29 April 2009

Epic Fail in the Writing Industry

"What should writers blog about?"

What a dumbass question!

If you are a writer by profession, you should be the last person pondering this question. At this point I would assume you've got a lots of hobbies and interests that you wish to talk about.

Or that you want to discuss issues close to your heart with an online community?

Perhaps you had a carp day and you want to rant about it?

What an excellent indication that print writers have trouble making transition to the internet. Not everyone is like this; folks like Neil Gaiman do an excellent job blogging and twittering.

Furthermore, back in the good old days when computers were just novelty items, writers like Douglas Adams embraced the technology and incorporated it into his writing.

Maybe the problem is that these folks, with their online writer's block(s), have trouble conceiving of a two-way dialog? After all, they used to just write something and publish it; people were just there to quietly read it and listen to them. What the heck is all this interaction, it wasn't there then!

Gaythering Storm

It's late but I finally got around to adding this.

It's such a good parody. I can't believe what people were saying in the original ad!

Good to know people are not going to let this go without a fight.

28 April 2009

Nation FTW

Hell yeah!

I read about this Twitter the other day and forget to mention it in me blog. Normally that would be a "meh" moment but this concerns Sir Terry Pratchett.

Nation won the 2008 LA Times award for Young Adult Literature!

I read it recently; that book was amazing. It will make you cry, it will make you think and it will make you laugh. You'd think that you would be quite a confused individual, with all that simultaneous crying and laughing, but nothing like that. You've a bit wiser and more thoughtful by the time you're done.

More books like this, I say! Books that made kids think.

Crew TV: Science Fiction series

I started watching Crew TV last night. It's this new web series that, in their own words, is "The Office meets Star Trek".

Has a good sense of humor and I am eager to catch more episodes.

I love the description of the ship. This happens when the engineer picks up a map and tells us who lives where.

Nice adaptation of The Office! We need more comedy like this. :)

More episodes to watch tonight. Hurrah!

I am slightly wary ... it would be immensely sad if geo-restrictions were implemented on the series. You know how it is, you follow it, tons of others in various countries too, you add to the stats and ratings and bada boom! Series is nabbed and no longer avail outside US.


That happened to one or two that I followed (you know who you are). Still not forgiven!

Internet is all about the users; just ask Google

Humorous Pictures
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Everyone is all too ready to hate Google as the "Pirate's best friend". That's rubbish! Everyone knows it's rum that be a pirate's best mate, ye?

Well, this article is hardly objective when covering Google's defense when the company yells "We're not like those bunch, stop calling us that".

Google is pretty accommodating to the copyright police and their right/left hand folks like Sherriff of Nottingham(s). Look at how strict Youtube is becoming.

Here's a Internet 101 to the noob - Yes, they do take down anything that violates copyright when they find it and when someone reports it. They are not going to police the net because that's not how the net works!!!

Want to show how green you are (and I don't mean this in an eco-friendly way)? Then diss the way internet works, it's basic foundation. It's all about the community. And google does an excellent job maintaining a sense of community while listening to the bigwigs.

You know what it boils down to? Some folks getting iffy because Google came up with a business model that works on the internet. Jealous much?

27 April 2009

Headline Fail

You know how certain sections in your webpage can pick up keywords from the other bits? And provide related info?

Well, this happened today on Yahoo's main page and needless to say it was a bit of a fail.


24 April 2009

Friday Links

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

End of another week and payday is around the corner. Woot! So what's been happening while we wait for the upcoming weekend of fun?

Gone with the recession?

Yahoo is shutting down Geocities later this year? I shouldn't be surprised but ... it's kinda sad. Perhaps this is because a number of fan sites I used to visit was/in geocities. I hope these folks move the data.


Oh man. Have you seen this movie? It's available all over the place and is ... really cheesy. On the other hand, some modern horror movies are equally bad. Just goes to show it's not big budgets or fancy special effects that makes or breaks a movie.

Robokitties Galore

I've been following Sapceman for a while now. And I think they really outdid themselves with the most recent comic. All it needs is a fancy theme song now - GO GO Sapce ... man? Sapce savior? Hmmm.....


And in other news ... there was the Ubuntu-inspired comic. Nicely done. I got quite a kick out of the Linux references. If you are interested, here is his DA page.

23 April 2009

Opera is the best

Why would you block one of the best browsers from accessing your site?

Wtf is the deal with right-click functionality. Ye, you know how you can use certain software, nay, even certain shortcuts via the keyboard, to do screen caps?

So what is the point of disabling right click functionality?

By the way, restrictions like that are more likely to get folks to abuse their pics. Think back to lessons from school.

Sing along now

Oooh there might be a Dr Horrible sequel!

Sounds like they will start work in 2010.

I am curious .... will it be open worldwide or are we going to get slammed against the wall of internet censorship aka Hulu?

*mutter* Hate Hulu.

And they wonder why Google's apps are more popular than other apps? Hurrah for Google!

*loud slow, drawn out speech* Do you know that the world outside US has in-ter-net?!

