26 June 2009

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Apparently the judge likes his music

Didn't see this coming. Richard Marx has expressed his views on the recent Jammie-Thomas Rasset case. He seems quite upset that his music was used in that case.


Her accountability itself is not in question, but this show of force posing as judicial come-uppance is clearly abusive. Ms. Thomas-Rasset, I think you got a raw deal, and I'm ashamed to have my name associated with this issue.

What's his face form U2 and Sheryl Crow could learn a thing or two from him.

Source: Arstechinca

Ways to improve posture

Ye, I got tired just by reading this article. Somehow I see myself sticking to the Igor pose near my work PC.

Well for anyone who is interested, here are way to "improve your hunched over the PC" posture.

Ad made of Zim dollars

Remember that billboard made entirely of Zim Dollars? The one that said "Thanks to (President Robert) Mugabe this money is wallpaper,". Ok, so it had other saying too but this one kind of stuck with me.

Well, this particular ad won an advertising award.

Read the article here.

Freelancing guide

And if you doing freelancing (more specifically, writing web content), this is a good article to read.

It's called Web Content Sites: Do you have job security?

Good discussion, great points. How sad that one of my former clients fall into all of the warning signs listed in that article. Hence why the person is an ex-client, I suppose.

Finishes with a Nike ad too

Not a bad article. The don't make excuses guide.

This is probably more relevant on Monday.

And when I am supposed to go for a long walk or something.

24 June 2009

It is missing, the zest!

Awwh, this was such a nice article. I thought I would share.

It is sure to beat the blah feelings today ... for whichever reason you have the blah feeling. It must be the Weird Wednesday feeling - you know, it's halfway from start of week and yet, not close enough to end of week.

So here it is - How to finally feel motivated at work.

If it applies to you and helps you to read this, great! If you happen to be shiny and happy and don't get what the hell this article is about, then go hug a co-worker or something.

1984 all over again

Eeek! Wtf!

More stories of police possibly abusing power in UK.

Quote from The Guardian:

Two female protesters who challenged police officers for not displaying their badge numbers were bundled to the ground, arrested and held in prison for four days, according to an official complaint lodged today.

By the way, isn't it an offence to take a pic of a police officer in UK now? Which is kinda scary.

Source: Guardian via Stallman.org

Ap = Networking fail!

This is so weird. It's almost like print media lives in a totally different world.

I am talking about the AP guidelines for Facebook given to their employees. And somehow, they have come up with the strangest rules.

Everyone is going on about the fact that you have to delete stuff others post (guessing it is from your profile page only) but other points strike me as even more odd.

"Also, managers should not issue friend requests to subordinates, since that could be awkward for employees. It's fine if employees want to initiate the friend process with their bosses."


And btw, I would not click a link that says "It's a good idea to reference the AP in the promo language, i.e. Just how much geek can be chic? Test your fashion IQ with this interactive game. "

Source: Editor&Publisher

23 June 2009

Kids don't read anymore

Got this via a friend.

The article is called Get a Life, Holden Caulfield (via NYT) and it talks about the classic novel, Catcher in the Rye.

The article was a strange look at modern teens today. Apparently kids don't want to discover who they are and how they fit into the grand scheme of things any more.

Now folks just want to be sheep. All of them. Following one happy clappy path!

I know everyone likes to say that due to the Harry Potter craze, more and more kids are reading now. Yes, and according to that friendly spam email, mas mailing emails will eventually land you a free laptop from MS. Or save the business of someone in Nigeria. Depends in whichever hits your mailbox.

What I would like to know is .... so what are these kids moving onto from Harry Potter? With their new found love for reading? Dickens? E Nesbit? Books about Sherlock Holmes?

Or is it more accurate to assume these same ones are going for something more similar to the style and content presented in Potter series i.e. the Twilight books and such?

Freelancing emergencies

I have had emergency calls from clients. Well some more than others. What if you have too much to do? Other deadlines to meet? How do you say 'No'?

Laura Spencer wrote this great article about dealing with such last minute issues - Learning to say 'No' nicely - How to keep from burning bridges!

Sigh, now to heed some of that advice.

Cult of Snuggie

This was just too funny! This came up 'cos someone I know bought a snuggie.

22 June 2009

Calling E.T.

Ooh nice!

I found this via Aleksander L. Zaitsev's blog. Incidentally, I wish there were translations of his blog (most of them are not in English which is a shame).

The topic in question is a documentary named "Calling ET" and it is made by a Dutch director, Prosper de Roos. Nice! Check out the trailer; it looks like it will make interesting viewing.

