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  #76  
Old July 26th, 2011, 02:02 AM
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Default Re: The Honolulu Star Advertiser

Honolulu Civil Beat who in a little more than a year of existence has taken down some of their PAYWALL features gives public full access to the tiered pricing of the Starvatiser at this link:

http://www.civilbeat.com/posts/2011/...n-mainlanders/

It's all about the money.

Quote:
The price on Oahu for a digital only subscription is $9.95 per month. The price on the neighbor islands is $4.95 per month. The price on the mainland, $1.95 — one-fifth what somebody in Honolulu will have to pay.

It might sound strange, but the Oahu online customer is the least valuable to the Star-Advertiser. The advertisers who want them pay the least.

Mainland customers get the best price because they're the most valuable to advertisers. An airline selling a plane ticket from Newark to Honolulu has a lot more ability to pay for a higher priced ad than does City Mill or Little Village Noodle House.
So the local people as an advertising target are not as valuable to the Starvatiser than mainland people. Huh. Another reason why not to throw any money at this operation.

Yep. I'm keeping my wallet locked on this one.
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  #77  
Old July 26th, 2011, 05:27 PM
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Default Re: The Honolulu Star Advertiser

The ZIP code that matters is the one on your credit card billing address.

Something that's being overlooked — because most people haven't seen it yet — is that the site will also produce a "digital paper" version of the newspaper for reading on iPad and tablets.
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  #78  
Old July 26th, 2011, 07:06 PM
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Default Re: The Honolulu Star Advertiser

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Originally Posted by buzz1941 View Post
Something that's being overlooked — because most people haven't seen it yet — is that the site will also produce a "digital paper" version of the newspaper for reading on iPad and tablets.
I don't have a tablet of any kind yet, but I know that I will someday - and I suspect that is exactly how I will want to access the paper ... any paper ... and that digital versions such as that will replace the hard-copy paper edition of all newspapers before long.

I remember discussing electrophoretic and similar "e-ink" displays with a crew from the MIT Media Lab back in the 1980s, and I'm glad to see them becoming more and more commonplace.
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  #79  
Old July 26th, 2011, 07:31 PM
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Default Re: The Honolulu Star Advertiser

Quote:
Originally Posted by mel View Post

So the local people as an advertising target are not as valuable to the Starvatiser than mainland people. Huh. Another reason why not to throw any money at this operation.

Yep. I'm keeping my wallet locked on this one.
You ever think that maybe it's the information on the site that is more valuable to local readers?

Mainlanders have far less incentive to pay $10 a month for access to the site, with little information or advertisements that could be useful to them. Why not give them a good incentive?

Sorry to hear you are disappointed. We humbly hope to earn your patronage again someday.
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  #80  
Old July 26th, 2011, 07:43 PM
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  #81  
Old July 26th, 2011, 10:28 PM
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Default Re: The Honolulu Star Advertiser

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Originally Posted by genepark View Post
You ever think that maybe it's the information on the site that is more valuable to local readers?

Mainlanders have far less incentive to pay $10 a month for access to the site, with little information or advertisements that could be useful to them. Why not give them a good incentive?

Sorry to hear you are disappointed. We humbly hope to earn your patronage again someday.
but you don't care about earning mine? We are the ones who should be paying the lesser amount for a subscription.
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  #82  
Old July 27th, 2011, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by anapuni808 View Post
but you don't care about earning mine? We are the ones who should be paying the lesser amount for a subscription.
I apologize, I never meant to exclude you and I'm sorry you took it that way.

Again, the reasoning behind it is that mainlanders find the site to be far less valuable than residents, so it's valued accordingly.

I won't argue on the merits of how much they should be charged. I am not part of the decision making, nor am I qualified to be part of them. But I see the logic in charging less to out of state folks, particularly since the Star-Advertiser doesn't have the more universal appeal that the New York Times has.

