Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas!

I wish everyone the best for the holidays. I'm taking a few weeks of vacation with my family in Texas and then my wife's family in LA. I'll be back a few days after the new year. Untill then -- I hope everyone spends some time with their families thinking about the really important things in life and playing with their new ipods.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Humor from Scrappleface

President George Bush today, confirmed a recent Newsweek magazine cover story, admitting that he’s “living in a bubble” — isolated and aloof.

Friday, December 16, 2005

New Victorian: A Message From Karl Rove

New Victorian: A Message From Karl Rove:

Democrats, trial lawyers and the ACLU--read this and weep. The secret prison camps in an unidentified '-stan' country are ready. Join us or be assimilated.

The sad thing is that the Kos-acks and the Atrios guys really believe something like this. Of course, I know some republicans that think hollywood is in league with satan and that the DNC secretly takes its orders from the Kremlin so ... what can you do?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Firefox Tweak Guide - TechSpot

Mozilla Firefox is a great Internet browser, applauded by users and critics alike for its features, performance, usability, customisation and security. Firefox 1.5 builds on Firefox 1.x by adding an integrated auto-update system, improved pop-up blocker and improved standards support, not to mention thousands of bug fixes. This updated guide will take you through all that Firefox 1.5 has to offer covering the options menu, about:config preferences, CSS, extensions and more.

Firefox rox, pure and simple. I have newegg, torrentspy, googlemaps, ebay, amazon, and several other searches preloaded into my quicksearch bar. I highlight a word and right-click and the definition pops up. I right-click and can make a screen-grab of my viewport. I can right click to automatically log into registration-only sites. The list of things I can do simply and easily with firefox goes on and on and on ... if you're not using a highly-customized version of firefox, then you're the technoutopian equivalent of a mentally retarded web-surfer.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

DRM, Incompatibility, and Market Power: A Visit to the Sausage Factory

Running through this whole convoluted tale are two consistent threads. DRM is used as a weapon not against infringers but against market rivals. And when companies use DRM to undermine compatibility, law-abiding customers lose.

Interesting article on the devious machinations of the powers that be in their quest to control the information we consume. DRM stands for Digital "Rights" Management, though the only rights DRM protects are the rights of record companies to screw artists and consumers.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Lessig on the Google Print Law-suit

Lawrence Lessig:
"Like Valenti with the Betamax, the publishers and Authors Guild simply want to tax the value created by Google Print. They are not complaining about any “decline in [their] property value” caused by Google Print. They are instead racing to claim the value that ancient law is said to give to them, despite the harm that claim produces for “progress.”"

In the words of Instapundit, read the whole thing. He hits the nail on the head with this post; ultimately the current Intellectual Property debate will have to give way to common sense. Just like air travel, freedom to share a file must win out because the only alternative is a digital police-state.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Cure for GOP ‘Culture of Corruption’

If you want to leak the names of CIA agents, or accept bribes in exchange for legislative favors,” Rep. Pelosi said, “you have to get some judge to make it constitutional first. Forty years ago a woman couldn’t legally abort her husband’s baby so she could marry her girlfriend and live in condo built on a site that city council confiscated from a poor retired couple. But now, it’s totally legal for many Americans.

Heinlein quote

"There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute or common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back."

Instapundit was talking about the death of newspapers, but it applies equally well to Hollywood and the music labels. Profit from selling plastic disks isn't a fundamental right. Technology has made distribution of information value-less, those industries must adapt -- read, find a way to add value to the consumer on the consumer's terms -- or perish.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Photoshop Texture Tutorial


Now we can add some splatters. This will be hard for me to explain but basically to add splatters you need to stamp with the splatter brush (brush no. 9) a few times on the same place or paint while hardly moving from the same spot. You need to play with this brush a bit to get the 'feel' for it. You can also enhance the splatter using brushes number 3 & 12.

Good Tutorial on making background textures for use in digital paintings or for scrap-booking projects.