People should be paid not to play their horrid duff duff ringtones!

Almost all my copyright-related stories start like this ... WTF!

Apparently ASCAP thinks playing a ringtone is copyright violation. Still shocked about that girl scout story as well. Eeek!

Quote from EFF:

ASCAP's outlandish claim is part of its battle with major mobile carriers (including Verizon and AT&T) over whether ASCAP is owed any money for "public performances" of the musical ringtones sold by the carriers. The carriers point out that the owners of the musical compositions (i.e., songwriters and music publishers) are already paid for each ringtone download, but ASCAP claims that it's owed another royalty for the "public performances" (i.e., ringing in a restaurant) of those same ringtones.

19 June 2009

Friday Links

TGIF! Yay! Alright, so what's the news?

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Fighting Child Porn; an excuse folks use to censor free speech

Found this via Richard Stallman's site.

It is about internet censorship in Germany.


Germany is on the verge of censoring its Internet: The government – a grand coalition between the German social democrats and conservative party – seems united in its decision: On Thursday the parliament is to vote on the erection of an internet censorship architecture.

What is it with Germany and such stringent laws? Don't they want to move with the times?

It's annoying that they use the old excuse "fighting child porn". Ye, apparently all these measures don't make the children any safer: look at South Africa and India and what is happening to children there (note: foreign tourists are involved); also look at all these freaky people locking up their own children in vaults and basements.



Creepy and cool at the same time

Ooh check out this artist!

Kinda like the surreal feel. My favorite is the last one, the pink fish hug.

The artist is Alex Pardee by the way.


There might be a Dr Who feature film.


At least that's what Film School Rejects say.

Making a splash

Google Labs is developing something called Flipper; it's a news viewing app.

Quote from TechCrunch:

While we have yet to use it, what looks nice about it is that you can not only browse by sections, but also by sources, keywords, and most importantly by elements such as “most popular” and “recommended.”

Take that, stupid newspapers!

18 June 2009

Why IE8 is better than other browsers

Must ... stop .... laughing.

To all those out there who know what a browser is (yes, I saw the Chrome video recently and boy that was funny too), this will be ... painful. And utterly hilarious.

Comparing IE8 to other browsers. Oh dear dear!


Neither Firefox nor Chrome provide guidance or enterprise tools. That's just not nice.

Er, 'That's just not nice'? Is that your argument now?

Side note: No sign of Opera ... wonder if that's cos Opera would kick their behind in the browser dept.

Easy money using copyright nonsense

Garrrr this is annoying. But then, when is anything linked to copyright news pleasant?

A collection company (i.e. one of the Sheriffs of Prince John, RIAA) is not happy that stations don't wanna play music of finicky copyright-pro musicians? Isn't it upto the stations to play what they want?

And then these folks have the gall to talk about lack of democracy in the 3rd Third. Hypocrisy much? At least some of the more stringent countries are open about their nasty laws.

Quote from Techdirt:

Earlier this week, musicFIRST, the big time lobbying group put together by the RIAA to push for the highly questionable Performance Rights tax on radio stations, did a neat little publicity stunt where it asked the FCC to investigate radio stations that apparently were "boycotting" musicians who supported the Performance Rights tax, claiming that it was an abuse of the airwaves. Remember, this is the same group that just recently called radio "a kind of piracy."

Use the footer wisely

This was a useful little article by Smashing Magazine: Informative and Usable Footers!

It has great design tips as well as a list of sites with creative use of footers.

All great inspiration for my own site. If I can sit down and finish it one of these days.

17 June 2009

The Guild is looking for videos

The Guild is having a fun little contest for fans.

It's called a Worst Guild Candidate and is open to US residents.

Quote from The Guild website:

Here’s what we’re looking for:

A short video clip that is an “in character” proposal for joining The Guild. So, that is, you as a character proposing why you want to join Codex’s Guild. Pretend Codex put a call out for new members - this is your character’s response. It is intended to be fake, fictional, ridiculous and hopefully funny.

This should be fun.

Virgin ain't coy about downloads


Virgin Media is making a deal with one of those big honcho music groups to provide unlimited downloads of music based on a subscription service.

The new system is purported to have a number of perks - you can keep music even after you stop using system and you can download as many as you want in a month.

It annoys me more that Virgin is kind of alright with the three strikes idea.

Quote from Arstechnica:

... Virgin says that it plans to implement a graduated response system (also known as "three strikes") that will result in temporary suspension of Internet access for repeat pirates. Unlike other three-strikes implementations, though, Virgin says no users will be permanently disconnected and that the system won't depend on network monitoring or interception of traffic. Again, Virgin does not specify how it plans to catch offenders without monitoring their traffic.