I've heard the argument that the NY Times sees all readers as equal, so why doesn't the Star-Advertiser, but that's because the Times' audience is not only national, but global, just as I read The Guardian pretty regularly.
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  #83  
Old July 27th, 2011, 04:57 PM
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Default Re: The Honolulu Star Advertiser

Since Star Advertiser turned off comments about the subscriptions on their site, people have been venting at other sites. From KITV 4:

Quote:
Readers beware: The Star Advertiser is trying to trick its readers. Look on their website. Notice that there are no prices for the new digital subscription! That's because they are charging local readers more than neighbor island and mainland readers for the same access. Prices are $9.95 monthly or $50 a year to Oahu people, $4.95 monthly or $25 a year to neighbor islanders, and only $1.95 monthly or $10 a year to mainlanders. Call and complain! We're not STUPID!
Read more: http://www.kitv.com/money/28659156/detail.html
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  #84  
Old July 27th, 2011, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by buzz1941 View Post
BTW, just entering a Mainland ZIP code isn't an end run. What matters is the ZIP on your credit card info.
I don't even think the SA would even know what your zip code on your credit card was. Credit card billing is typically done with a third party anyway. All SA wants is the revenue from that credit card.

My thinking is to try using a mainland zipcode and using your credit card with a Hawaii zip code billing information and see how it fares. I mean I have friends on the mainland who have local (Hawaii) credit cards. Same thing.
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  #85  
Old July 28th, 2011, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
My thinking is to try using a mainland zipcode and using your credit card with a Hawaii zip code billing information and see how it fares. I mean I have friends on the mainland who have local (Hawaii) credit cards. Same thing.
Good luck!

You could also set up a dummy shell corporation in an offshore account and supply it with laundered money moved through a third party as well. Make sure that you also have doctored ID, disposable cell phones, disguises and accounts preserved on flash paper.
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Last edited by buzz1941; July 28th, 2011 at 12:36 AM.
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  #86  
Old July 28th, 2011, 01:12 AM
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Originally Posted by buzz1941 View Post
Good luck!

You could also set up a dummy shell corporation in an offshore account and supply it with laundered money moved through a third party as well. Make sure that you also have doctored ID, disposable cell phones, disguises and accounts preserved on flash paper.
We're talking newspaper subscription
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  #87  
Old July 28th, 2011, 07:47 PM
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Default Re: The Honolulu Star Advertiser

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Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
We're talking newspaper subscription
(Methinks that is his point - the "sarcasm" font didn't come through.)
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  #88  
Old July 28th, 2011, 09:23 PM
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Default Re: The Honolulu Star Advertiser

I get the paper delivered 7 days per week, and have for a couple of decades. It's an old habit that I must have the daily newspaper to read while I'm having my first coffee of the morning.
So I went ahead and activated my account for the free website access, as I check the Breaking News items several times a day from my office. I also usually take part in the daily poll there.
Just my two cents.
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  #89  
Old July 29th, 2011, 02:54 AM
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Default Re: The Honolulu Star Advertiser

Try this tomorrow, take the SB, two of them. (ride thebus, you'll get the paper for free), cut out all the "local" articles (make a stack), cut out all the national articles (make a stack), make a stack of the remaining, which would be adds. Then you'll see what your paying for.

With the exception of each local news orgs "exclusive" reporters your getting a majority of your local news from the same local AP sources. Its when companies start to quadrupel (sp?) dip, 5x's dip, to suck every last cent they can out of the local person, you just hit the point of that's enough.

SB, you have subscription sales, newsprint add sales, classified add sales, online add sales, etc. If that's not enough, I'm sorry, for me that's critcal mass, I'm not paying anymore. So does that mean, in the event of a natural diaster, if we didn't pay or $9.95, on Oahu, we wouldn't know if a tsunami is coming our way, until the next day's paper? Which would probably be a little late and not so much "Breaking News" anymore.

Oh no, I hope the Governor's staff is not reading this thread. I can see it now, the State will introduce a "Pay for Protection" policy. $9.95 a month to activate your State Civil Defense account to have 24 hour access to natural diaster information.

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  #90  
Old July 29th, 2011, 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Leo Lakio View Post
(Methinks that is his point - the "sarcasm" font didn't come through.)
Sarcastic replies from a Star-Advertiser employee? Yeah, that's a sure-fire way to attract customers and foster goodwill.

And while Gene and Scriv present a totally logical argument for the tiered pricing from an economic standpoint, it still comes off as being a slap-in-the-face at Oahu residents on a PR level.

