Sunday, March 26, 2006

Perspectives on music piracy, "Canada Gives Safe Harbor to Music Pirates"

Canada has the highest "illegal" download rate per capita (the record execs are too slow to understand this word) in the world.

I say go Canada,!

Canada's plan makes sense really, and if you think of it, is what has been applied to older technology. You can tape and movie or show, and this cost is recouped by tariffs on the blank casettes. Downloading is no different.

Hell, we should make Microsoft software illegal, seeing as MS is in bed with the RIAA and other DRM fanatics. ;)

" Nobody addresses the fact that no artist NOT ONE ARTIST RECIEVES MONEY FROM INTERNET MUSIC STORES.

No From Itunes, not from any competitor.

All this money goes into record exec pockets.


Exceptions to the sentence above are the very very few richest of the rich artists who actually own their own record label, which is virtually nobody... and artists who do not perform live, who is again virtually nobody.

More common are the little guys like Nickelback who nobody knows or cares about until their music is circulated across P2P and their popularity explodes.

Recording Companies are obsolete. Plain and Simple.
Their job has been to facilitate music creation for artists and deliver it to consumers. Computers have replaced them for creation, and the internet has replaced them for delivery.

All they did was use their position to force artists over the years to give up the rights of their works in exchange for their vital service. Now their service isnt vital.

They're just trying to hold on to the money. Ripping it from the piggy banks of little kids seems ok to them."

"The RIAA and CRIA are desperately trying to paint file sharers in Canada with the same brush they did in the US... as criminals ("pirates"). But it simply isn't so. Its LEGAL. Its PAID FOR. And the recording industry gets paid (although, surprise, they have been very slow to pass those payments on to the artists).

Is Canada's solution the best solution? Probably not. Is it better than the utterly inept business-centric DMCA-crippled solution in the USA? Absolutely. It is idiotic for record labels to be suing their customers, price fixing their product, loading their product with virus-ladden and exploit producing DRM, and then asking people to go out and buy their products. I'm surprised they sell anything at all.

Everyone is trying to find their way through this new digital world, and the record companies either will or they won't. If they don't, you can be damn sure that a group of people that do "get it" will be there to fill the void, and thus replace any lost jobs. The mantras of capitalism are "Evolve or die" and "only the strong survive", not "Steadfastly refuse to change and sue anybody that attempts to change without you". The record labels would be wise to figure that out before they lose it all."

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Just how well does Dani know me?


Dani mentioned to me about this card some customer at work gave to her and tried to sell her on it.

It claimed these "magic pills", if placed in your gas tank, gives you 18-22% better mileage.

Somehow I doubted this claim (as using a premium fuel does not normally provide that high of a benefit, even), as I suspect Dani did as well; anyway, she caught me on trying to give a "history lesson" , and then said I would probaby blog on it. The thing is, she said this just before I thought of it. Heh. :)

Oh, and an interesting useless tidbit I learned in class today: women have twice the vision resolution as men do, on average. The professor thought this is because women were (are) the primary care-givers more often then not, and would need it in raising the children :)

Makes sense, when you think of it. I think in general women have better attention to detail then men.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Energy problems

I ran into an interesting blog/site,

The Ergosphere

Mostly this guy's (I'm assuming he's an chemist/engineer/or some other technical person) opinions on energy issues.

Really, what it boils down to for a lot of energy issues is that we still can't store energy effectively; and the energy density / charging rates of the devices we do have (batteries, fuel cells) pale in comparison to good ol' gasoline. This is why we have used oil for so long: sure the energy conversion process of chemical energy (gas)--> mechanical power is very low (~20%), versus say an electric motor @ 95%, but that means nothing for a vehicle if you need to use a ton of batteries to replace a 40L gas tank ;) This is the main reason most automotive companies have reduced their focus on electric vehicles: until a better electrical energy storage mechanism is made, they are pretty useless.

With supercapacitors, fuel cells, new battery technologies (for instance, Ni-Mh batteries have came a long way in the past 10 years) all improving , this barrier to more efficient vehicles and power generation may be diminishing.

In conclusion, it's a good time to be a chemist, perhaps: the world is facing a pending energy crisis, and the only ways to really fix it are a better means of storing energy. A better way of storing energy means a lot on the power generation front, as well. This would make solar and wind power much more enconomical and useful, as well as removing some peak power generation demands (you don't need as much reserve generation capacity if you can just store it when you need it.)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

There is a GOD!

Futurama will be back with 26 new episodes! Wooo Hooo!

Atleast, according to Billy West, the voice of Fry and many others on the show, says that they are just about to ink the deal.

Apparently they were going to make 4 direct to DVD movies, but opted for this instead.

Where's the Simpson's movie that has been in the air for years, anyway?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Is recent history bound to repeat itself already?

I've been following the BBC news a bit (via the convienient dynamic bookmarks of Firefox); the whole Nuclear situation with Iran seems to be paralleling what happened in Iraq only a few years ago..

The UN, mainly the US section, is opposing Iran having any Nuclear research program. This is unfair . Sure, Nuclear research can lead to making bombs, but it also can lead to cleaner energy production, which developing countries like Iran, China ,etc desperately need (they burn oil/coal even more than we in North America do.)

I understand that the US would wish that Iran not develop nuclear weapons, but they don't have to right to tell them "no nuclear research". That's like 100 years ago saying "no combustion research" because combustion research can lead to making better bombs. I think oftentimes the US politicans forget they are the only country to ever use an Atomic weapon, twice mind you.

I'm just afraid the US is going to call the "Iran has weapons of mass destruction, etc etc" and protrude in there for more oil interests like they did in Iraq (after all, Bush and his entire cabinet and friends are Oil Tycoons.) This would lead to more possible terrorist retaliation.

ON the Canada front.. it seems the newly elected Tories are starting to stir the pot already.

They want to can the Liberals idea for child care; wait a second, Canada needs better child care support, as we have a declining population, we need to convince people to have more kids, not less. If the liberal plan wasn't good enough, improve it, don't just can the entire idea.
I just don't want Harper to be a Bush yes man, which I think he is in danger of being.

I wonder if Bush could get kicked out like the Liberals did in Canada? I'm not the familiar with US politics, but it seems like a good idea. The US needs non-oil tycoons (whether Republican or Democrat) in power, I think.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Gimme Shelter

Just finished watching the 60's music documentary- "Gimme Shelter".

3 months after Woodstock, in '69, another grand gathering of 60's rock was planned in San Fransico

Some bad planning on part of the organizers and sponsors occurred however, in addition to a truly unruly crowd:
- The Hell's Angel's as security (clearly high on LSD and extremely drunken).
- 2 of the sponser's bailing out only hours before. This ensures 300,000+ hippies quickly become 300,000+ angry hippies as they have to move from one location to another over the course of 3 days to see the show.
- Letting a group of people who were clearly mobbish and wildly spaced out before the show start, stay there.
- No tall platform (the performer's are maybe 5 ft from front row, with only maybe a 4' platform high).
- It's cleary a few of the members wanted to get the hell out after the first 4 violent outbreaks... can't blame 'em.
- I seriously think they (The Stones and the other performers/crew) didn't just bail because they were afraid of a mass riot...

Wow, I bet they weren't intending all this shit to happen when they said "hey, why don't we make a documentary of this event?"

All in all, I think it was great luck only 1 person died...