So 'graduated response system' is the euphemism for 3 strikes? Thanks for letting me know. *mutter mutter* euphemisms, PR and deception....

16 June 2009

Google is not for everyone

First off, let me say, it's a rather pretty site. Not bad, as far as layout is concerned. Might have had a nicer nav menu but you can't win them all, hey?

Well, what am I going on about? Koogle! It's a search engine aimed at conservative Jews so that the folks could use the internet without worrying about dodgy content.

It's not for me, I would be quite upset with such an engine. But, am also thinking this is probably stuff that local folks actually want as opposed to being a system that is implemented by authorities on them.

Source: News 24

15 June 2009

Let a real expert talk about it

Isn't constant dialog defending New Age pseudo-science stuff just making your case all that weaker?

Now Deepak Chopra has rolled up his sleeves and defended the recent Oprah controversy.

Quote from main article:

The medical profession is burdened with a host of problems that Oprah addresses with more candor and force than the AMA. She promotes wellness and prevention, two areas that drastically need improvement. She brings up creative solutions to problems that medical science is baffled by, such as the healing response itself and the role of subjectivity in patient response. These are issues that few M.D.s are willing to explore, yet she has done so for decades.

Is it me or did he just admit that, yes Oprah has been promoting pseudo-science nonsense for years?

Why not shut up about it?

Better yet, go for the "You'll never understand it" and then fold your arms and sulk in a corner ... seems to be the socially accepted way to win an argument in this regard.

Don't come up with all these arguments and justifications as if both sides can reason this out for a middle ground. Er, you can't. Sorry but science has the upper-hand on the logic and reason, best you stick with that tingy feeling in gut that tells you what to do.

Huffington Post via Reason Weekly

What's with these stupid remakes?

You know, I heard that bit of news about the new Buffy movie a while back. Could have been last week but who's counting?

Anyway, when I first heard about it, I was not sure if Whedon would be a part of it. Sure, they were hinting that some other folks were going to dabbling around with the concept but there was no outright "Whedon = No".

Until now.

Airlock Alpha was talking about it recently and they have quoted Whedon as saying that he is nowhere near that project. By choice.

I'm with the site on this one - good luck to guys trying to remake / maim the beloved series. Whedon was the one who made it cool in the first place. Ye, I watched the original movie and it wasn't all that brilliant.

I also have this fear that any new allusions to vampires post-Twilight will have the wannabe-goth look going on. Boy, is that going to be painful.

Airlock Alpha

12 June 2009

Friday Links

What's been going on this week? There are links to the Stargate Atlantis movie premeire (mostly because of the number of searches for it on my blog), Terry Pratchett and the copyright law in France.

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Stargate Atlantis Movie

A lot of folks looking for information about the next Stargate Atlantis movie. I must admit, I have been somewhat oblivious to recent updates. In between moving abroad and getting tons of new work, I never got around to finishing the last season.

Well, for anyone curious about it, it looks like they might be working on it. At least that is what the wiki says.

If you are looking for good sources about Stargate Atlantis, I suggest subscribing to Joseph Mallozzi's blog (thanks to aindy for pointing out the blog in the first place). I noticed that he talks about upcoming projects and throws in titbits about the Atlantis movie.

From what he said on June 2009, a date has not been set for Stargate Atlantis movie. And they have not set date to shoot the movie.

It's a cold day in a non-existent hell

Unless there is a heat wave where Dreamworks is based.

I came across this bit of news today.

DreamWorks Animation is going to bring a mix of original films, sequels and spinoffs to the big screen, announcing it will release eight animated feature films through 2012.

Yea, like I care.

Oh wait ... one of the movies will be:

Truckers, based on the first book in Terry Pratchett’s The Bromeliad Trilogy about a society of tiny beings that live in a department store. The script is being written by Simon Beaufoy, who won the Oscar this year for Slumdog Millionaire.

Noooooo! :( You expect them to take an excellent story like that, one that comments on society and religion and make something decent out of it.

Copyright police: Companies vs. the public

Found this article about France's three strikes rule.

Seems like they might have a bit of problem enforcing the blacklisting tactics. Read the full details here as there are more complications than they are admitting or letting on.

I loved the references to how the law violates the rights of man. Damn right.


