Archive for 2007-12

Happy New Year!

02007-12-31 @ 11:12

Oh, the Insanity!

02007-12-30 @ 08:12

Download Uproar: Record Industry Goes After Personal Use –
The industry’s lawyer in the case, Ira Schwartz, argues in a brief filed earlier this month that the MP3 files Howell made on his computer from legally bought CDs are “unauthorized copies” of copyrighted recordings.


At the Thomas trial in Minnesota, Sony BMG’s chief of litigation, Jennifer Pariser, testified that “when an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song.” Copying a song you bought is “a nice way of saying ‘steals just one copy,’ ” she said.

Wait, I am allowed to use a TiVo or similar device to record and time-shift a television program – the devices from Dish Network additionally allow a person to skip the ads – but I am NOT allowed to rip the CDs I bought in order to hear the music on an iPod or similar device? Maybe the RIAA should also sue Apple for enabling the iPod to play back music ripped on a computer, as literally everything ripped on that computer is deemed illegal by the RIAA. Or what about this?

Simply copy your CDs with one click to the OPUS’ internal hard drive and enjoy instant access to all your music, in spectacular quality.

Aren’t they advocating an illegal activity?

This is insanity! Both ends of the spectrum that stretches between P2P and RIAA, are clearly outside any common sense.

How crazy are these two extremes? Well, what comes to my mind are religious fanatics, arguing about the divine nature of a leader’s uttering… is the message human or divine? Who cares about that! Is the message any good should be the question!

One last thought: the RIAA should ask the heads of the corporations that fund the RIAA how they listen to music. Do they not use iPods? Do they not use components like the Opus or a computer? Do they really carry CDs between their office and home stereos and to their car? Or do they buy 3 copies of every CD they like, so they can listen to it at home, in their car and in the office? Somebody should make the RIAA attorneys hand over their iPods and check what’s on them!


RIAA not suing over CD ripping, still kinda being jerks about it – Engadget
Okay, so we’ve done some digging into the RIAA’s lawsuit against Jeffery Howell, in which the industry is claiming that ripped MP3s are “unauthorized copies,” and it turns out that Jeffery isn’t actually being sued for ripping CDs, like the Washington Post and several other sources have reported, but for plain old illegal downloading. As we’re all unfortunately aware, that’s pretty standard stuff; the big change from previous downloading cases is the RIAA’s newfound aggressiveness in calling MP3s ripped from legally owned CDs “unauthorized copies” — something it’s been doing quietly for a while, but now it looks like the gloves are off. While there’s a pretty good argument for the legality of ripping under the market factor of fair use, it’s never actually been ruled as such by a judge — so paradoxically, the RIAA might be shooting itself in the foot here, because a judge wouldn’t ever rule on it unless they argue that it’s illegal. Looks like someone may end up being too clever for their own good, eh?

David Byrne’s Survival Strategies

02007-12-28 @ 08:12

David Byrne’s Survival Strategies for Emerging Artists — and Megastars
First, a definition of terms. What is it we’re talking about here? What exactly is being bought and sold? In the past, music was something you heard and experienced — it was as much a social event as a purely musical one. Before recording technology existed, you could not separate music from its social context. Epic songs and ballads, troubadours, courtly entertainments, church music, shamanic chants, pub sing-alongs, ceremonial music, military music, dance music — it was pretty much all tied to specific social functions. It was communal and often utilitarian. You couldn’t take it home, copy it, sell it as a commodity (except as sheet music, but that’s not music), or even hear it again. Music was an experience, intimately married to your life. You could pay to hear music, but after you did, it was over, gone — a memory.

Excellent piece for Wired by David Byrne. A couple of weeks old, but I had not gotten around to reading the whole thing. Highly recommended. Nice audio clips of David Byrne’s conversation with Brian Eno. He ends the article with this:

Ultimately, all these scenarios have to satisfy the same human urges: What do we need music to do? How do we visit the land in our head and the place in our heart that music takes us to? Can I get a round-trip ticket? Really, isn’t that what we want to buy, sell, trade, or download?


02007-12-27 @ 21:12

Perversely long limousines do poorly in San Francisco
You see, the longer the wheelbase, the more comfortable the ride. This thing soaks bumps up like nothing! Watch us take this bump up ahead….”

Prayer of the Dragon

02007-12-27 @ 20:12

The old things meant to be passed down, they are the best things distilled out of thousands of years of experience. But somehow in the last century we decided our own lives were too important, that fast cars covered with chrome, and television, and computers made us better than our ancestors. That’s the lie that kills the great things.

From the book I just finished reading a little while ago. It was a perfect day for reading, very cold, mostly grey and fairly dark and with a little snow.

U.S. copyright waived in tiny nation

02007-12-27 @ 20:12

U.S. copyright waived in tiny nation
The Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda has won the right to waive U.S. copyrights in films, television and music under an unusual ruling by the World Trade Organization. The landmark decision by the Geneva-based trade watchdog means that the tiny islands are able to violate intellectual property protection worth up to $21 million as part of a dispute between the countries over online gambling.