If the current ad revenue for the internet S-A was insufficient, what do you think will happen to that revenue when the number of online readers go down as a result of the pay-to-view policy going into effect? I see a damaging cycle ahead for this venerable newspaper.

Heck, I already said that newspapers in general are a dying business. If the local TV news depts. keep their text articles and video content free, then no way will S-A text articles be able to compete.

I honestly hope that this so-called "new business model" isn't something that the S-A needs in order to survive. If it is, then this newspaper is doomed.
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  #91  
Old July 29th, 2011, 04:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo Lakio View Post
(Methinks that is his point - the "sarcasm" font didn't come through.)
We really need a sarcasm font or else everything get's taken literally.

I actually get local content via the AP Service thru my BlackBerry app.
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  #92  
Old July 29th, 2011, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by DXer View Post
So does that mean, in the event of a natural diaster, if we didn't pay or $9.95, on Oahu, we wouldn't know if a tsunami is coming our way, until the next day's paper? Which would probably be a little late and not so much "Breaking News" anymore.

DXer
It's been well publicized that breaking news will still be free. So in the event of a natural disaster like a tsunami, the site will be updated constantly with breaking news. And with an event that large, the site will likely be temporarily reconfigured to highlight the event.
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  #93  
Old July 29th, 2011, 08:22 AM
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Default Re: The Honolulu Star Advertiser

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Originally Posted by Frankie's Market View Post
If the local TV news depts. keep their text articles and video content free, then no way will S-A text articles be able to compete.
I was going to say there's no way this is a good prediction, but I fear you may be right. It will never, ever be enough for me because I value more than the leading stories. As a sports fan, I want to see box scores and read articles about important local sporting events, the kind of thing television news programs don't provide. As a consumer of political (and cultural) punditry, I want to read columns in the op-ed. As a patron of the arts, I want to read about local dramatic productions, local musical performances, and local art exhibits. The television news just doesn't cover this kind of stuff, even minimally, and I want it.

Heck. Until Erika started writing the business column, I very seldom read a word of the business section. Now I at least take a look at what she's got to say. I watch two local news broadcasts every day (KGMB and KITV) and generally enjoy them, but they're not enough for me.

I get the feeling I'm in the minority and that you're right. But my goodness, I hope you're wrong.
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  #94  
Old July 29th, 2011, 02:24 PM
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I was going to say there's no way this is a good prediction, but I fear you may be right. It will never, ever be enough for me because I value more than the leading stories. As a sports fan, I want to see box scores and read articles about important local sporting events, the kind of thing television news programs don't provide. As a consumer of political (and cultural) punditry, I want to read columns in the op-ed. As a patron of the arts, I want to read about local dramatic productions, local musical performances, and local art exhibits. The television news just doesn't cover this kind of stuff, even minimally, and I want it.
Most people who are like you (i.e. those desiring in-depth news coverage, analysis, and content not typically found on TV news) probably already subscribe to the print edition of the S-A. So I'm not holding my breath, anticipating a sudden surge in new subscriber sign-ups for either the print/digital or the digital-only packages, come Aug 3rd.

I mean, how many hardcore local news junkies on Oahu don't already have print subscriptions? Maybe those who make it a habit to obtain their copies at some restaurant or from their favorite hawker on the street. Perhaps those people might be prime candidates to be new subscribers. OTOH, folks who work in offices where access to print copies are readily available to anyone w/o charge,.... that's going to be a tougher sell. (Yours truly falls into this latter category.)

I guess the basic problem with the S-A's new business model is,.... I don't see a bunch of hardcore news junkies in Honolulu suddenly appearing out of nowhere, ready to provide credit-card info on 8/3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scrivener View Post
Heck. Until Erika started writing the business column, I very seldom read a word of the business section. Now I at least take a look at what she's got to say. I watch two local news broadcasts every day (KGMB and KITV) and generally enjoy them, but they're not enough for me.

I get the feeling I'm in the minority and that you're right. But my goodness, I hope you're wrong.
There are three realities that are working against the S-A's plan.

1) The news junkies that I spent considerable time talking about above,.... those folks are in the minority. The majority just want the basic gist of the stories. And if the TV stations provide that info for free, that is what this majority will flock to and be satisfied with.

