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Showing posts from October, 2005

Google Print

I haven't written specifically about Google Print (although I've alluded to it a couple of times), but I thought, hey, better late than never.

There are literally millions of posts all over the Web about this, so I won't bore you with a recap. What I will do is ask a question that has been bothering me and that keeps me from fanboying about Google Print.

First, some back story. In college, I had more than one professor who chose to use a text that wasn't in print anymore. What this usually meant was photocopies of the pages of the book in question from the university library. If I made the copies (and didn't get called out for copying "too much" of the book), the library staff didn't seem to mind. However, if the professor did so (or his staff) and handed those copies out to the students, that had to be cleared for all the copyright BS, as if the University were reprinting the entire book. (There was some arbitrary threshold if I remember correctly.) It…

Why Does God Hate Amputees?

A totally biased, simple, attack on the religious. It's the same, tired, "religious people are mindless idiots" argument. WIth a clever title. And lots of straw men. Actually, one big straw man, but that never seems to matter.

By the way, God is bad because men are mortal. And he doesn't exist because the Bible is fake (I love self-referential arguments). Shove that in your philosophical... pipe and smoke it.

If you want an interesting topic for discussion about God, try God, A Biography by Jack Miles.

Link

Common Census

Via S.S. Trudeau we get a link to the Common Census map, drawn not by political boundaries, but by influence. Influence in this case is measured by respondants to the (brief) survey about what you feel is your community.

This is a very interesting map and illustrates a commonly held perception about Michigan; that of the sphere's of influence within the state. I wonder if this holds true for the other regions of the country.

Check it out and contribute; it's only as good as people's input.

CommonCensus Map Project

Attack of the Blogs

Congratulations to Forbes for having one of the most poorly written articles on blogging ever. Daniel Lyons, who obviously falls squarely on the side of the older styles of journalism (those would be nepotism, invective, and abuse), pens a mighty blow against "the ultimate vehicle for brand-bashing, personal attacks, political extremism and smear campaigns", blogs. Here's a nice sampling:

Often a bashing victim can't even figure out who his attacker is. No target is too mighty, or too obscure, for this new and virulent strain of oratory.

"Bloggers are more of a threat than people realize, and they are only going to get more toxic. This is the new reality," says Peter Blackshaw, chief marketing officer at Intelliseek...

"I'd say 50% to 60% of attacks are sponsored by competitors," says Bruce Fischman, a lawyer in Miami for targets of online abuse.

One blog, Groklaw, exists primarily to bash software maker SCOGroup in its Linux patent lawsuit agains…

Scourge of the Earth

The comments situation here will continue as I just had a fun peek into my server stats. 22.09% of the requests to my site are to mt-comments.cgi. Oddly, the most bandwidth passes from my Politics category, but that's another story.

Now, I don't pretend to be in any way important to the community; this is a vanity site and a chance for me to screw around with a server without nuking one my own machines. Still, I was amazed at the traffic that spammers bring to this back-woods URL. In the last 80 days, 7691 hits were recorded to just mt-comments.cgi. That's a little under 100 a day. That's almost, well, 100 times more than the legit visitors I get. (Thanks to AAiOR for continuing to read, BTW; if you're ever coming to Chelsea, drop me a line. I think I owe you a beer.)

Anyway, as humbling as a stats check was, I'm going to keep the comments open to registered users only. Sorry, but mainland China is a little too friendly to the scum of the internet.

Comedy Central Drops a Motherload

Comedy Central has announced that on November 1, they will launch Motherload, a broadband IPTV service. Yes, it will include The Daily Show because, if it didn't, no one would have noticed the press release.

This is a cool idea; Comedy Central has decent traction among the high-bandwidth crowd thanks to the Daily Show and they probably realize that they get a lot of publicity from the file trading of clips of the show. They don't issue C&Ds to everyone who posts them because it gets them more viewers. Motherload gives them the ability to bring those people back to their site (read: more advertising), but also gets eyes on new shows. It's an incubator for new content.

We'll see how they screw this up (they have the dreaded "$SERVICE Video player" phrase in the press release, so some kind of wonky DRM is obviously going to be a part of this (WMV? Real Player?) Hopefully it's not too intrusive.