But IFPI hasn't received much in the way of "cooperation" from ISPs, which will generally disconnect paying subscribers only under government mandate. That's why no US ISP has come out publicly in support of a similar (voluntary) graduated response scheme proposed by the RIAA, it's why UK ISPs would only agree to go forward with warning letters and nothing more, and it's why French ISPs aren't currently cutting off subscribers.

09 June 2009

Michael Jackson's Second Ranch

So let's get this straight.

The guy is moving to a country that is reportedly the one with the most surveillance cameras and he wants to rebuild his fantasy style ranch there?

Quote from News24:

Jackson reportedly wants a funfair and bowling alley installed in the grounds of the historic Foxbury Manor, Kent, as he is pining for the Californian home he was forced to sell.


Some fun jabs at Trekkie series

Me and the better half have been catching up on some original Star Trek series. Aaah, the good old days when it was all about morals and saving the Earth ... albeit with characters that seem to be questionable references to various cultures on Earth itself.

I'd still pick these over the new Trek movie. Oh the misery!

Anyway, I just thought I would share some fun details about Star Trek that we were joking about.

Izzard and the red shirt

Remember comedian Eddie Izzard talking about the red shirt guys? And how they are almost always roadkill? I am sure it was Izzard who mentioned it.

Well, turns out he had a point there.

If, on any given instance, Kirk, Spock and the good doc beam down to Earth along with a good old red shirted crew member, who do you think will be dismembered/turned into a cube/poofed into a stone/killed?

If there were two red-shirted folk and one of them was a woman, who would be killed first?

Turns out I was wrong in my wager there.

Kirk and the Ladies

Which brings me to the next point.

Capt. Kirk almost always makes out with the ladies. Spreading the good word, herpes, you know the drill.

But how do you know if he will be donning some lip balm in that episode?

Look for any new female cast members; the amount of clothing on a woman's body is directly proportional to her chances of being his next target, I meant love toy, no wait, lady love.

What's with the killer kick

If there is a fighting scene (and you know there will be), watch out for Kirk's killer kick. He does this strange wrestler type jump and it seems to be his trademark move.

A running jump followed by two feet kick.

Very Street Fighter 2.

It can't hold a candle to Spock's deathly grip though.

05 June 2009

Friday Links

Wow, it's been a while since I blogged on this site. Busy busy and all that. Well I got some fun links for this awesome friday.

funny pictures of cats with captions
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Evidence that the younger generation is a lost cause

Alright, so I lied. This is not awesome; this is painful and just wrong.

Why why why why!!

What hell was soon-to-be ex-Mr-Madonna thinking when he directed this?

Of course lesson here is, I didn't have to watch it. Serves me right, really.

Wtf am I going on about?

Trailer for Sherlock, the latest atrocity.

Creepy news for the day

Christianity and the US military. Er, yea I have been hearing about this a lot. Surely, military and governing bodies should always be secular?

And they said non-religious soldiers is what made the world go wrong in past wars.

Link to story: The Crusade for a Christian Military.

Does it sound like pseudo-science?

For shame, poor guy is threatened with legal action for questioning whether certain issues have a scientific basis?

The issue in question is about Simon Singh and how he is being sued by the British Chiropractic Association.

Quote by Simon Singh:

"It has been a stressful and frustrating twelve months since I published my article on chiropractors and their attempts to treat children with conditions such as asthma. The British Chiropractic Association's decision to sue me for libel has been an enormous drain on my time and energy. However, the support that I have received from family, friends, readers, bloggers, scientists, journalists and those who care about free speech has been incredible, and it has played a crucial role in my decision to continue defending my article and fighting the libel action."

Link: Sense about Science

Wonder if the Pirate Party will win

No wonder I have not checked the news for a few days. When I do, I come across stuff like this: Foreign Affairs As The New Copyright Law.

It's about US and their whole piracy yabba dabba crap.

02 June 2009

Censorship and Internet

Thanks, certain Western nations.

With all your piracy and internet is socialist crap, you have given certain countries the ammunition they need to hinder the freedom of speech of their people.

Aren't you proud.

Barely four months after dropping its proposal of forcing TV channels to show only an "authorized" feed during security emergencies, the government is now seeking to censor news portals and other websites, that too even at normal times.

Source: Times of India via Stallman's site

1984: scary look into the future

We watched 1984 the other night.

Boy, that was depressing. It was an excellent movie ... but you get really down thinking that the world is headed this way.

Despite all these excellent authors creating warning signs.

UK is moving more and more towards this type of society.


Well, people, go watch the movie, tell your kids about it and have a strong drink at the end of the day. Or kick a pigeon, whatever works for you.