2) Why do people buy things like smartphones and tablets? Just to read static text? C'mon! The typical consumers for these items are hungry for video and any other multimedia offerings. Once again, the TV stations offer this stuff and they do it for FREE. Once they have gotten their fix for the news on the TV websites, will they be willing to *pay* for access to the newspaper's site, which features mostly text articles and static pics?

3) The S-A had better hope that there's a large enough market out there for its local news content. If they think that they're going to attract new digital subscribers for their national/international news coverage,......... HA!!! Why would I pay the S-A as much as one red cent for that when CNN and HLN provides both live streaming feeds and on-demand news stories on my iPhone for FREE???

For the sake of everyone whose livelihood depends on the S-A's wellbeing, I hope that the foundation for their new business model was based on more than just a simple desire to imitate the New York Times. Because, simply put, the S-A ain't the NYT. (No offense meant to the S-A employees who frequent this forum. I'm just stating the practical realities of the situation.)
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  #95  
Old July 29th, 2011, 04:32 PM
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Default Re: The Honolulu Star Advertiser

The business model is pretty simple — the newsroom simply cannot afford to provide professional content for free. When newspapers could support themselves through advertising, the online stuff was considered a promotional tool. If you look back on the early versions of the newspaper web site, the content was relatively limited.

But times change.

It not so much that newspapers are failing. Print advertising is evaporating and dragging newspapers away with it. (I often wonder how local businesses let consumers know what's on sale or what's new. Advertising is a form of consumer news.)

Local newspapers are still the primary providers of community information, and real journalism requires editing and vetting. Blogs and single-issue Web sites don't do that.

Television news is essentially a headline service, which is not a criticism. It's just a different medium.
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  #96  
Old July 29th, 2011, 04:37 PM
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Default Re: The Honolulu Star Advertiser

And no, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser is not the New York Times.

More to the point, the New York Times is not the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

I wonder how many people upset with paying a few bucks for local news coverage pay their Oceanic Cable bills without thinking about it.
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  #97  
Old July 29th, 2011, 05:51 PM
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And no, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser is not the New York Times.

More to the point, the New York Times is not the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
True. But what is this "more to the point" in your second statement referring to? That the S-A contains more in-depth coverage of what is happening in the 50th state than the NYT? Well,.... I would hope that would be the case! It would certainly be a sad state of affairs for it to be otherwise, wouldn't it?

But when I stated that the "S-A ain't the NYT," I wasn't just referring to the fact that the Times merely offered more comprehensive news coverage of what was going on in the Empire State. That goes without saying.

I'm talking about a news-gathering organization that, accoriding to Wikipedia, has 11 domestic bureaus outside of NY state, as well as 26 foreign bureaus spread throughout the globe. I'm talking about a newspaper that has been the recipient of 106 Pulitzer Prizes.

Now with those kinds of resources and critical recognition at its disposal, the NYT is in a strong position to set aside much of its website for premium viewing. Can you honestly say that the S-A's news reporting and reputation even begins to approach the NYT's calibre of journalism excellence and breadth of unique content?

But who knows? Maybe I'm wrong, the S-A's digital subscription package will be a smashing success, and you'll have the last laugh on this. Only time will tell.
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  #98  
Old July 29th, 2011, 07:13 PM
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Default Re: The Honolulu Star Advertiser

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Originally Posted by Frankie's Market View Post
I mean, how many hardcore local news junkies on Oahu don't already have print subscriptions?
I've been a subscriber off and on, depending on the practicalities of subscribing. I'm almost always out the door before six in the morning and often don't get home until after dark. I try to squeeze in my news-reading when I can, which usually means online. On days when I know I will be able to sit down and actually read a paper (and do the NYT crossword), I pick it up at the local convenience store.

I can't be the only one for whom an electronic subscription (if delivered in a timely fashion and in a readable format) sent to my phone is a good fit.
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Old July 29th, 2011, 07:34 PM
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Default Re: The Honolulu Star Advertiser

Okay, NOW I've got something to complain about, and as soon as I figure out whom to send my complaint to, I will fire off a little email.

I really want the $50 per year subscription, but since I'm not sure how well this digital-only subscription will fit into my lifestyle (and because I just haven't seen how good it is yet), I went with the $10 per month option, thinking I'd try to upgrade to the annual subscription if it worked out well after the first month or two.