Hey Comedy Central, chuck some bucks at Odeo and get video encl…

My blog is worth how much?

I take Paypal, bad checks, and whompum.

Hell, at this price, I'll be busy for the next week setting up Splogspot accounts.


My blog is worth $3,951.78.
How much is your blog worth?

Link

Extending Google Print

Funny stuff.

"Never mind those. Listen -- I can use Google's logic to get free copies of films, music -- anything I want! All I have to do is borrow the CDs or DVDs, downloaded music or video or whatever, copy them, and then offer some sort of 'fair use' excerpt index service, just like Google is doing with the books. It's the perfect gimmick. Maybe I could runs ads with them too -- that's where Google is really raking it in. Hell, if Google can do this sort of thing with one kind of copyrighted work without paying, why can't anyone else do it too, and why should it be restricted just to books?"

REALITY RESET: "Free for All: The Google Excuse"[via Kottke]

Google Goes Exclusive

Via Dan Gillmor, we get a link to Dave Winer. I'm not a huge Dave Winer fan, with all that "I did this so you must credit me" crap for technology that is everywhere. We all know that Tim Berners-Lee came up with the web, but we don't put his name next to every mention ("See our website; thanks to Tim Berners-Lee"). Dave essentially crabs about the same thing with RSS and podcasting (and don't get me started on Adam Curry).

But, I'm off track. Dave is one of those people that, well, you either know about him or you don't. He's got his moments of stupendous annoyance and other moments, like today, where he has flashes of deep insight.

Dave's target this time is a Silicon Valley behemoth that is forgetting how it got to where it is: Google.

Later this week Google will have their invite-only Zeitgeist conference. It's as closed as a conference can be. And this is the company we lifted on our shoulders and held up as a shining example of th…

Jack Thompson - The Saga Continues

Quick follow-up. Ars Technica has a great summary of the events along with some new details.

The Penny Arcade fans have banned together and worked up a detailed account of Jack's activities. One of the forum members has reported the entire incident to the FBI, including the detailed report (forum thread here [NSFW language]). The letter has also been sent to the Florida Bar Association who has already once reprimand Thompson in 1998.

Disbarment might be a pipe dream, but it's one more step on Jack's way to the bottom. By the way, search for John B. Thompson on Google for some hilarious reading.

Arbor Update Flips the Racists

Arbor Update, a local Ann Arbor blog, recently posted about the riots in Toledo (CNN story). Throughout the day, I've been following the hilarious thread as trolls are driven to the post, likely from a search or some post in the neo-Nazi forum somewhere. After some people called for the racist crap be deleted, one of the mods at Arbor Update flipped the comments and proposed donating $1 for each racist comment made in the thread. Many others have joined in, and the flames continue.

Of course, being Ann Arbor, someone had to ruin a highly entertaining troll-bashing by starting the "conservative are Nazis" BS; nice to see everyone's true colors are starting to show through.

But, it's a good cause, in a macabre sort of way. Check it out, make a donation. Help fight racist, anti-Semitic, idiots.

Dear Channel 7

I tried to post the following message on your "forums" in response to the hit piece tonight on the governor, but you have a character limit. My commend got deleted as well; must be a technical problem. So, if someone would get get lucky enough to surf over here, here's my response to Steve Wilson's "report" Mackinac Mansion Part I.

Note to the management: you lost a viewer tonight.

What's next? "See Steve's next report where he continues to insinuate that the First Gentleman is living a swingin' bachelors lifestyle, tomorrow at 7!

Whats the matter Steve, Granholm put you in your place? The juices running a little slower lately? Needed a little yellow journalism fix to get your warmed up for the election cycle?

With an election as important as this mayors race, a budget crisis that could bankrupt the City of Detroit, and real problems everywhere in between, Channel 7 could better serve the community with real stories, not this kind of sensatio…

Penny Arcade is going to be even funnier than usual in a little bit

I'm going to stop apologizing for it and just give into the farce that has become Jack Thompson. (Note to certain readers, it must be something about the last name.)

Jack has now faxed a letter to the Seattle PD (where PA is located) asking that the authors of PA, Gabe and Tycho, be arrested. Of course, he got their website wrong, but that doesn't detract from the fun language and defamation suit he brought on himself. He accuses PA of extortion and criminal harassment, both of which I'm pretty sure require evidence in order to prosecute.

