Wednesday, October 10, 2007

And the Award for 'Best Implementation of a Double Standard' goes to ...

... the American Legal System! And I'm not just talking about judges, lawyers, law enforcement, no sir! I'm including regular American citizens ... specifically Minnesotans! Let me explain:

Supporting Case #1: PhotoCop

In an effort to cut down on people running red lights and causing accidents (like, for instance, the idiot that ran a light and crashed into a schoolbus injuring 6 people), Minneapolis installed automatic cameras at intersections that would snap a picture of any vehicle that ran a red light. The snapped license plate was then used to track down the owner of the car, who was sent a traffic ticket. Makes sense, and it netted the city around $2.5 million in fines ... until people whined and a judge declared the system illegal: Just because the car was breaking the law doesn't mean that the owner of it was behind the wheel and (therefore) should not be held responsible.

Ok ... thinking about that, I can see that logic ... to a point, though frankly, if you gave your car to someone who broke the law, are you really free from blame ... even if only to be blamed as an idiot? And what if you gave your car to the same offender again? How smart does that really make you? But, I digress.

The point: Because you can't see the person behind the wheel to verify that it is indeed the owner of the car, you cannot hold the owner responsible for anything that vehicle is involved in. Hold that thought.

Case #2: Jammie Thomas

In a recent decision by a Duluth, MN, jury, a woman was found guilty of illegally sharing music ... to the tune of $222,000 in fines (I would have linked to the Star Tribune, but they're expecting you to sign up for the content and I don't tolerate those retarded games ... nice one "STrib", you loose to the BBC). Why so much money? Because the RIAA (AKA "Music Mafia Run Amok") claims that the service they enlisted to track down evil music sharers traced illegal peer-2-peer sharing activity back to a certain IP address ... said IP address being further traced to the computer in Jammie's home. Can they prove that she either was physically sitting at the computer performing the illicit act? No. Can the prove that she set up the sharing software? No.

But, apparently, in this case, it's not necessary to be caught in the act. That you own the offending machinery is good enough?

Say what? Doesn't this strike you as even mildly contradictory? It's ok not to be accountable when your vehicle potentially kills someone, yet woe be unto you if the RIAA levels a claim against you they can't prove you physically did. I've always believed that the winters here in Minnesota have an adverse affect on the ability of humans to think rationally.

I can't help but wonder what that Duluth jury was thinking ... assuming they even thought at all about it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

'Tis Talkin' Time Again, Me Lads

Shiver me timbers, kiss the black spot!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

"What's good for the goose ..."

"... is good for the gander." At least, that's the way the adage goes.

Apparently, the contemporary equivalent is "If it worked for the RIAA and they didn't get busted for extortion, then it should work for the MPAA with the same level of criminal immunity." I think I'm going to be sick.

Can we at least turn the tables? Can we demand that they stop paying Hollywood actors incredible sums of money for crap movies and we promise to still go see them from time to time?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Is it just me ...

... or has Google Reader become slower than crap lately? Try to add a feed, and it wanders off into no-man's land. Use Firefox, flip between tabs, and it takes upwards of a minute to come back to the Reader tab.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Google ... hello? You been "improving things?"

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

And I thought the media was bad

Ok, so I absolutely detest the feeding frenzy the media's been in around last Wednesday's collapse of the 35W bridge here in town. I'm even disappointed with how MPR's gone FoxNews with inanely repetitve reporting, leading questions, and dubious "experts".

But ... that all pales in comparison to this joker, who further reinforces my comprehensive disgust with organized religion.

Fred, got a bit of advice for you: stay the $#@!% away from our city and our state. Your idiotic, moronic, childish, brain-dead, headline-grabbing, pathetic excuse for religious intelligence should stay right where you are, with the rest of the idiots.

Better yet, come on up! Bring your entire congregation of losers, so we can throw your sorry, stupid asses in jail!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

I'm fine

I wasn't near downtown with this happened last evening. While my heart goes out to those who've either lost loved ones or just don't know yet, I'm growing more and more irritated at the media, even public radio, who apparently has decided that the Fox News method of reporting is the most effective way to go. Then again, they're no better or worse than the massive number of gawkers flocking to the site just to watch and hopefully witness a wee bit of carnage (and, even better, if they can film it and get it up on YouTube).

You want a good example of how low our species has started to stoop? Watch the media feeding frenzy, the litigation bloodlust, and the repetitive, inane mutterings of one "expert" after another over the next few weeks.

It's a tragedy, yes. Let's treat it, and those affected by it, with the dignity and respect they deserve, let the authorities get on with the unenviable task of sorting it all out ... and get on with life.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Internet Radio Day of Silence

If you believe, truly believe, in the RIAA's extortion tactics, bald-faced lies, and petulant "we're protecting the artists" statements ... do nothing today.

If, however, you want to enjoy music the way you want to, not the way some overpaid, under-endowed media mogul wants to sell it to you, call your congressman today and get them to listen to the silence:
Act now, or don't whine when the silence becomes permanent.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Swarm of Angels Trailer

Yes, I'm one of the swarm. We've just released a trailer for the project. Check it out:

Monday, May 14, 2007

Parking Ramp Morons

Hmmm ... looks kinda tight:


And, it's not much better on the other side:


What to do? Simple ... climb out through the trunk.

I think SUVs should be banned from parking ramps.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Minnesota "Nice", as in "Nice job parking, idiot"

I tell ya, some people just have no appreciation for those around them:


I mean please. If you look in the lower left of the picture, the yellow you see below the SUVs bumper is the dividing line of the adjacent parking space. If there hadn't been a cement post on the right of the car (giving me extra room to climb in over the stick shift), I'd have to have gotten into my car through the trunk.

This is the making's of a real good week.

Friday, April 20, 2007

A Moment to Reflect

The governor of Virginia's declared today a day of morning:

Virginia Tech -- 04.16.2007

I think we all need to stop ... reflect.  If you wish to lend assistance, check out the Virgina Tech Tribute Blog.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Don Imus Leaves the Airwaves ...

... and, I must say, I'm a bit ambivalent.  MSNBC dropped their simulcast, CBS fired him, the media's "analysts" can't stop talking about it, Al Sharpton claims a victory, Rutgers accepts his apology ... and I can't help but think:

"Are we going to consistently treat everyone who uses racially improper speech with an equal amount of vitriol and retribution?"
If so, then good.  If not, then how many of those loudly screaming now will be silent the next time?

I really hate jumping in on major public brawls like this.  Everybody who's anybody (and plenty of people who aren't) have already opened (and will continue to open) their mouths.  But there's another issue here that's being marginalized:  "What happens the next time?" 

Whether Imus went too far or not isn't the issue moving forward, consistency of response is.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

If it walks like a duck ...

... and talks like the RIAA, it probably is extortion.  It's about time that word got associated with the recording industry's latest tactic.  Wikipedia's entry is most interesting, including such tidbits as:

  • "the simple four words "pay up or else" are sufficient ..."
  • "...may also be committed as a federal crime across a computer system ..."
  • "the message only has to be sent ... to commit the crime ..."
Sounds interestingly familiar, doesn't it?  Even more interesting is it appears to be completely legal for the RIAA, which is a private entity (not a wing of the government).

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A slightly different (yet exciting) definition for "the feed"

In Neal Stephenson's book The Diamond Age, one of the more intriguing (at least, to me) mechanisms was "the feed", a connection that served up atoms for replicator-like devices to use to construct whatever they were programmed to make.  Fantastic fiction?  Perhaps ... but now, it seems that science has discovered a means to bring that concept into the real world.  Maybe not for years, but at least it's moved from fantasy to crudely demonstrated theory.