Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Case for File Sharing

Since I've actually been getting visitors I thought I'd release the weekend edition a little early this time around. It's funny how heated the issue of mp3 downloading has become in recent years. I still remember the days of middle school where I had to search the far ends of the web for ftp dump sites of mp3s to leech off of, and then the all-powerful Napster, and here we are in the ruins of it all. The point is that some indie artists have really benefitted, and the lead singer of Wilco wants other artists to follow his band's glowing example. After being dropped from their label they released their songs in streaming format online and got an amazing showing at their self-produced concerts. And after that, they sold a ton of albums despite his previous online release. The moral of the story: if you can get the poor teenage kids hooked on your music, they'll become totally loyal. When you're a greedy bastard, they start to rebel. He makes some far out claims about music belonging to everyone and stuff like that, which I don't agree with because it's their artistic property. However, the castigation of fans is way too harsh and those gestapo techniques just won't help. All they can do is support services like iTunes, start charging reasonable prices for CDs, and start making good music rather than crap they want to market. Concert sales have only faltered because they're not inspiring the fans anymore, just their own wallets. You can read pro-P2P stuff on the Canadian side here.

I've got a few other things in the world of technology. Since I was talking about money I might as well start out with this article about a guy who was accused of using counterfeit money at a Best Buy when he whipped out $2 bills as a sign of peaceful protest. I can't imagine how people can be that utterly stupid; are $2 bills really that old? I'm not that old and I remember them (I even have one). Anyway, I've promoted Google News in the past, but it seems like some news organizations want to start their own news aggregators to compete. They're concerned about losing revenue (though some are just afraid of edited headlines), but Google News wouldn't even be necessary if they did their job and covered news as well as they should. In Spain, one high school is teaching how to hack. Their belief is that it'll eliminate the rebellious nature of it and teach a lot to the kids, and I'd actually be inclined to agree. You'd be surprised how immature hackers are; they just want to feel like badasses. You may soon see robots on the DMZ line in Korea. I'm very skeptical, but I guess it could work. Stateside, DARPA is actually working on technology to transmit speech without talking. It operates on a more neurological level if I understand correctly, and it sounds like it could be the next big thing for the military.

There are quite a few interviews up in the movie world. One is with Simon Kinberg, who is currently working on the X3 script, that revealed quite a few things about his career and a little bit about the X-men. Capone from AICN interviewed Michael Clarke Duncan, and it's pretty long but his career is pretty interesting. There's a trailer I forgot to mention yesterday for a flick called Night Watch that's coming this side in a few months and might be pretty creepy. There are also some clips over here from Kingdom of Heaven, which I have mixed feelings about but may turn out pretty well. Revenge of the Sith got its rating: a surprising PG. Guess it won't be as dark as he claimed it would be. Lastly, decisions may be made about Bond this week, so stay tuned for more on that.

Just a few random things left. Now that the Pope is gone people are already clamoring for sainthood. I actually didn't catch the funeral because I don't have cable here, but I'll check it out maybe when I go home. Anyway, I think that by making random people saints that it debases its status. Though John Paul II was great, is he really deserving of so high an honor? Anyway, the process is also beginning for choosing a new Pope, which is a rather strange, antiquated process and I wish they'd reform it. Smuckers was trying to get a patent to make PB&J sandwiches, but alas it was rejected. I'm sorry but that idea is dumb. How hard is it to make a PB&J. And finally, a new sequel is being made to Fatal Frame, the survival horror series, and they've come up with characters and everything.

Oooo, creepy

Now for some Unconscious Mutterings:

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Horrendous::Travesty
  2. Home video::Red Dragon
  3. What a girl wants::Christina Aguilera blows
  4. Grounded::White kids who don't get beaten
  5. Trusting::Hard
  6. Simplistic::Rare
  7. Buzz::94.5
  8. Balcony::Scary to stand over
  9. Roar::Tigers!
  10. Hooker::Sin City

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