Thursday, March 31, 2005

Yay Mark Cuban

I was actually one of the few who liked his show. I thought he came off a bit egomaniacal, but I was sure he was a smart guy and quite cool as well. But anyway, someone alerted me to a post on his blog about the grokster case.

The post is right on the money and I urge you all to read it. Mark gets it, why don't the rest of us?

what defines a haiku again?

I drempt it would rain
and so it came
Torrential and wet

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

An Idea that will never see the light

Ok, finally most people now get the mp3 and digitization of music concept. It took you all about 6 years or so (was that when I had my first mp3 player?), but you seem to get it. Thanks to Apple and that lame old iPod.

How about I change the way you think about music by offering you a service. Pay no mind to how it can work or the details, just follow my broad strokes. And believe in the fact that I know what I propose can in fact be accomplished (from a technical standpoint) with just a little bit ofthinking.

Say I was offering you a box that was similar to your CD player that you hook up to your stereo. That box also would be connected to your internet connection and optionally (and preferrably) to your home network as well. Now, that box has a screen on it and a remote and is super easy to use (for examples sake, lets say apple designed the interface).

What would this box do? Well, it would play music for you, streamed, song by song over the internet. You could use your PC (or the remote) to decide what to listen to, create playlists, or listen by album or genre, or year, or whatever.

Pretty neat right? Ok, I know what you are thinking. Big deal, I can do that now, I have a bunch of my own music on my computer already and there are boxes that play it for me and I can also copy the music to my iPod or other mp3 player.

Ok, I'll swetten up the service I'm offering. Say the music you listen to on the box is stored inside of it so you could copy it to your iPod or burn it to a CD to listen to in your car? Better?

You're not convinced of the brilliance of my idea yet are you? Ok, here's where you will run to sign up. What if I told you that the library of songs to choose from, the songs that you could play over the box, or use on your mp3 player, was as big as the apple iTunes library?

Would you pay me $10 a month for that? I bet you would. But guess what? I'm not done yet. What if I told you that the library included every recorded piece of music ever recorded?

I have your attention now don't I? Think about it. You would never need a CD or a big hard drive or anything. All you would need to have a music collection would be a subscription to my service. CD collections would be replaced with your own collection of playlists. As long as you paid me my monthly fee you have full access to the music, to all music. Would $10 a month be a fair price? $20, $30?

There would be no need to go out and buy or store any more music. Think of where you listen to music and tell me how my system is not as good as the current one?

There are so many angles here. Once we do away with the psysical holders of music and the thought that to enjoy it we need to buy it and keep it and hold it in our hands, we can look at music (and by extension all media) in a totally new and very cool way.

I mean, the CD collection was the way to go for quite some time now, but all it really represents is one persons taste in music and all it gives the owner is the satisfaction that they can play what they want when and where they want it. If I can give you all that, why go through the process of holding onto it psysically? It's pointless.

So, you say, how can one company buy or own the rights to all music? Perhaps they can't. But if all music rights holders decided to share their music in this way, there could be other companies that buy rights in aggrigate and then sell them off to you and I as virutal collections.

From the perspective of a label, they are getting a huge amount of money for something that they already own. The labels would actually make more money if they didn't have to deal with the expenses of the distribution and pressing of CD's. Once recorded and stored digitally, the distribution is virtually free. They could go back to doing what they are supposed to be doing - finding new talent and recording them.

Why are the labels so stupid? Can't they see that if they just sat back and tried looking at things a bit differently, they may be able to in fact make more money?

Ok, so some of you are saying, whats to stop me from downloading everyting, storing it and not paying a monthly fee ever again? I have two reasons and I will leave you to decide which one will mean more in the end.

Reason #1 - people, on average are lazy. Sure we could do that, but why? Why would I spend 80% of my free time illegally downloading and storing music when I could just pay someone $10 or $20 a month and be done with it?

Reason #2 - Mission Impossible. The files can be engineered to self destruct after a certain period of time. Withough being too technical, a system can be set up that would essentially boil down to "when you stop paying the subscription, the music stops playing".

