Monday, November 27, 2006

Doug Morris, CEO of Universal Music Group, is a wanker

Fridgemagnet helpfully brings this review of the Microsoft Zune to my attention. Less important is the actual device (I'm actually happy with my iPod and, heaven knows, I may well buy a new one when my old one wears out) but rather another example of how the big companies don't understand that the way to deal with piracy is to not act like dicks about it.

"These devices are just repositories for stolen music, and they all know it," said Doug Morris, CEO of Universal Music Group. "So it's time to get paid for it."

See, there's around one percent of the music on my iPod which, I'll admit, I don't own the CDs, so out of 8.5 days worth of music, two or three hours of music I shouldn't have. Two or three hours that I should have gone round car boot sales rooting through bins for, because UMG and their ilk certainly didn't want to sell me the albums any more. But comments like that make me want to up that percentage. If those of us who actually, Mr Morris, aren't crooks, worked over the next five years to make sure that 80, 90% of the music on our MP3 players is stolen, will you then stop treating us like scum? Is the only way to get you to stop treating us like thieves is to act like thieves until your bottom line is so damaged that you are forced to come out of your castle and make nice?

And don't even get my started on how every time I sit down to watch my Boston Legal season one DVDs that I received for my birthday I have to sit through warnings telling me not to steal them.

On that mention of DVD box-sets I'll also point you towards two very interesting essays on the subject: Binge Watching contemporary TV from City of Sound, and the essay by Mark Lawson it refers to.

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

David Blunkett Versus The Fascist State!

OK, which of you buggers has been spiking my food? David Blunkett finally finds a surveillance policy that he does not approve of! Yes, it seems that old Shiteyes believes that CCTV cameras monitoring your every move is okay, but hidden microphones recording what you say isn't.

"There is an enormous difference between surveilling people in terms of CCTV - where what you see is what anyone can see walking down the road - and actually recording someone's private conversations," he said.

Why? If you take the view that visual surveillance is okay, lets say it's because you are in a public space, then would it not make sense that audio surveillance is alright for the same reason? After all, if you're following a Muslim on camera rather than a white skinhead, how can you be sure that he's not calling down a jihad on his mobile phone?

This is all in the context of the Olympics, which seem to have have fallen apart quickly even by modern standards. Yes, the Government that brought you the Millenium Dome has shown that there is no project it cannot make a complete balls-up of and, as Tony Blair will be sailing away next Summer, it looks like his lackeys have pulled out all the stops to make sure that it all falls apart on his watch. Already the cost of the Games have gone up from £3.4 bn to £5 bn. You can see why I'm a little concerned, seeing as it was decided without consultation that I'd be more than happy to pay an extra tax, as a Londoner, for the cost of this thing (yet strangely I wouldn't be prepared to pay any extra taxes for things that might be useful, like hospitals, policemen or transport. Blimey! It would seem that I'm a bastard and never knew it!). Part of the increase in the cost was to pay for a company to make sure the Olympics came in on budget, surely we could get some money back as they've clearly broken the contract?

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Thursday, November 23, 2006



Cats don't always land on their feet. How many cats did they kill to discover this vital bit of information?

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Women, know your limits!

Alternatively, how to cure feminism, which says much the same only this time in a serious article. If a woman meets a man who she is smarter, better and faster than then she should act stupid, clumsy and slow, for the good of everyone.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Squeeee 2006

Squeeee 2006
Originally uploaded by Loz Flowers.

Look what I have! Look what I have! Yeah, that carpet rocks. Oh yeah, and I clumsily dropped a DVD set that turned up in the post on it.

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Donkeys years ago I linked to Sonata for the Unaware that videod Philadelphia commuters and used it to create a piece of music based on their passing in front of cameras. I've just discovered that at the same time elsewhere enginartist Layla Gaye was working on Sonic City, a portable audio system that generates music based on the landscape around the wearer. Unfortunately it seems that this will be written down in history as the Betamax to iPods VHS of portable music systems.

In other news, I can receive the Al Jazeera English news channel. I'll come back with some opinions later in the week when I've watched some.

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

So Cute!

