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26 November, 2003

Indie Labels And The RIAA

From NPR: Indie Labels Seek to Sever Ties with RIAA (audio story).

Independent record labels are fighting to have their names removed from the list of members posted on the Recording Industry Association of America's Web site. Many of the indie labels say they are not RIAA members. Some worry that the association with the music industry's crackdown on file sharers will hurt their image with fans.

(Thanks David Wilkinson)

Posted on 26 November, 2003

What's Orrin Hatch Been Up To?

Here's the latest on Moron Hatch -- I mean Orrin Hatch.

"The music industry [read RIAA and Big Five labels] has sometimes been criticized for being too slow to adapt its business models to new technologies," says senator Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

However, he's going to help them out by expanding an, "existing antitrust exemption so that record companies and music publishers can negotiate royalty rates and bring to consumers innovative new forms of physical phonorecords".

This announcement came on November 22 when Hatch introduced his Enhancing Federal Obscenity Reporting and Copyright Enforcement Act of 2003.

And yes, he really did use the word phonorecords.

In other news: Orrin Hatch puts staffer on leave.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch said Tuesday he had put one of his staffers on administrative leave for improperly obtaining data from the secure computer networks of two Democratic senators.

Hatch, R-Utah, said preliminary interviews suggested that a former Republican member of the committee staff may have also been involved in penetrating the Democratic computers.

When all else fails, just go buy some Orrin Hatch CDs.

Posted on 26 November, 2003

Dog Diapers

Well, I guess some people will like this idea: Dog Diapers.

The Dog Diaper is a revolutionary, fashionable, and fully disposable diaper. It is economical to manufacture using opaque polyethylene film, or the like, in different colors and prints.

The Dog Diaper is easily removed and disposed of after use.

The Dog Diaper is provided with Velcro to fasten the garment portion to the body of the dog.

Dogs do not get dirty with the waste which is collected away from the body of the animal in pouches for solid and fluid waste.

The product will be made in 8 sizes to cover all breeds of dogs.

Posted on 26 November, 2003

Desk Images

At Snap Your Desk, you can view photos of people's desks. To join in the fun, I just took this quick wide angle shot of my desk (click thumbnail for a larger view).

(via In4mador)

Posted on 26 November, 2003

Tax Dollars At Work

Here's an article about the White House Christmas card.

More than 1.5 million of the cards, designed by artist Barbara Ernst Prey of Oyster Bay, N.Y., will be mailed to family and friends of President Bush and his wife, Laura, and to foreign dignitaries, the White House said Tuesday. The cards will be postmarked Friday in Crawford, Texas.

Inside the card is a Bible verse and this message selected by the president and first lady: "May you celebrate the joys of faith, family and friendship this holiday season and always."

What a waste of paper and tax dollars.

Posted on 26 November, 2003

The East Point Police Department

Visit the Web site for the East Point, Georgia, Police Department. This site has a refreshingly "amateur" look and feel. They also have a sense of humor -- see the Self Arrest Form.

A proposition has been announced recently to help reduce the deficit and to "Take A Bite Out Of Crime." If you witness a crime, it is your civic duty to report the crime to the police. When a crime is committed, you have the right to make a "Citizen's Arrest". Thus, if YOU commit a crime, it would be extremely helpful for you to perform a Citizen's Self-Arrest. Fill out the form, to complete your Citizen's Self-Arrest.

The bottom of the form even has a bible, for swearing purposes:

Posted on 26 November, 2003

Soup In The Movies

A list of movies that involve soup.

It was Jackie Mason who said "You know how movies always have sex scenes and the studios say that is because sex is part of life and movies should be lifelike? So why don't movies have more soup scenes? Soup is part of life; no one was ever too tired to have soup."

For example, Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange."

In the making of this shattering political allegory, based on the novel by Anthony Burgess, Malcolm McDowell endured Kubrick's outrageous demands for perfection, nearly drowning after his face was pushed into a saucepan of soup and Kubrick refused to shout "cut!"

Posted on 26 November, 2003

Lovemarks

The answer to everything that's wrong with marketing and advertising: Lovemarks.

Five years ago Saatchi & Saatchi looked closely at the question: What makes some brands inspirational, while others struggle? And we came up with the answer: Lovemarks. A future beyond brands.

OK, I confess. I spent about 15 minutes at this site, and I still haven't a clue as to what it's all about. There is an alphabetical list of Lovemarks. The list has a wide variety of companies and brands, and people explain why it's their lovemark. For example, Nike:

"Nike for me is motivation. It ignites a spirit in me to not give up. To keep going, when every muscle in your body screams don't. The ultimate inspiration, ultimate retreat - I wear Nike with pride, wanting to live up to its message."