Before I go, let me help you get over your fears about reason #2. You're thinking "but what if I stop paying? will I loose all my music? That means I'll be indentured to the man!". Well, you won't. You'll still have your playlists and your collection will still be intact, you just won't be able to access it unless you find and pay for a service provider.. much like cable, you know the shows you want to watch, but if you don't pay for it, you can't watch them.

This can be done. And it should be done. But, it won't be.. not for a looooong while.. especially if the supreme court fucks up the Grokster case.. We'll see...

Uplink

For those of you who always wanted to understand hacking, I just found a really cool game from some independant developers called Uplink . I tried the demo and loved it so I bought the game. I've been unsuccessful at winning though since I've been caught the 2 times I've played. (2nd time was a lot longer though). Anyway, love the game and perhaps you will as well...

Tears For Fears

The new TFF album "Everybody Loves a Happy Ending" isn't too bad. I would put it up there with their last 2 or 3 records. I will reiterate (although you've never heard me say it here before) but those guys put so many Beatles references in their music, it's amazing! This one is no exception.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Louis XIV

So, it's not often that I click on web ads, but there was this one of a naked hot chick in the shower with some words written on her back. It was on Gawker so I knew it had to be ok. I clicked on it. (You can too if you like, it's here.)

Anyway, so it was a promotion for a band. Oh great, the lame ass record labels are trying to get me to listen to something.. Ha! I would never fall for their mass market crap....

As I was looking at the girl, the music started playing. And guess what? I fucking loved it. I'm not sure how long I will like it, it's got that kind of british 60s pop feel to it, but for now, I love it. So go check out the new Louis XIV album right now!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Slingo

Ok, so I'm at the liquor store the other day and see this new thing. Slingo online from the NJ lottery.

I remember this game from a few years ago (see slingo.com). It's quite addictive and kind of mindless. Like Bingo on crack.

I buy 5 tickets.

I'm not a huge gambler, but I'll tell you what, the game was fun as hell. I now plan on buying 5 tickets a week. Better than buying a pind of Vodka a week no? We'll see how this goes..

Oh, and now I'm hooked on the regular (free) version at slingo.com too.. thanks NJ Lottery!

Movies

Just saw 2 documentaries this past weekend..

1) Touching the Void - Pretty incredible story and very well made.. I still am in disbelief
2) My Architect - An amazing story about a guy from Philadelphia that is known all around the world.

Music

Ok, some cool music that I meant to put up on the old blog that never made it..

(in no order)

1. The Decemberists - Anything by them is so far quite good.. mellow but good
2. The Chemical Brothers - Push The Button
3. Marianne Faithful - Before The Poison
4. Smog - Supper
5. ccc - Revolved - This is a mosh up quite in the style of the Grey Album mixing the Beatles Revolver with all kinds of stuff.. Quite good!
6. Anything by Thelonious Monk - I just decided he's amazing.

Philadelphia Film Festival

So the Philadelphia Film Festival just put up tehir film listings for this years event. I am so excited! I've gone the past 5 years and it just keeps getting better and better. This year there are some cool guests as well as the usual incredible lineup of films (of which I intend to see at least 20). Check out the website and go!!

intro

I'm a serious blogger. Well, let me qualify that. I have lots of experience blogging. I've been doing it for over 2 years now and I've been on about 5 different blog sites with varying success. I've always had the point of view that I should be free with my personal life and information. I mentioned friends, names, places, all kinds of stuff. I mean, it's hard enough to write so dealing with censoring yourself just makes it more hard.

So, my last blog abruptly stopped. I had like 50 or so regular readers and they have no idea what happened to me. I just stopped writing. Why? Too much personal info led to problems. This woman I've never met, but had a relationship of sorts with had tracked me down using info from the blog. I thought my unlisted phone number and the fact that I've moved 2 times since I had last spoken to her would be a good enough insulator but I was wrong.. I had misestimated her quite a bit.

But I still had ideas and movie reviews and tv show commentary and politics to discuss.. What to do? And so here I am again. This time, however, I'm not revealing anything that can lead anyone to me. Maybe someday I'll let go, but for now, that's my plan... All names will be in letter form, and no real locations will be revealed. Lets just say for sake of simplicity that I live in Philadelphia. Even though I don't exactly.

And readership? Well, who knows who will find me..