Jack, you have made yourself a public figure and, as such, are open to a whole level of mockery and satire the likes of which you obviously are unable to deal with. "I Hate Jack Thompson" T-shirts are not harassment, they're hella-funny. I highly recommend you crawl back under a rock and bother us no more. Cops are smarter than you pathetic, emotional pleas and insinuations. They're not dumb enough to arrest people who do…

Sorry, one more Jack Thompson post today

I don't know what gets this guy under my skin and, yes, I'm playing right into his sick need for attention, but I got drop one last post about this twit.

Not only does he whelch on charities, but others have to make up for him. The guys at Penny Arcade have donated $10,000 to The Entertainment Software Association Foundation in Jack's name.

Jack, as he will remind you, is a lawyer and, as such, likes to make wild, legal-sounding threats. See the Penny Arcade link above as well as this page over at VG Cats.

And the worst part, people like my folks don't hear this side of the story. Will someone from a responsbile news orginization (not C|Net) pick this up and wipe Jack Thompson off the map? Please? There are people doing far worse damage to society, and we really need to get back to them.

Jack Thompson chickens out

Following up on this post, Jack Thompson, lawyer, psychic, and now, apparently, back-peddling fool has rescinded his offer of $10,000 to charity if someone built his proposed violent video game. Why? Because someone did it. Jack now claims, in totally lawyerly fashion, that his original offer was satire. Unfortunately, we know that's not true as Jack can't actually identify satire, based on his reaction to the produced mod of GTA:SA where you can play as Jack Thompson.

So, either one of two things occurred here. Either Thompson's original piece was satire and he never intended to donate money to charity or he's lying now to get out of donating the money to charity. We await his explanation soon.

Beer of the Moment

Every brewer has the passion for a good beer. I'm attempting to pose as a brewer, so why not take on some accoutrement? With that, I begin the Beer of the Moment segment (with a Beer category), wherein I gush about the beer that I have currently fallen for and avoid committments to some "of the $TIMESEGMENT" titling.

This edition of Beer of the Moment (or BotM, since everything deserves an acronym) is Great Lakes Brewing Company's Dortmunder Gold. Dortmunder is a Golden Lager (according to the label) brewed in the style of the town of Dortmund, Germany.

Vitals

ABV: 5.8%
ABW: 4.3%
IBU: 30

(Ratebeer page)

Reading the Ratebeer page makes you think you have try to like this beer, which is like saying you need to work up to sweet chocolate. Sure, you might have to if you come from the dark chocolate world, but most don't. The beer is a dark straw color; it reminds me of a dark Scotch. There is very little head, but a medium body. I expected something much heavier.

It smel…

Jack Thompson goes after Penny Arcade

For those that don't know, Jack Thompson (notice the subtle URL) is the lawyer-cum-vigilante who is trying to make himself the face of the anti-video game movement. He gushes over these idiot laws over video games passed all over the country. (Side note to our Governor, Jennifer Granholm; you lost my vote.) He's basically the latest incarnation of the hysterical crowd that first blamed music, then blamed movies, and are now blaming video games for people's lack of responsibility. His equation usually goes like this: innocent child (think teddy bears and butterflies) plays big, bad video game, the goes on a Natural Born Killers-style rampage, slaughtering person, beast, and plant.

According to his website (see subtle URL above), he's also a psychic. He predicted "...in an interview by Matt Lauer on NBC's Today show three weeks before the Beltway Snipers were apprehended, that one of the snipers "might very well be a video gamer as young as 15 trained on a g…

Comment spammers win again

Once again, comment/trackback spammers have blasted this site. It's taken me the better part of an hour to change the settings for Movable Type.

For the foreseeable future, comments are for registered commenters only and trackbacks are off. If you have a comment and don't want to register, email me.

Digital Lust - Part, uh, it's a long-running thing

I'm sitting in a training session right now (thank God for WiFi and Bloglines).

Can I just say that I almost bought a video iPod while someone was droning on about sub-contracts? I'm not a fanboy or anything (see previous posts), but iPod + video + ability to buy TV shows to watch on iPod? Wow... nice work Apple.

BTW, the Apple site is at a crawl, but go check out the new stuff... very cool.

Apple