MonthJanuary 2007

Paris is Burning…

I’m sure everyone by now has heard about the latest treasure trove of information on the press’ darling, Parasite Hilton, that leaked out because the classy heir-head didn’t pay her $200 storage fee. And my, oh my — look at all the dirty laundry. Granted, who doesn’t love a good sex scandal. But that’s just it — a GOOD sex scandal. This scandal is becoming so drawn out it’s almost a full-feature porn. (And most likely one of those ones that is dubbed over and uses special sound effects to sound like a … well … a fist in a jar of mayo.)

According to the NY Post’s Page Six, the content that was unfurled for mass consumption contained:

Prescription bottles for Hydrocodone, a painkiller similar to OxyContin used to manage anxiety disorders, post-party sleep aid Ambien and the herpes medication Valtrex.
A journal analyzing her booze-fueled dreams.
Several bank statements, including one with an ending monthly balance of just $9.26.”

So yes, Paris burning. But apparently only when she pees.

But honestly, I’m seeing a lot of comments on the interweb about what a whore she is because she has herpes. Because having herpes is what makes her a whore. I don’t think now is the time or place for an overtly sexual world that is brimming with STDS to point fingers just because this wonky-eyed-princess displayed a lack of responsibility and didn’t pay her bills.

Everyone has dirty secrets. I know I do. (Not really, Mom — I’m still completely innocent. Promise). The finger pointing shouldn’t be done because she does these things. The finger pointing should happen because she is not careful about how/who/when she does them, and continues with the same light-hearted ignorance post-trauma.

Share THIS.

Ok, so between school and all the articles about the music industry being cry baby bitches over royalties, i have some not-so-sudden realizations about all this dramatic bullshit.

If it weren’t for services like of AllofMP3, (the old) Naptser, Morpheous, and Kazaa, I wouldn’t have found a lot of the music that i love today. AND a lot of the bands that I was introduced to via those forums i have since purchased cds or gone to see in concert. And all my friends know that once I find someone I think is hot shit, I gladly share it with them and spread the joy. Viral marketing, if you will.

On the other hand, I’m GLAD that I downloaded the Gwen Stefani album rather than buying it because it’s absolute crap. To think I could have spent $10-18 on that trash makes me applaud the founders of The Pirate Bay and other P2P groups. (And I can promise you that once I downloaded it, listened to it — or tried to — it was quickly deleted and forgotten.)

I know that I am not the only person out there who is like this, but quite frankly, a lot of American music is awful. I definitely tend to lean more toward the Europe influence or the lesser-known bands that haven’t quite garnered their way to prime commercial success (which is likely a blessing in disguise). And it’s hard to find that sort of stuff without ordering it online. iTunes doesn’t carry it and we’re not allowed to use a European-flavored iTunes (which is 10 shades of retarded).

So, the short of it — record labels need to shut up and do what I tell them to do because quite frankly, they’re getting on my nerves. I’m over their lack of willingness to try something new that could be equally as profitable as was their previous business model (and i mean previous in that it’s obviously dying, and they aren’t making friends with consumers with all their bullshit tantrums).

So all you record label bitches, get over it. Work with us to provide us what we want and earn money doing it, or we’ll go around ya and find another way to get it while you may or (likely) may not profit.

Ok, I’m done ranting.

For now.

I think.

Welcome to School.

I started school today — first day in my pursuit of a Master’s degree. Our first question was on digital libraries and information sharing. “Describe how using a digital library can make your learning experience more efficient and rewarding.” So far, most of the students responses have been one or two paragraphs. I, apparently, went off on a tangent ……… Here’s my response:

I have to admit that this article surprised me in the depth that it covered the various aspects of the production of a digital library. Scanning books and photos, recording music and performances, cataloging history … it’s a very slow and relatively inefficient process on a mass level for the time being. And being that it is still such a new effort, people are slow to adopt — not to mention the ever-living debate of paper vs. digital.

A digital library could, at times, be very helpful to me — provided the indexing and search capabilities are loose (but efficient) enough to get me the information I need with relatively easy searching. I currently catalog my recipes (particularly my own creations) in a database that is searchable by ingredient. I have also previously toyed with the concept of wikis and content amalgamation. It is very useful, but also slow growing. Technological tools need people who are willing to technologically branch out and learn something new. Look how long eBooks have been around — and to this day — I don’t know a single person who would willingly choose to buy an eBook. The concept is novel and sounds like it could be really cool and convenient. Unfortunately, thus far, it hasn’t been.

In the past when I HAVE searched out digital books, half they time they are encased in some sort of DRM (Digital Rights Management) protection scheme that requires a username, password, or have limitations imposed that prevent printing or saving. THIS is not helpful to me as a consumer and prevents me from adopting the technology.

