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12 November, 2002

Karyn is Out of Debt

It took 140 days and $13,000 of contributions, but Karyn has managed to beg her way out of debt (see Save Karyn).

With the help of the Internet, Karyn has invented a whole new way of panhandling. The low-tech technique of displaying a cardboard sign at a busy street corner has become pass�.

For an opposing, and more fiscally responsible view, see Don't Save Karyn.

Posted on 12 November, 2002

Rolling Stone's Ads in the NY Times

How did I miss this? A few weeks ago (28 October, to be exact), Rolling Stone magazine ran a sarcastic (and very much anti-recording industry) ad in the New York Times. The headline: A Big Fat Thanks to the Record Execs. The copy:

Thank you for fighting the good fight against Internet MP3 file-swapping. Because of you, millions of kids will stop wasting time listening to new music and seeking out new bands. No more spreading the word to complete strangers about your artists. No more harmful exposure to thousands of bands via Internet radio either. With any luck they won't talk about music at all. You probably knew you'd make millions by embracing the technology. After all, the kids swapping were like ten times more likely to buy CD's, making your cause all the more admirable. It must have cost a bundle in future revenue, but don't worry -- computers are just a fad anyway, and the Internet is just plain stupid.

The ad makes an excellent point that is supported by research: The ability to download MP3 files exposes people to lots of new music that results in potential new sales for the record industry.

But Rolling Stone should have quite while they were ahead. Yesterday they ran another New York Times ad, with the headline Squeaking By on a 4000% Mark-up.

Somewhere in Malibu, a music exec lies on his $7000 Mies Van Der Rohe daybed, whimpering because album sales are down. A CD costs roughly 40� to produce and package, and despite charging twenty bucks for it, he's losing his Commes Des Garcons shirt. Premature releases featuring one good song plus forty minutes to forget won't garner much sympathy. Won't fill that six car garage either. Maybe you should charge more. No wait, you already tried that.

This is a specious argument that only makes Rolling Stone magazine look stupid. It's like condemning a magazine for charging $4.00 a copy, when it only consists of $0.35 worth of paper and ink.

Sources for these ads: Here and here.

Posted on 12 November, 2002

A Massive Image Gallery

If you're like most people, you probably get occasional emails that contain a variety of funny pictures. Here's a link to a site that has a large collection of such images (nearly 4,000), all nicely categorized and thumb-nailed. Perfect for when you get bored at the office.

But be warned. These images are not all G-rated, so stay away if you're easily offended.

Posted on 12 November, 2002

Math Trading Cards

These might appeal to a few Excel geeks.

Posted on 12 November, 2002

Something from Canon Japan

I have no idea what this is, but it sure is fascinating.

Posted on 12 November, 2002