Breaking News!

Harriet Miers withdraws Supreme Court nomination

Na-na na na,
Na-na na na,
Hey hey hey,
(repeat ad infinitum)


Digital WRONGS Management

If you've bothered to buy a record by say, the Foo Fighters, Switchfoot, or Dave Matthews Band, or anything released by Sony-BMG or EMI in the past several months (which may mean many of you), and you own a Windows computer (which does mean most of you, or at least most of the people on the World Wide Web), and you went to put your new CD into your computer, you've probably cursed enough to make Andrew Dice Clay look like Pope Benedict XVI.

That is because these CDs have been infected with a disease called Digital Rights Management. The primary idea is to prevent music from being pirated. That's fine with me, but here's the bitch. This little piece of "technology", which is supposed to prevent that new Switchfoot CD from being mass-duplicated by some scumfuck in his trailer home and sold at the local flea market for $5 a copy, is also preventing everyday users from ripping their newly bought CD in the audio format of their choice... especially if they own an iPod. That's right... instead of choosing the AAC format or any bitrate of the ever-popular mp3, you get stuck with Microsoft's Windows Media Player technology... the worst sounding digital audio format ever... blech.

According to recent articles, Sony-BMG (that's Columbia, Epic, Portrait, Sony Classical, RCA, Arista, J, Jive, Volcano, LaFace, Legacy, Buddha, and Verity to you and me) is planning to put this nefarious little technology onto all of their new releases by years end.

Fortunately, some of their artists aren't taking this lying down -- Dave Matthews Band and Switchfoot being not only two of the most vocal critics of DRM, but also advocates of SIDESTEPPING this technology (a page full of links to their help pages is here) if you have a Windows computer.

Some folks in New York are also planning a protest against DRM if you're so inclined - info here.

Now, none of this bothers me too much, except on principle... because I own a Macintosh computer. I always rip my new CDs for both my iPod and mix CDs (and have been doing with the latter for a couple of years now, even before I had a Powerbook) This DRM shit apparently doesn't work on Apples. I was able to rip Velvet Revolver's album onto my Powerbook without any difficulty at all. But most of the people I know use Windows machines, so I hate DRM on principle - as much, if not more, than those fucking lameass DualDiscs.

If you'd like to avoid this DRM shit, whether or not you own an iPod, there are several things you can do (not necessarily all at once):

a) Buy a Mac. Before you jump down my throat and complain, let me tell you that you could buy a Mac Mini for at least $500. You could still use your keyboard, mouse, and monitor from your Windows machine (or move them back and forth if you're so inclined) with this little puppy. Hell, you might like the stable Mac OS X platform (which, ahem, doesn't get viruses or spyware like Macs do) so much you might even move on to an iMac, PowerMac, or Powerbook at some point, or at least get familiar with both of the major operating systems (which can be a big help as well). Since the DRM on Sony-BMG discs doesn't work on Macs, you'll be able to get away with ripping your CD's the way you choose scot-free.

b) Get a high-speed connection and an iTunes account. If you don't have a cable or DSL connection, you should. As for iTunes... YOU DON'T NEED TO HAVE AN iPOD TO USE iTUNES! If you don't like the DRM and are stuck with a Windows machine, you can still buy that whole nifty DMB or Switchfoot album right from iTunes and download that puppy and BURN IT TO A CD. Then, you can make those backup copies for your car and office - and re-rip the CD-R you just burned as mp3 files if your non-iPod MP3 player uses that format.

c) See if the album you want is available on DualDisc. I recommend this step only if your computer has a drawer-loading disc drive. Apparently, the DRM technology isn't on the CD audio side of the DualDiscs. Just copy the CD side of the DualDisc, and rip your mp3s or AAC's from either the DualDisc or the CD-R copy. Then file the DualDisc away with the rest of your DVDs.

d) Don't buy DRM-encoded CDs. Suggestion a) makes this suggestion moot, but options b) and c) should prevent you from violating this suggestion.

if there's any suggestions I missed, e-mail me.


No man born with a living soul can be working for the clampdown...


Dear Tony Hawk,

Please surrender all royalties from your little videogame soundtrack album to Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Nicky Headon, and the estate of Joe Strummer if you're going to continue using this shameless ripoff of the London Calling album cover.

Thank you and fuck you,
CJ Marsicano, lifelong Clash fan.


Omni Maximus Rollins

This is me (except for the shrine - so far). Thanks to crucial bro Egonix for the flow.

Andy Rooney gets serious!

(CBS) The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by CBS News correspondent Andy Rooney. It was first broadcast Oct. 2, 2005.

I'm not really clear how much a billion dollars is but the United States — our United States — is spending $5.6 billion a month fighting this war in Iraq that we never should have gotten into.

We still have 139,000 soldiers in Iraq today.

Almost 2,000 Americans have died there. For what?

Now we have the hurricanes to pay for. One way our government pays for a lot of things is by borrowing from countries like China.

Another way the government is planning to pay for the war and the hurricane damage is by cutting spending for things like Medicare prescriptions, highway construction, farm payments, AMTRAK, National Public Radio and loans to graduate students. Do these sound like the things you'd like to cut back on to pay for Iraq?

I'll tell you where we ought to start saving: on our bloated military establishment.

We're paying for weapons we'll never use.

No other Country spends the kind of money we spend on our military. Last year Japan spent $42 billion. Italy spent $28 billion, Russia spent only $19 billion. The United States spent $455 billion.

We have 8,000 tanks for example. One Abrams tank costs 150 times as much as a Ford station wagon.

We have more than 10,000 nuclear weapons — enough to destroy all of mankind.

We're spending $200 million a year on bullets alone. That's a lot of target practice. We have 1,155,000 enlisted men and women and 225,000 officers. One officer to tell every five enlisted soldier what to do. We have 40,000 colonels alone and 870 generals.

We had a great commander in WWII, Dwight Eisenhower. He became President and on leaving the White House in 1961, he said this: “We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. …"

Well, Ike was right. That's just what’s happened.


The Monopoly Restaurant

Slashfood is reporting that someone is angling to create a Monopoly theme restaurant in Salem, MA.

Pardon me, but as someone that has loved the game since I was a kid (I have so many different versions of it, esp. for video game systems and computers), wouldn't a Monopoly restaurant make more sense in the city that inspired it, Atlantic City, NJ? Or are they going to have a Bewitched eatery there instead?


I Couldn't Make This Shit Up If I Tried Dept.

From boingboing.net: Disney is licensing Old Yeller for a brand of dogfood. Old Yeller is the name of the dog in the classic Disney film (and the novel it is based on) who has to be put down when he gets rabies.

What next? Safety equipment with Kenny from South Park as its mascot?