Plus, I wasn't exaggerating when I said that my budget is tight. I just can't afford the fifty bucks right now and probably won't be able to afford it until September.

As with most monthly online services, my credit card is going to be billed automatically until I cancel my subscription. That's fine; I was ready for that.

What I wasn't ready for was this: it's going to auto-renew my monthly subscription on August 10! This means I'll have nine days to decide whether or not I want to continue for another month, and if I do continue, I'll pay for September's news THREE FREAKING WEEKS IN ADVANCE. And because the budget is so tight, even if I do want to renew, I might have to cancel anyway and then re-subscribe a week later after I get paid.

I guess I shouldn't blame the paper for my own dire financial straits, but I posted that last message about practicalities before I tried to subscribe. Now the practicalities suggest that maybe I'm just not the intended market. Right now, the thought of paying ten bucks to renew a service I'll have only experienced for nine days—and for a continuation that doesn't begin for another three weeks—is a lot more painful than perhaps it should be.
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  #100  
Old July 30th, 2011, 01:02 AM
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Default Re: The Honolulu Star Advertiser

A few more thoughts on this subject. Just my opinion, after reading some of the posts.

1. I don't buy the paper version (subscription or news-stand) and never have for years because all that paper is a chore to clean up and get rid of after they pile up in the house or office.

2. In our condo, we used to get the old Star Bulletin for free, which was a nice thing to pick up especially on Sundays. However many times I found that I never had time to go through the paper, and often it sat unread and added to the stuff I had to toss out.

3. I've noticed a few times that someone has left a small stack of Star Advertisers in our downstairs lobby to pick up for free on Sundays again. Often I am not early enough to get em.

4. For a very long time I've relied mainly on the online website to get my news content. I guess that will drastically change when things like Erika Engle's column, Richard Borreca's political piece gets hidden behind the PAYWALL. Oh well, end of linking also to Erika's column on radio stations and stuff.

5. I wonder if we have a big earthquake or some other kind of huge natural disaster if the Star Advertiser will take down their PAYWALL and offer the news as a "public service". If not, well, we get live streams from TV and other "sources". Plenty of free sources of reports to be had from around the internet. Many more timely than the newspaper, even the online stuff. I have the Star Advertiser app in my iPod Touch, and that doesn't get updated as frequently as the apps I have from KITV and KGMB/KHNL Hawaii News Now.

6. I get national and world notifications from other apps and sites for free such as Fox News and BBC.

7. If there are national in-depth news stories, many of the same news stories can be found elsewhere for free. After all AP, NYT, Christian Science Monitor and other news services syndicate these stories to other sites.

8. I think if you have to do a PAYWALL, keep the website FREE, reduce the content and do PAYWALL only with iPad, iPod and Android subscriptions (re: the entire paper through those services). Apple's iPad has surely taken off and offers a great platform to handle that kind of virtual print version of the newspaper.

9. Currently I have no iPad so I won't be subscribing anytime soon. The iPod Touch (and its more popular cousin the iPhone) is too small for me to read text for long sustained periods of time. Those devices are ideal for "at-a-glance" breaking news headlines and streaming audio or video content. A regular computer is better for all electronic content.

10. BTW, I got rid of my Oceanic Cable service in February after my TV broke and the price for standard analog cable went up. Then I found out they are taking away some analog TV channels and still charging the same price. Sorry, when I get a new TV I'm going OTA only. Currently I watch whatever TV content I can find online for free... + DVDs I own or borrow with my computer. Since prices have been steadily climbing over the years (thanks to more increased taxes and crap) I have been steadily cutting back on some services and not buying at all into others (like cell phones).

11. During the March 10 - 11 Japan earthquake, all of my breaking and streaming news came from Hawaii News Now online and some Japanese TV stations that were sending out live video and audio online in real time. The paper doesn't have that kind of resources to do that. Surely the argument will be the "local angle" that news reporting brings on such an event through after the fact reporting.... well we can get a lot of that from our Facebook friends, blogs and even Twitter feeds.. and most of these, especially Facebook will be accounts from people we know.

Anyway this is about the only type of 2˘ I am offering because I am committed to not buying any subscription at this time to the Star Advertiser PAYWALL content.

next....
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