21 April 2009

When bad books happen to good people ... welll ...


Stephenie Myer's ex-buddy is suing her; apparently the whole teens-with-fangs love story was somehow inspired from "short story together when both students at Brigham Young University".

My first question was, why would a friend sue you?

But then they did say 'former friend'. I imagined some sort of angry nasty cat fight between the two before Stanton walked off to use legal means. Scenes from Desperate Housewives come to mind.

Do you honestly want to be associated with that story? Really?

The Twilight series is downright awful. The woman shot vampire dignity to shreds. Nosferatu is choking on his own ashes. Leslie Nielsen's version had more substance than those series.

It's not a literary classic or work of art. Move on, lady!

Fearsome foursome

Here's what occurred to me today. What labels/groups are the in-crowd with the Sheriff of Nottingham?

You know, who I mean ... annoying RIAA.

Anyway, looks like there is a list of RIAA members on their official site. According to Wiki, it has not been updated for a while. 6 years to be precise.

Hmmm! Did people leave or are some people skittish about proclaiming membership?

Well, I just wanted to know who holds hands with the nasty ones so I can stay away.

None of my money going your way, buddy!

Just to be clear, I am not going to download anything under RIAA; I refuse to have anything to do with it.

*chants to self* Boycott, boycott, Amandla! .... Wait....

20 April 2009

Where were you when she joined twitter?

I don't think some people get it. The whole anti-feeling when the big O came to twitter.

I must admit, I kinda liked the idea of herebeforeoprah. Declare your geekiness or something to that effect was the slogan.

Although if you did tweet that, surely you would be spamming your followers? With a rant that provides the big O with unnecessary publicity, no less?

But that site did make my day. And it was funny to see it as a popular hash tag for today.

You know what is sad though? Everyone talks about how some celebrity was on twitter before Oprah.

But the real celebrities on the internet are completely different from those guys doing the annoying stunts on the big screen.

And guess what? Most of the traditional media on the net don't mention these folk at all.

Just goes to show that they have no clue, do they?

Of course, who's popular depends on your interests.

But I would list these folks as celebs on twitter:

The Guild (wooot!)
Legend of Neil
Dr Horrible
Stephen Fry (Come on! Guy's a tech geek and he's smart)
PZ Myers (This is my list of favorites, remember)
Opera (let's talk about a real browser. Also their links are always cool)

So, who are your favorites?

17 April 2009

Friday Links

Arr! Arr!

You've heard the news. PirateBay was found guilty. Got 1 year jail time and loads of moolah to dish out to the poor starving children of Zimbabwe ... no wait, to the rich, money-nabbing folks of US.

Arr. This really annoys me and I don't even download stuff. I legally buy all the yappity nonsense that I have an interest in. Only thing is, with stuff like this I will boycott big fish that go after the little guy.

Why does it bug me? What gives a big corporation the right to dictate how the law should be set in another country? How is fair that they spread their beliefs onto other nations? What gives a big business the right to dictate laws that govern another nation?

Thousands of people in Zimbabwe have been suffering under Mugabe. But apparently that is a tough thing to solve. You can't just go in; you can't tell another country how to govern. All you can do, is ask UN to type out a letter. Right!

Wiki had a list of plaintiffs involved in the case. For shame Blizzard, how can you be part of this debacle?

Should I tell my husband I am not so sure about playing WoW anymore? Which will be kinda disappointing with SC2 coming out. Maybe I will discontinue my account. Bah! *mutter mutter*

Authors who support PB

At least some folks have their minds in right place

I read that some authors get the idea about file sharing. Or at least know that it is best possible publicity you can ask for.

Apparently Paul Coelho is a-okay with PirateBay. In fact he uses it to promote his books.

Wonder who else is mentioned in that article link?

16 April 2009

Sad news

Awwh, I just read that the founder of Banned Books Week, Judith Krug, died recently! :(

While I didn't know much about her, I was always a drawn to the banned book weeks. *points to banner on side*

I am going over the wiki page about her. She sounded like pretty idealistic person.

You don't get people like that anymore.

She made a big difference in protecting freedom of expression. She will be missed.

New frontier for BBC?

Wow. I am impressed. BBC had the download available in Ogg format?!

Backtrack. BBC is experimenting with ways to make their programs more accessible. At least that's what I gathered.

They are trying this out on a tech program.

The BBC announced the move on Thursday through its Backstage Blog. For now, the experiment is extremely limited. A single program, called R&D TV, will be released for download to anyone, regardless of whether they're located in the UK or not. So far, only one episode is done, and a second is in the works; more may be made if these prove to be reasonably popular.

It will then be released under a CC license. And put on Youtube.

I am impressed!

Source: Arstechnica

13 April 2009

Say No to Internet censorship

The more you hear about the copyright police, the more you end up thinking of them as the ultimate evil.

I was reading the NYT article about "3 strikes and you're out" rulings. By the bye, why is alright to think it is ok to cut off internet and say it's not really denying a basic right and yet are alright with it for other things?