Goth Garden Terrarium. [via BoingBoing]


Tony Blair finally admits that intervention in Iraq is 'a disaster'.

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Now Government ministers are openly mocking Tony Blair

Minister Margaret Hodge is reported to have called the Iraq war Tony Blair's "big mistake in foreign affairs"... After she had criticised the prime minister she said: "I hope this isn't going to be reported."

And I bet she said it in that tone of voice people use when they want people to know they are pretending to be scared. She doesn't care, because Tony won't be in charge in eight months time.

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ID Cards

Biometric passports already cracked.

Anti ID-Cards petition on the number 10 website.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Rumsfeld: 'My Half-Assed Job Here Is Done'

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Skateboarding Girls. Odd.

How to be: A Girl (For Boys), A Boy (For Girls).

Silent Penultimate Panel Watch. Each and every day a comic strip abuses the use of the silent second-to-last panel. Sometimes it results in some weird silent comic zen thing. The blogger's grief is that all too often the people drawing comic strips for newspapers use silent penultimate panels when they shouldn't, because it kills all the fairies in Neverland or something. Um, I'm not sure to be honest. Bad comedy I suppose, is in the eye of this beholder.

[All links via Metafilter]

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Just in from our Not a Surprise to Anyone Outside the Labour Party desk is the news that the British wing of the 'War Against Terror' is being fucked up by Tony Blair and John Reid dancing to the tune of the tabloid press.

Sensible plans to combat terror are now being "submerged by the Government's 'electoral motives'" according to John McStatingda Bleedin' Obvious I would have thought.

The report's authors urged the Government to abandon talk of a "war on terror" and to review its foreign policy.

Yeah, that'll work. Because the Government is happy to accept a link between it's foreign policy and homegrown terrorism.

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Jack Palance's dead, undead, undead, undead!

Oy Siobhan? Do you have a purse? I only ask because I've gone and bought another skirt (a slinky wrap-around number actually) that is sans pockets and am just considering my options. Obviously as I'm rocking the 'bloke in a dress' look (he tells himself) I've got options, there's pocket belts out there for when you want to go the full Rosie the Riveter bit.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

If there's one aspect of the job of being a librarian that I find difficult to get people to understand it's that it's not all glamour, it's not all fast cars, loose women and the legal right to torture and kill anyone you don't like. There's boring things you have to do. For example, at the moment I'm having to buy a couple of thousand quidlingtons of what we call 'Family Saga' books. I'm not sure if they exist or sell so well outside of the UK but they follow a basic pattern, they're about 400 pages long, they have a generic cover in which a young girl stands in a working-class street circa 1932 and in the book someone goes through absolute misery in the period of time between the end of the Boer War and the start of WW2.

Normally the main character is a girl. Sometimes at least one of the parents is missing by the time she's born, maybe he went off to fight in the war. If Dad is still around he's usually an alcoholic and Mum is killed by him soon after giving birth. If Dad isn't around then Mum will be the alcoholic and blame the daughter for driving Dad away, until about five minutes before the vicious old bat dies of old age. If the little girl has any brothers and sisters then they'll all die of cholera or the lurgie and leave her alone, unless she has an older brother who's already sixteen, he'll be really nice to her and then go off and die at one of the big slaughters of the First World War. She'll celebrate puberty with a couple of rapes and get chucked out of home by any parental figure still around. The next thirty years will be a number of ill-advised liasons, any nice men will get killed before she has a chance for any real fun, she'll marry someone who'll use her as a punching bag but, if she can last until the Blitz then he'll get killed in a collapsing house that's been bombed by the Frtitz, leaving the way clear for our heroine, now in her forties, to get it on with the emotionally constipated Air Raid Warden. Only at this point she'll get cancer and die in one of those National Health Service hospitals that that nice Mister Attlee gave us.

These books are very popular with women from late-middle-age onwards. I believe this is because they like misery porn and this is why such women are evil.

I'm also impressed that Sheelagh Kelly, one of these writers, can write books with a character called Probyn Kilmaster and get away with it.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

In Summation...