The whole concept of DRM is understandable — but horribly flawed. We now live in a world where oceans of information are available to us with a few clicks of a button. If you really want to find something … chances are, if you look hard enough, you’ll find it — be it a cracked version of Photoshop CS3, Gwen Stefani’s latest album, or even a PDF version your favorite O’Reily pocket guide. And you’ll find it for free. Obviously, it’s not legal to acquire some of those things — but it illustrates the point that regardless of what sort of digital protection (serial numbers, username/passwords, etc), someone will always find a way to get by it. I just read that someone has already found a way to get past HD-DVD encryption methods — and it’s not even a significantly adopted standard (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070115-8622.html).

But — back to the personal digital library — IF the technology used to produce my digital library of music, books, movies, etc. was wrapped in red tape, I would likely be quick to adopt it. However, outdated media moguls are desperately trying to save their dying business models rather than trying to find ways to make money from new technologies. This, in turns, makes a hot mess of rights management and information sharing and prevents 1.) the adoption of new technology, 2.)the creation of new original content distribution methods, and 3.)the motivation for artists, authors, and developers to work in an industry that prohibits full distribution of their wares. Take the law suit against Google that was mentioned in the article, for example. Publishers are suing Google for scanning work that is “in the dark”, yet protected by copyright by unknown peoples. Perhaps if they would contribute to the effort, they could market new books in digital format (via download or cd) as well as in paper print. Additional revenue possibilities. But they choose to waste countless sums of money on a war that, in 10 years, will be completely pointless.

And in the end — we, the consumers, suffer for it. We stick to paperback books and standard web searches. I hope that the situation with DRM works itself out in a way that is fair to everyone and not just a cash cow for some detached business entity.

(This was actually difficult for me to write about. There are a lot of factors to DRM that have an opinion on, as well as the CC (Creative Commons) and GNU -General Public License. All have a significant part in information sharing. Definitely fodder for further conversations.)

Salutation to the Sun — and Satan

I had to make an entry today. The brazen stupidity of people has caused a flare up on my abhorence of extreme religion — in this case, extreme Christianity. Someone in BFE B.C. there is a little area called Quesnel where the school district is trying to kids how to not be fat — and are doing so with a program of exercise which includes Yoga.

This has upset the balance of all that is good and evil in British Columbia. The Devil, apparently, is going to use the introduction of Yoga into school fitness programs as a way to steal away the righteous, unjudging youth of the world. First, you’re doing a Salutation to the Sun, next thing you’re smoking snortin’ coke off a whore’s ass with a needle in one arm and a tattoo gun on the other paintin’ a image of the Devil himself. And to think, it all started to help a poor fat boy learn to stretch so he can tie his own shoes.

This, undoubtedly charming, woman — Chelsea Brears — has decided that Yoga is religion and has no place in her child’s education. If they can’t keep prayer in, they should not be exposed to other religions.

Because, as we know, yoga has caused MULTITUDES of people to flock to other religions. I’m willing to wager a bet (cuz i’m sinful — damn, that yoga when i was 8…) that Miss Chelsea Brears doesn’t even know the origins of Yoga, much less what religion her prized children would be converting TO. Of course, I could be completely wrong, and she may secretly do yoga herself in the dungeon-like basement of her home under the ever-watchful eye of Satan himself.

She says “her son was asked to do different poses and ‘to put his hands together.'” LORD have mercy! I remember when I was young, I was asked to put my hands together — and as soon as I did, I was encircled by swirling darkness and the Dark Lord spoke to me. Next thing I knew I had my hands together — but behind my head with handcuffs and a hooker at my side smoking a cigarette. Damn, that devil.

Stories like this make me want to hunt down Chelsea Brears and punch her in the throat. Get over it. Jesus loves Yoga.

2007: A Year of Unrest

2007 has been less than impressive thus far. I could bitch a whole bunch about x, y, and z — but no one cares to listen to incessant bitching unless it’s witty, and unfortunately, I’m just not witty toady. It seems that the more free time I have, the easier it is for me to bitch. So, I’ve decided that for 2007, I’m going to keep myself busy.

And following in that line of thinking, I enrolled in school (again) today. I’ll be starting my Masters degree in the new few weeks. A Master of Information Systems. 30 credits. $18,000. And a little over a year. Definitely doable, and I’m sorta excited to get it done. None of my friends (that I can currently think of) have Master’s degrees. Plus, i figure that I should be doing it now while i have the time before tuition increases and the degree plan changes.
Additionally, in my free time, I’ve been doing tutorials to learn Flex 2. An amazing tool with a lot nice features. However (even tho I’m pursing Information Systems), I’m not a programmer — and several of the tasks in the tutorials have been a little more advanced than what I am accustomed to. I can understand what is happening, but it’s hard for me to wrap my brain around it enough to put it in a light where it would be applicable in another application. I’ll have to study a little more. (Ya know, it’s also hard because the tutorials re-work themselves to show more effective ways of doing something. So they hardcode the data and then three lessons later go back, strip it all out, and rewrite it using custom classes and other stuff. But I’m learning. And that’s good enough for me.

Anyway. Happy (late) new year. Here’s hopin’ it keeps me plenty busy.

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