Thursday, September 19, 2002

Danielle just blogged this very cool project, wherein volunteers take pictures at the confluences of latitude and longitude lines around the world. Turns out that one of them is across the street from a greocery store near my parents' house.
See, I always knew there was such a thing as too clean!

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

The closed streets and helicopters in my neighborhood this morning turned out to be because George W. himself was stopping to say the pledge of allegiance at a school up the street. Actually he was in town for a big political fundraiser for senate hopeful Lamar Alexandar , but the pledge shindig apparently made it count as a "business trip," allowing the government to pick up part of the tab.

Lamar happily accepted $800,000 in contributions from the Bush fundraiser, plus another $300,000 in soft money contributions to the state Republican party. This despite the fact that a few years ago Alexander accused Bush of holding an auction for the presidency on the White House lawn. Guess he's over that now...

Word is that Spanish porn giant Private Media Group (which is traded on the Nasdaq exchange), has made an offer of $3 million worth of stock to acquire the twitching remains of Napster. The company says it plans to create an adult-oriented peer-to-peer file sharing network featuring premium contentat additional cost. The RIAA, I expect, is happy.

I was never a Napster junkie, but I'll confess that I used it on occasion. The great thing was that you could try out all sorts of music without risking spending $15 on a totally lousy CD. I found a lot of music that I never would have discovered this way, and I've purchased CDs because I heard the music first on my computer. I think if the record industry had tried to come up with a fair and reasonable way to make this sort of service work, they would have done well. Instead, their knee jerk reaction just forced Internet music to be more furtive and ultimately less controllable.

Singer/Songwriter (and Nashville resident) Janis Ian wrote a great article earlier this year about how internet downloads are actually a good thing for most recording artists. In it she methodically debunks the assertions of the RIAA about how downloadable music hurts musicians and the music business:

If you think about it, the music industry should be rejoicing at this new technological advance! Here's a fool-proof way to deliver music to millions who might otherwise never purchase a CD in a store. The cross-marketing opportunities are unbelievable. It's instantaneous, costs are minimal, shipping non-existant…a staggering vehicle for higher earnings and lower costs. Instead, they're running around like chickens with their heads cut off, bleeding on everyone and making no sense.
One of these days, the big record labels are either going to get with the program. Or they're going to decline as cheaper and fairer alternatives emerge. It's their choice.

Sunday, September 15, 2002

A rainy night in Nashville
Rainy Night in Nashville
The rabbit has a charming face; Its private life is a disgrace. I really dare not name to you The awful things that rabbits do; Things that your paper never prints -- You only mention them in hints. They have such lost, degraded souls No wonder they inhabit holes; When such depravity is found It can only live underground.