For instance, we know censoring alcohol and cigarette ads are akin to treating sound-minded adults as children (can anyone say Maoist State?).

And you can't take away some good books from the library or video games from the store just because some folks are using it for bad purposes ... no wait, people already do that.

So, if you are already taking away other rights, why not take away internet? That would be the cherry on the cake, so to speak.

Amazing to think there is massive legislation to protect money making organisations like the entertainment industry while there are many areas pertaining to the public in desperate need of work.

I'm going with what Marcus Brigstocke said on The Now Show recently. Basically that the journalists fawned over such rubbish stuff while they ignored people in power violating human rights over and over again.

Honestly, these copyright collection agencies like GEMA sound like the Sheriff of Nottingham. And you know how that story ended.

Update: I wanted to add this story about GEMA and Jamendo. I should really call these folks Sheriff of Nottingham from now on. Maybe add an American twang for good measure.

07 April 2009

Discworld streets, that's what I'm talking about

Oooh fantastic.

Wincanton in Somerset has two fabulous street names - Peach Pie Street and Treacle Mine Road.

You guessed it. They were inspired by street names in Ankh-Morpork.

Sir Terry Pratchett himself was there for the grand event.

Excerpt from The Guardian (via Link):

Pratchett visited the town today to unveil the road names at a new housing estate, and was greeted by hundreds of fans – many dressed in costume.

03 April 2009

Friday Links

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

$Pirate = ( 'free publicity')

Hmm, looks like Sweden is cracking down on piracy.


Sweden's new policy - the Local IPRED law - allows copyright holders to force internet service providers (ISP) to reveal details of users sharing files.

It's never a good day when you adhere to the copyright police.

I buy the works I appreciate and don't download music etc. but it does offend me when folks criminalize users.

Ye, in a few years when they find out marketing costs way more money now that free publicity via users is not available, come back then.

Source: BBC


In other news, apparently Google is trying to buy Twitter. Or something along those lines.

Maybe one search engine is going to hook up and feed off the other, I don't know.

I'm still thinking about poor Sweden.

Source: Link

Een horn?

I read somewhere in the newsletter (that I get from the Conlan Press site) that there might be talk about a Last Unicorn live action movie.

I would be wary but then P.S. Beagle seems quite particular about the story and adaptation so I think it will turn out alright.

Unless they sign on Zac Efron. *gag* That would be a deal breaker.

By the way, if you are a fan, do support his work by buying from Conlan Press. Read more about it at their website.

Source: Conlan Press

02 April 2009

Censorship and Internet

Check this out. It is called Freedom on the Internet; A Global Assessment of Internet and Digital media.


Privatization of censorship: There is a growing trend toward ―outsourcing censorship and monitoring to private companies, as opposed to direct intervention by government agencies.
In a range of countries with differing levels of democracy, private entities and their employees—including service providers, blog-hosting companies, cybercafes, and mobile-phone operators—are being required by governments or other actors to censor and monitor information and communication technologies (ICTs). This has been the case for local and multinational enterprises alike.

This study used 15 different countries to check out how or if they censor content on the internet.

From the looks of it, UK is criticized quite a bit. And China is not looking so good.

Dating help for butterflies

That's nice. Somewhat costly, but nice.

Excerpt from News24:

Taiwan has shut a highway lane to traffic, lowered the speed limit and put up protective nets to help a butterfly species cross the road during an annual migration.

Someone estimated that 10 000 butterflies, depending on how energetic they were, would be trudging or flapping along across the highway.

Bet that helped the environment more than simultaneously partaking in a popularized green movement.

International Blasphemy Day

So ... have you heard about the Blasphemy Day International 2009 (Sept 30th)? It's a day to make a point about free speech. And making sure no one is above reproach.

Cos otherwise, that's how tyrannical kingdoms are born.

Some people are getting really upset with that phrase. It's a sort of "Do we have to offend to make a point" sort of argument.

I can see why some people can be a tad uncomfortable.

But, on the other hand, a few stuff on telly (and what dimwits on telly say) offends some of my personal beliefs. It's just that there is no collective group of people sanctioned by a holy book containing these beliefs and thus, I just have to wait for that movement to come along, don't I?

Why can't the offended parties follow Ricky Gervais's objection to that dityzy celebrity's quest for a BF reality show? I believe it was "That's alright, I don't have to watch it."

01 April 2009

Say bye bye to Encarta

Ooh Msn Encarta will soon cease to be.

It's to do with Wikipedia doing the "change we can all partake in" move.

Well, from October 31 it will be no more.

Wonder if everyone will leave work in Halloween costumes?

Apparently Flight Simulator will get the chop chop as well.

Rather dim, he says

Ooh, Richard Dawkins has given his opinion on the by now infamous "Pope doesn't promote condoms" controversy.

He is critical of Pope stating that condoms worsen Aids.

Excerpt from Telegraph:

"If people take his words seriously he will be responsible for the deaths of thousands, perhaps millions of people."

And it looks like he is not a Potter fan either.