professional gearhead that has been doing what Detroit says is impossible; modifying the largest trucks and SUV’s and making them more powerful with lower emissions and higher mpg, almost exclusively with off the shelf parts from the same auto manufacturers. My favorite quote from the article was plastered on the front page which is “Detroit could do all this stuff overnight if it wanted to”. Here’s an excerpt.

Goodwin, a 37-year-old who looks like Kevin Costner with better hair, is a professional car hacker. The spic-and-span shop is filled with eight monstrous trucks and cars–Hummers, Yukon XLs, Jeeps–in various states of undress. His four tattooed, twentysomething grease monkeys crawl all over them with wrenches and welding torches.

Goodwin leads me over to a red 2005 H3 Hummer that’s up on jacks, its mechanicals removed. He aims to use the turbine to turn the Hummer into a tricked-out electric hybrid. Like most hybrids, it’ll have two engines, including an electric motor. But in this case, the second will be the turbine, Goodwin’s secret ingredient. Whenever the truck’s juice runs low, the turbine will roar into action for a few seconds, powering a generator with such gusto that it’ll recharge a set of “supercapacitor” batteries in seconds. This means the H3’s electric motor will be able to perform awesome feats of acceleration and power over and over again, like a Prius on steroids. What’s more, the turbine will burn biodiesel, a renewable fuel with much lower emissions than normal diesel; a hydrogen-injection system will then cut those low emissions in half. And when it’s time to fill the tank, he’ll be able to just pull up to the back of a diner and dump in its excess french-fry grease–as he does with his many other Hummers. Oh, yeah, he adds, the horsepower will double–from 300 to 600.

“Conservatively,” Goodwin muses, scratching his chin, “it’ll get 60 miles to the gallon. With 2,000 foot-pounds of torque. You’ll be able to smoke the tires. And it’s going to be superefficient.”

He laughs. “Think about it: a 5,000-pound vehicle that gets 60 miles to the gallon and does zero to 60 in five seconds!”

A New Scientific Resolve – Vint Cerf

Vint Cerf – The venerable grandfather of the Internet (who is now a Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google) writes a great article about the need for a focused, concerted effort to address man-made climate change with the same level of focused effort that was gathered and directed for the American Space Program in response to the successfull Soviet launch of the Sputnik satellite.

BTW – There are some other great articles over at that you should read as well. Here’s an excerpt.

Reflecting forward on our nation’s incredible ability to respond swiftly to complex scientific challenges one can’t help but begin with the shock of the Soviet Union’s Sputnik launch 50 years ago today. Suddenly, there was a new star in the firmament, its radio signal sounding like the ominous ticking of a clock towards Armageddon. If the Soviets could put a satellite in orbit then they could potentially launch nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles in the future.

Just over a decade later (see timeline) the United States mobilized the basic science, the requisite technologies and the financial and policymaking wherewithal to carry Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the Earth’s Moon. This stunning sequence of events and actions spell out in forceful and compelling terms the ability of the United States to marshal its resources to respond to national and international challenges. That we were able to do so is an inspiring lesson that should be applied to the challenges we now face in the 21st century.

Geek Alert: Sun’s Energy Efficient Datacenter Tour


A Sun datacenter consolidation project is estimated to have slashed over $1 million in energy costs, cut power and space by more than half, and increased compute performance by over 450 percent. Find out how you can achieve similar results with these 10 steps to building an energy efficient datacenter. » Full story