Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Us and Them: Nanny state to the rescue

They Protect Me From Me, But Who Protects Me From Them? by Wilton D. Alston

As a matter of fact, if you want to sit by the dock of the bay stuffing your face with beef-tallow-soaked fast-food French fries, washing them down with a carbonated beverage just chock-full of HFCS while taking the edge off with an unfiltered cigarette delivered by an illegal alien after it was manufactured in a Cuban factory and subsequently soaked in crystal methamphetamine, I could not care less. I celebrate your decision to "do it your way." I might, in the words of Tony Soprano, suggest that you "consider salad" and I’d likely advise you of the dangers of "tweaking" but hey, it would still be your choice.
This is a must read, very funny.

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

John Kerry: Ignoramus at large

Captain's Quarters

So not only is John Kerry a hypocrite, he's also an ignoramus. However, we have noticed that the Davos forum has become, over the years, a convention of sorts for both. Kerry should feel right at home.

Via Instapundit. the only time I felt comfortable with Kerry was before I got to know him and his Nanny-statist policies.

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Italy: land of the free

File downloading, if not for profit, not illegal in Italy - franticindustries.
the high court of Italy ruled that downloading files - be it software, music, or movies - is not illegal if profit is not the motivation. The case in question was a lawsuit against two students who set up a p2p file-sharing network, and who were initially convinced to one year in prison. But the highest judicial institution in Italy overthrew the decision, and set the two students free. This is an important decision, because RIAA’s brainwash is lately succeeding in pushing the notion that p2p file sharing is a criminal activity per se.
Maybe I should go live in Italy, where they seem to take basic freedoms in the digital age more seriously.

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Al-Jazeera: Where Press meets Propaganda

Another Perspective, or Jihad TV? - New York Times
In its “straight” news coverage on its Arabic TV broadcasts and Web sites, Al Jazeera’s reports consistently amplify radical Islamist sentiments (although without endorsing violence explicitly).

For example, the phrase “war on terror” is invariably preceded by the contemptuous prefix “so-called.” The words “terror” and “insurgency” are rarely uttered with a straight face, usually replaced with “resistance” or “struggle.” The phrase “war in Iraq” is often replaced by “war on Iraq” or “war against Iraq.” A suicide bombing is called a “commando attack” or, occasionally, a “paradise operation.”

Al Jazeera’s Web site can be less subtle. On Dec. 12, after religious leaders and heads of state all over the world condemned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran for staging a Holocaust denial conference in Tehran, the headline on the site read, “Ahmadinejad Praised by Participants of the Holocaust Conference in Tehran, but Condemned by Zionists in Europe.”

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Dennis Miller: a funny funny man

I just caught 10 minutes of O'reilly tonight ... Dennis Miller was the guest and i found him to be very clever and laugh-out-loud witty. Anyway, I'm not familiar with his shows, so I looked him up on wikipedia and found that he's a (drum roll please) ... libertarian! I also read the following Piece on him, which includes some funny -insightful quotes:

It baffles me that the same people who blast away at President Bush's selection of a religious conservative for attorney general won't give George W. any kudos for his other cabinet choices, which include blacks, Jews, Asians, Hispanics, and women. Does a fundamentalist Christian not also represent a valued strand in our collective fabric?
Some anti-death penalty advocates say that McVeigh's execution didn't bring closure to the survivors of the bombing. Maybe not, but it did bring closure to McVeigh's eyes and, frankly, that's all I wanted.
…like an infestation of cockroaches, a drunken party guest, or a super-virulent strain of antibiotic-resistant clap, the Clintons are proving almost impossible to get rid of.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Liberal Hypocrisy vis-a-vis Walmart

The Skeptical Optimist
Wal-Mart and its effects save shoppers more than $200 billion a year, dwarfing such government programs as food stamps ($28.6 billion) and the earned-income tax credit ($34.6 billion) . . . But because unions are strong in many grocery stores trying to compete with Wal-Mart, unions are yanking on the Democratic Party's leash, demanding laws to force Wal-Mart to pay wages and benefits higher than those that already are high enough to attract 77 times as many applicants than there were jobs at this store . . . Liberals, aghast, see the choices Americans make with their dollars and their ballots and announce -- yes, announce -- that Americans are sorely in need of more supervision by . . . liberals.
I love walmart. There, I said it. So sue me; I like cheap groceries. I like cheap DVDs, games, clothes and toys. I like saving a little extra and putting the rest in an investment account that will bear me interest for the rest of my life. People that attack walmart bug me -- I mean, if you don't like it, don't shop there! But don't pass laws specifically aimed at penalizing a great American company that allows people like me to save billions of dollars every year.

Death of Music "Rights Mngmt"

The Inevitable Death of DRM

I agree that DRM is (or will be) on a decline. At the end of the day, you can’t prevent computers from doing what they’re good at: copying bits.

That makes the whole selling-lots-of-copies-of-copyable-data business model pretty lame.

The record industry only ever succeeded because their product was inseparable from the plastic discs they used for distribution.

It’s like we’re going back to the 19th century, when music was a SERVICE, not a PRODUCT. If you wanted to be a successful musician, you had to be hired to do useful work: writing a symphony, playing a gig in a king’s court, etc. Like it or not, that’s what we’re headed back to: services.

Commenter # 7 has hit the nail on the head -- the music biz has to adapt to the realities of the digital age. DRM is their quixotic effort to make reality conform to their outdated business models. Good luck with that guys.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Florida ROCKS THE HOUSE! Gators' romp reveals true genius
Ohio State and Michigan were the two best teams in a really bad league. Florida was the best team in a really good league.
And that's a fact.

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Monday, January 08, 2007

Holiday 07 -- IPTV on Xbox360!

You heard it People! XBox360 IPTV:
"xbox lovers can enjoy episodes of their favorite television shows from the comfort of their wireless 360 controllers. They’ve added television into the menu in your dashboard."
Bring it on! The only downside is that it appears that a local ISP has to partner with microsoft to deliver this to the home ... so I'm hoping and praying that Cox steps up to the plate and offers this service.

Ricky’s Web Review » Blog Archive » Group Photo Fixer

Ricky’s Web Review » Blog Archive » Group Photo Fixer: "
you can take some pics and then “merge” them with an application like Photoshop, but you have also a quicker alternative: MSR Group Shot, from Microsoft.

This [small free piece of] software can import two or more pictures of a same subject, and then merge them using only the parts that the user prefers."

Friday, January 05, 2007

EFF-Founder on Copyright Law (dis)obedience

Link (Via Boing Boing):

In this Netzpolitik-Interview EFF-Founder John Perry Barlow talks about massive civil disobedience in the copyright debate. The Interview was done at the 23. Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin:

"If you wanna share something - share it. If you wanna use something - use it. Try to do so ethically in the sense of don´ t take things without attribution ... Pay no attention to these people when it comes to being creative. Go ahead and do the stuff that Larry showed in the beginning of his talks and do lot of it. And every time they put a lock on - break it. And every time they pass a new law - break that."

Massive civil disobedience -- oooh I like the sound of that. Burn baby burn.