Tuesday, March 31, 2009

correction/update. ahem.

So an observant reader pointed out something about the earlier post on compensation for musicians and the RIAA. Apparently there is much variation in how much artists are compensated, and when you're signed on with a major label, sales on iTunes compensate you the same in terms of royalties as with the sale of a CD.

Current music: Recoil - Red River Cargo

Friday, March 27, 2009

bunnies! armed bunnies on a mission!

Based on the manga.

Current music: Bassnectar - Underground Communication

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Speaking of business models with large revenue streams while making absolutely no real contributions to society...

When the RIAA strikes, the settlement funds do not get paid to artists, but instead fuels the system, accelerating the cycle of litigation.
Settlement payments can be made on a website, where the funds are used to sue more defendants. None of the money is paid to artists.

The quick settlements have left largely unexamined some basic legal questions, such as the legality of the RIAA's investigative tactics, and the question of what proof should be required to hold a defendant liable for peer-to-peer copyright infringement.
(Source: Wired)
Ummm... wait, why is this still an issue? Oh, right, this is why.

Here's a not-so-radical idea. Consider the model of the initial release of Radiohead's In Rainbows, where customers could pay whatever price they deemed appropriate for the music. Let there be a site where fans can pay artists directly an amount they deem appropriate, that is, knowing that the musician's cut is around 60 cents per song download (do correct me if other sources differ). That way, fans can retro-actively contribute to the lives and livelihoods of musicians whose work they like after being affected by their music.

And even if you're one of those people who only listen to music on Pandora (or primarily/exclusively to artists who release under creative commons), you could contribute to your favorite artists, a bit like giving them a proportional thumbs up in the scaled, quantitative democracy of capitalism.

Scarcity of replicable goods/services/media is simply not a property of the Information Age. Scarcity of eyeballs is. The wise have already realized the emergent characteristics of this paradigm shift.

Current music: Peter Gabriel - Down to Earth

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

around the house

wine glasses and doily on piano. (camera rebooted funny, but I liked the effect so kept it.)

soliloquy (above). balcony scene (below).

still life with tea, roses, and fondue (above). conversational (below).

Current music: Olive - Trickle

Monday, March 23, 2009

space litter

ISS dodges space junk again. And I quote:
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station Sunday were forced to change the orbit of the station -- and the Space Shuttle Discovery that is currently docked to it -- to avoid an estimated 4-inch piece of space junk that may have been on a collision course.

It's the third time in three weeks that astronauts on the space station have had to worry about space debris , but it's the first time they have deemed the threat serious enough to change the orbit.
Current music: Wall-E Soundtrack

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

yes, reading everything in the same place

Google Reader is like a meta-blog. With total seriousness. Optimal speed of downloading content to brain: firehose.

Current music: Guster - Fa Fa

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Wishlist of Imaginary Apps

Apps I would totally use and grow dependent upon if they existed. So, if you're out there, and you've the inclination to develop any (or all) of these, consider this a pretty, pretty please. :P

+ sync gTalk away message and Twitter (I know you're on it, R. But right now, it's still imaginary.)

+ integrate gCalendar with eVite, facebook events, and other event-planning mechanisms by extracting not only date/time/place information, but contact info for the organizer

+ seamlessly sync the GPS system in my car with gMaps. (may require 3G-enabling the car. either that or you could extract it the calendar of a docked and gCal-synced iPod.) That way, I can get traffic conditions in real time, and have the option of integrating it with expected future traffic conditions (on the way to my destination) to have an accurate ETA.
- And if this becomes widely adopted enough, when a large enough proportion of cars are using this, we'll have optimized traffic patterns everywhere!
+ well, hey, if that works, we might as well have destination information directly funneled into my car from my gCal

+ voice control. yes, I know there are voice activated GPS, but I want it to seamlessly control onboard GPS as well as phone function (dude, we have to 3G-enable the car).
- by which I mean I press something on the steering wheel and say "change destination" or "show map" or "call Julie"

- and the voice control should be adaptive, like Dragon Naturally Speaking. reading a paragraph to train it on my peculiarities is actually kinda fun, especially if it improves performance.
+ if my ETA deviates from expected > threshold, prompt me for a voice command to call or text the humans I'm supposed to be in contact with (or update Twitter) with my new ETA.

+ on second thought, there is a certain cumbersomeness to voice control that's less optimal than, say, in combination with twitch control -- something like mouse gestures, but for the a body appendage (like a finger-less glove).

+ oh! and ... never mind, the Kindle already does gReader. ha.

Current music: Camouflage - Perfect