Monthly Archives: November 2006

Comments Re-enabled

I’ve re-enabled comments, including anonymous, here on VT using a groovy post validation plugin called Challenge. The default challenge is a math question (e.g. 6 + 2 * 4) but, er, I’m trying encourage comments, not preparing you for a GED. I replaced it with a simple English question and so far I haven’t gotten a single spam post to the whole site. This is somewhat remarkable considering I used to have 100s of spam comments a week and all kinds of crazy plug-in contraptions that only worked some of the time.

We used to have some cool discussions here, I’m hoping this is all it takes to get that going again.

How Not to Travel with Gear

Having been sufficiently freaked by the prospect of making travelling through airports even harder than it has been I figured I would mitigate the latest security line woes by simply not carrying anything on to airplanes. This would take the pressure off at the security check and make it completely arbitrary when I got on the plane — in other words, I wouldn’t have to stand in line at the gate. I could wait until everyone got on, then mosey on and take my seat. Extra time waiting for checked bags? Whatever.

This was especially important because I had to fly off in a hurry to a funeral then home, then quickly turn around and fly off to the yearly Thanksgiving family dinner.

I wrapped my cell phone in fluffy tube socks and my laptop in cushy sweats and off we go.

The only scary thing on the first trip was that my bag and I got separated during a connection. The woman behind the terminal counter: “you can either wait 3-4 hours to make the connection or you can get on a flight leaving now but without your bags, they will arrive a half hour after you.” I rolled the dice but everything turned out OK.

It was the Thanksgiving trip where things went completely kablooey. This time my bag simply never got on the plane from the start. After a 45 min wait watching the carousel go around and my flight number fall off the display it turns out about a dozen of us had our bags just left behind. The suitcase was delivered to my house the next morning but the cell phone’s screen was cracked and my laptop completely refused to recognize the AC connection. I’d been thinking about an upgrade on the six year old computer but I hadn’t counted on having the decision made for me in such a way.

Who do I blame? Me. 100%. I was trying to “out-clever” the system in a half-assed way by not having proper travelling cases for the electronic gear. The good news is that I have 1GB of ram for pics, movies, mp3′s and that’s just the new phone (how long do we call those things ‘phones’?). I’ll be reporting later on the new PC I got but only after I can get the ‘sucker’ imprint off my forehead that I discovered in the rear view mirror after I left the store.

When I’m 63 & 11/12ths

Dave’s done a brilliant job at collecting this years Beatles news in one compendium post (Dave’s Imaginary Sound Space: What if The Beatles had used Creative Commons Licenses?)

Be honest: if this was 30 years ago it would be more than easy to believe the whole “month before I’m 64″ thing is the aging boomer version of “Paul is dead“.

Oh and btw, he missed one amazing Beatles outtakes, off-camera, rehersals, backstage stuff…

Two Sides of a Non-existent Coin

Eric Kleptone may not know it (Hectic City – The Kleptones » Blog Archiv » We’re on the road to paradise, here we go, here we go…) but he seems to love EFF’s music collective proposal:

As David Bowie quipped in 2002, “music will soon become like running water”. Turn the tap on. Have a drink. Have another one. No need to keep big buckets of the stuff around, just pay your water charges.

Lucas, er, not so much.

Google + YouTube = Biggest Artist Scam Yet

Yup it’s been a while. But enough of that.

While I was away some Internet search company seems to have bought a big popular bootleg video website for a trillion (or more) dollars. The supposedly inside story however reveals how the video site and the search engine colluded with the big media companies (who sue everybody and their dead grandmothers over file sharing in the name of protecting artists’ rights) to allow the deal to go forward — are you ready? — only if the artists could be screwed out of 100s of millions of dollars of licensing revenue:

The media companies had their typical challenges. Specifically, how to get money from Youtube without being required to give any to the talent (musicians and actors)? If monies were received as part of a license to Youtube then they would contractually obligated to share a substantial portion of the proceeds with others. For example most record label contracts call for artists to get 50% of all license deals. It was decided the media companies would receive an equity position as an investor in Youtube which Google would buy from them. This shelters all the up front monies from any royalty demands by allowing them to classify it as gains from an investment position.

Now I don’t know if any of this true. Only a very few people know the truth is. Personally I suspect the truth is much worse.