I'm not too proud to admit I was wrong. Back in Spring 2001 I didn't think that the Dems policy of not being George W. Bush was the right path to take. I thought they could try something fiendishly clever like actually having policies or something. But clearly, I wasn't watching for the long game. The Democrats had their eyes on the prize, why else would they field John Kerry in 2004? Many other parties would have fielded a human being as Democratic nominee, rather than the Mahogany Table That Walks Like A Man. But now it seems obvious, the Dems appreciated that it was important not to rush things. So, now I have a very good feeling about the Presidential election. Oh yeah Republicans, if you are still capable of bending at your corpulent midriffs you can kiss your own mountainous arses goodbye, the Presidential Election of 2016 belongs to the Democrats!

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Someone is a happy boy tonight. But really, without our hatred of Rumsfeld to unite us, do we really have that much in common any more? < grin >


A picture paints a thousand words. All of them reading "Rumsfeld is more gone than Vader". No-one is actually passing this information on to the Duke of Denial of course. I believe for the rest of Shrubya's term the defense portfolio will be handled by Pestilence as he's been seriously underperforming turning Chicken Flu into a global pandemic. Shrubya will be none the wiser as he understands nothing unless it comes through the medium of sock-puppets.

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You disgust me.

Whoever it is looking for Burn Gorman naked? You. Sick. Freak.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Comedy Gold

Saddam Hussein has urged Iraqis to seek reconciliation, two days after being sentenced to death by hanging for crimes against humanity. "I call on all Iraqis, Arabs and Kurds, to forgive, reconcile and shake hands," the former president told the court...


Prime Minister Excuses-for-Bringing-in-ID-Cards Watch

Blair's latest tack is to claim ID Cards are the spirit of 'modernity', modernity being the quality of being modern. Civil liberties, it would seem, are not modern, they are very 'last century', which is why we need to get rid of them.

An "action plan" would be published by the Home Office in December to "explore the benefits" people could get from ID cards in 10 years' time, he said.

Let me get this straight, ID Cards have been on the hot plate for several years now, there's been legislation through Parliament on this and only now the Government is investigating what ID Cards could do?

This is, of course, not the situation at all. All this reveals is that the Government currently have to force through a pointless plan because they figure it's less embaressing than to u-turn but have run out of arguments as to the benefits because all of them have been revealed to be false. New arguments please!

I'm hoping that before he leaves office Blair claims the argument for ID Cards is that they are 'post-modern' and that everyone will be forced to carry around half a dead shark tattooed with the names of everyone they've ever slept with.

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Monday, November 06, 2006


You've got to give what you take.

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Worst book reviews ever!.

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare:
"i just read this book. everybody like always talks about how great it is and everything. but i don't think so. like, it's been done before, right?? soooo cliched. omg."

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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Iraq's Prime Minister declares that he hopes Saddam Hussein gets what's coming to him before the verdict is announced, forty-eight hours before short attention-spanned Americans go to the polls. Foley who? Haggard which? Massive fuck-up of the American economy and dismantling of the democratic process is when? Wahey! Saddam's going to squeel like a piggy when they strap him to Old Sparky!

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

I haven't played Half-Life 2, I'm working on the principle that if the first one bored me to tears then the second one would probably be worse and get me to the fears as well, but I still enjoy this comic, Concerned, set in it's dystopian universe.

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What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Northeast

Judging by how you talk you are probably from north Jersey, New York City, Connecticut or Rhode Island. Chances are, if you are from New York City (and not those other places) people would probably be able to tell if they actually heard you speak.

The Inland North
The Midland
The South
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Following my success with switching from Internet Explorer to Firefox I decided to try switching from Outlook Express to Outlook. A few hours later I was switching back. I know that neither is a particularly good email program but I don't do much with my email so the basic, crippled, options of OE are sufficient. But my copy of Outlook 2000 seemed to offer me even less! I couldn't control how incoming emails looked, so was having to read emails in 16 point, couldn't properly format my outgoing posts to the layout I wanted (though OE doesn't really do that either). Everything's back to the way it was now.

If you want to look at beautiful things that are often far too expensive for you to consider buying whilst still keeping your kidney, Inhabitat.

Benoît Maubrey - Audio Ballerinas And Electronic Guys.


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