One third of all PCs use LimeWire

02007-12-27 @ 20:12

$40K to fill an iPod? One third of PCs use LimeWire instead
Pop quiz: what music and movie downloading app is installed on over one third of the world’s computers, according to a new report from Digital Music News and media tracking specialist BigChampagne? The answer isn’t iTunes, nor is it any other DRM-encumbered media program that has been blessed by Big Content. The answer is LimeWire, with a presence on an estimated 36.4 percent of the world’s PCs.

I do not like the way small labels and independent artists are always overlooked in these articles. These authors always like to say Big Content or Big Biz as if that is all there is. It’s always portrait as Big Business against the little file-sharers. That is not the reality.


02007-12-27 @ 19:12

Baggu | Reusable Shopping Bag

Received a couple of these and think they are great. They are very sturdy and fold up small enough to put everywhere… car, coat-pocket


02007-12-27 @ 19:12


Thanks Y.


02007-12-27 @ 10:12

The Largest Known Star

Egypt to Copyright the Pyramids

02007-12-27 @ 08:12

Egypt to copyright the pyramids and antiquities | Art & Architecture | Guardian Unlimited Arts
Egypt is planning to pass a law that would exact royalty payments from anyone found making copies of the country’s ancient monuments or museum pieces, including the pyramids.

Hm, in a few hours BoingBoing will call for everyone to get out their Legos or clay, make pyramids and upload the photos to a Flickr group!

Wired News – AP News

02007-12-26 @ 22:12

Wired News – AP News
A new book claims to have definitive evidence of a long-suspected technological crime – that Alexander Graham Bell stole ideas for the telephone from a rival, Elisha Gray.


Perhaps the most instructive lesson comes when Shulman explores why historical memory has favored Bell and not Gray – nor German inventor Philipp Reis, who beat them both with 1860s telephones that employed a different principle.

Ah, history is so fickle…

Reporters sans frontières

02007-12-26 @ 22:12

Reporters sans frontières
In some countries a journalist can be thrown in prison for years for a single offending word or photo. Jailing or killing a journalist removes a vital witness to events and threatens the right of us all to be informed. Reporters Without Borders has fought for press freedom on a daily basis since it was founded in 1985.


02007-12-26 @ 22:12

TED | Talks | Arthur Benjamin: Lightning calculation and other “Mathemagic” (video)
Lightning calculation and other “Mathemagic”

You vs. The Chimp

02007-12-26 @ 22:12

You vs. The Chimp
(Via StumbleUpon)

Prayer of the Dragon

02007-12-26 @ 22:12

Prayer of the Dragon is the latest book by Eliot Pettison. In this one the ways of the Tibetans and the Navajos meet. I showed my five books of the Inspector Shan series to Roshi Joan and discovered that she was also a fan of the series and had read four of them.

Kindle vs iPod

02007-12-26 @ 14:12

The Future of Reading (A Play in Six Acts) [dive into mark]
Libraries, though, have developed lending procedures for previous versions of e-books — like the tape in “Mission: Impossible,” they evaporate after the loan period — and Bezos says that he’s open to the idea of eventually doing that with the Kindle.

First go to the above link and read the whole piece. Afterwards you might wonder, as I do, how come that amazon seems to be getting such good reviews for the reader, when the attributes of the Kindle would create a bit of an outrage if applied to a music player. The Kindle is even more locked up than an iPod!

After talking about how music could be free via a universal subscription or music tax, let’s look at the above quoted idea. As I mentioned in Digital Media is not Stuff, the old form of lending does not apply, since the lender retains a copy on his harddrive. Applying the lending procedures libraries are developing for e-books, as quoted above, files lent to a friend would evaporate. If this was built into all music files artists and record labels generate, file-sharing would take on a completely different character. Suddenly a file shared just wets the appetite, because it evaporates in three days or a week. Sure some people will just go download another copy which will last a week, but many will simply want to buy/license the file so they don’t go to play a piece of music only to find that it has expired…

What bugs me the most about the Kindle is the same thing that sucks about the music-DRM currently available, and that is having the files tied to one machine or one brand. I think DRM should be tied to a person, possible using something like openID, and the person should be able to play the music file, or read the book, on any device associated with him or her. When the file is copied to a device that is not associated with that person, it changes to a “Lend”-file and evaporates after a specific period.

Somewhat similar, but totally different, this is why I love GrandCentral, which I mentioned here: the phone number is NOT associated with a particular landline or cellphone account. Any new or temporary phone number can be linked to the GC number.

Umbrellas of Happiness

02007-12-26 @ 14:12

PingMag MAKE – The Japan-based interview magazine about “Making things” » Archive » The Man who Makes Umbrellas of Happiness
These days, most people use disposable plastic umbrellas that only cost a few hundred yen. However, even in this disposable era, there is still a professional craftsman who makes “real” umbrellas. This man learned the family trade from his father, and makes each beautiful umbrella by hand, one at a time. What is it like to spend your whole life hand-crafting this common item which most people take for granted?

Predictions for 2008

02007-12-26 @ 14:12

Alt Predictions for 2008
So many young female celebrities release sex tapes and get caught abusing drugs and alcohol that the market, at long last, becomes glutted. Tabloids and entertainment news shows suddenly become obsessed with footage of starlets drinking decaffeinated tea then going to bed by 10, signaling lane changes and being patient but firm with their children.

La Luna

02007-12-25 @ 09:12

Found on Flickr. Click on each photo to go to its Flickr page.


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