In other words, this guy has fallen hook, line, and sinker for Nike's advertising.

Here's another Lovemark, The Gap:

"America is a Gap country, and in every one of us there is much of their relaxed and easy going style. Gap clothes make you feel good and take a simple approach to life. Many of us believe in Gap kind of life, and simply love the brand."

If this sort of tripe is the future of marketing, the industry is in bad shape.

(via Boing Boing)

Posted on 26 November, 2003

Escape From Eluned

This is kind of amusing. A game called Escape From Eluned. The rules:

1. Get a friend very drunk - one called Eluned works best.

2. Balance as many things as you can on them without waking them up.

3. Take photographic evidence.

4. Remove all the items, thus leaving the victim unaware that anything has happened.

5. Create a website. Sit back and watch friend turn red.

Posted on 26 November, 2003

The War On Copying

An excellent article by Nicholas Cravotta: The war on copying.

The communications industry is ready for an infusion of data, such as digital video, to drive it to recovery, but music, video, and other digital-content owners continue to keep a tight rein on their growing mass of IP (intellectual property) while waiting for a secure DRM (digital-rights-management) scheme to materialize. The complexity of DRM, however, makes it a nontrivial addition to a system, especially a consumer device with a low cost threshold.

His concluding sentence sums it up nicely:

Of course, you can always try charging a reasonable price and trusting people to be honest. Just think of all the money you'll save not having to implement DRM.

Posted on 26 November, 2003

Just Clocks

This five-year old autistic boy specializes in creating images of clocks.

Posted on 26 November, 2003

Forks, Spoons, And More

Further proof that you can find just about anything on the Web: The History of Eating Utensils.

Containing approximately 1,300 items, this collection was assembled by Carl Austin Rietz, an inventor and businessman in the food industry. His interest in the industry led him on travels around the world to collect objects used in the production, processing, storage, presentation, preparation, and serving of food.

Posted on 26 November, 2003

Mo Kin On The Xylophone

This short video is pretty good.

This is a truly amazing amazing music video of Mo Kin, a cute , three-year-old North Korean girl performing a very complicated and interesting song on the xylophone.

Posted on 26 November, 2003

Pork Martinis

Venomous Kate might like this one: In Search of the Perfect Pork Martini.

The meat cocktail stands out above wobbly, cranberry-tainted attempts at bar trendiness.

When one abandons the olive garnish for that of a pork-rind wedge, the pork Martini merges the flavors of the working class with that of wealthier ones, bridging social strata. It has the humanitarian goal of bettering the nutrition of alcoholics, offering protein for those who prefer their lunches liquid: since meat digests longer, it will both inebriate and offer nutrients for longer periods!

Pictured here is a variant, called the sausage martini.

Posted on 26 November, 2003

Holiday Shopping And the DMCA

From Chilling Effects: Bargain Shoppers Chilled by Retailers' DMCA Threats.

As the holiday season approaches, bargain shoppers not only have to deal with getting through their gift lists and waiting in store lines, but this year they will also have to contend with the chilling effects of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown procedure. When major retail stores including Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, Staples, and Office Max learned that the content from their upcoming sales circulars were being posted on the Web, they sent their lawyers to get the information taken down.

These corporations claim not to have authorized the release of their advertisements for what is known in the retail industry as "Black Friday," the big shopping day after Thanksgiving when stores expect to increase their profits at the end of the year.

Posted on 26 November, 2003

The Rhinestone Cowboy

No, this item isn't about Glen Campbell's DUI arrest. It's about a contrabass Balalaika.

Here is the Rhinestone Cowboy. It is a contrabass balalaika that was built in the Chicago area in the 1920's, and played for years at a Chicago Russian restaurant.

Posted on 26 November, 2003

500 Greatest Albums

From Rolling Stone: 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Here are the first 10:

1. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles
2. Pet Sounds, The Beach Boys
3. Revolver, The Beatles
4. Highway 61 Revisited, Bob Dylan
5. Rubber Soul, The Beatles
6. What's Going On, Marvin Gaye
7. Exile on Main Street, The Rolling Stones
8. London Calling, The Clash
9. Blonde on Blonde, Bob Dylan
10. The Beatles ("The White Album"), The Beatles

Posted on 26 November, 2003

Suicide In Iraq

Here's an article about a topic I hadn't even thought about: At least 17 US troops have committed suicide in Iraq; Army seeks answers.

Since April, the military says, at least 17 Americans - 15 Army soldiers and two Marines - have taken their own lives in Iraq. The true number is almost certainly higher. At least two dozen non-combat deaths, some of them possible suicides, are under investigation according to an AP review of Army casualty reports.

Posted on 26 November, 2003