Sunday, April 30, 2006
how ironic is it that the spell check on my blog doesn't know the word "blog"?
i have a couple of music reviews i thought i would share, with several more when i have time. Tool's 10,000 Days was the first quality album i'd heard from 2006. sure, it's not completely unique from the other albums they have put out. you can certainly tell that it's a Tool album, but that's not a bad thing. the cd is unique enough that it doesn't sound like a regurgitation of what they've done before (and i would hope not, seeing as their last release was five years ago). there's a lot of really good songs on it, and it's definitely better than most albums being put out right now. it can't quite stand up to Aenima or Lateralus, but its a solid effort nonetheless.
one album i was happily surprised to hear was David Gilmour's album On An Island. i never really got into most of his solo stuff, and considering this was his first studio effort in twelve years, i didn't care too much about hearing it. but it's really a good album. the whole mood is very mellow and peaceful, which i guess is keeping with the setting of being on a beach or island at sunset. that's the feel i get from the album. Gilmour's guitar playing is still great. it's a nice mix of rock, jazz, and lounge-type music. the guitar on one song even reminds of Pink Floyd's Piper At the Gates of Dawn. its not something i could listen to when i'm cruising around on a sunny spring afternoon, but it's perfect for a calm atmosphere.
i plan on having some more reviews from Neil Young, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and some others in the next day or two.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
yeah i would say that our priorities for punishing crime are slightly off-base.
Although sentencing varies in the US, the new law does send a very strange message as to what the government considers 'bad' in the 21st century.
For example assaulting a police officer will get you five years, downloading child porn will get you seven years, assaulting without a weapon will get you ten years and aggravated assault six years.
So in other words if you copy a Disney CD and sell it you will be in the same league as a paedophile who is distributing pictures of sexual attacks on children.
If you copy Craig David's CD you get ten years, but if you punch him in the face and pummel him into a seven day coma you will only get six. You are more likely to get the respect of the prison population with your six year sentence as well.
Monday, April 24, 2006
middle to late may is now the new deadline work has announced for letting everyone know about future staffing (i.e. letting us know when we'll be laid off). we were supposed to know by next week, but once again they fail to just be straight-up with us. jen told me that whether or not someone gets severance pay depends on whether they've been actively looking for other jobs within the company. the severely drops my hopes of getting severance since #1 - i'm pretty sure the majority of jobs open within the company are either full time or outside the realm of possibilities for me, and #2 - i really don't think i have any desire to work another job in the company anyway. so i've decided i need to just start looking for another job and hopefully quit as soon as possible.
i saw an alarming article on digg.com today, about a new digital copyright bill being proposed in congress. in my opinion, it's a scary thought. the whole thing reeks of lobbyists from the likes of the RIAA sending their lackeys to washington and then scaring the politicians with buzzwords like "piracy" and "terrorism". there's nothing quite as wonderful as having politicans make decisions over issues they are entirely ignorant about. i would hope that if congressmen really understood what a "rootkit" was, they wouldn't be pushing legislation that would make removing it illegal. here's a few highlights from the article on the proposed legislation:
It also represents a political setback for critics of expanding copyright law, who have been backing federal legislation that veers in the opposite direction and permits bypassing copy protection for "fair use" purposes. That bill--introduced in 2002 by Rep. Rick Boucher, a Virginia Democrat--has been bottled up in a subcommittee ever since.wire-tapping over the suspicion of something like downloading an mp3 illegally? making it illegal to remove unwanted third-party software from your own personal, private property? not being allowed to copy cds on you purchased with your hard earned money onto the computer you also purchased with your hard earned money? this bill sounds as american as communism. come on republicans and bush administration, you're striking out on this one. get out of bed with the music and movie industries already, and pass something to defend our rights.
Jessica Litman, who teaches copyright law at Wayne State University, views the DMCA expansion as more than just a minor change. "If Sony had decided to stand on its rights and either McAfee or Norton Antivirus had tried to remove the rootkit from my hard drive, we'd all be violating this expanded definition," Litman said.
The proposed law scheduled to be introduced by Rep. Smith also does the following:
• Permits wiretaps in investigations of copyright crimes, trade secret theft and economic espionage. It would establish a new copyright unit inside the FBI and budgets $20 million on topics including creating "advanced tools of forensic science to investigate" copyright crimes.
• Amends existing law to permit criminal enforcement of copyright violations even if the work was not registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.• Boosts criminal penalties for copyright infringement originally created by the No Electronic Theft Act of 1997 from five years to 10 years (and 10 years to 20 years for subsequent offenses). The NET Act targets noncommercial piracy including posting copyrighted photos, videos or news articles on a Web site if the value exceeds $1,000.
• Creates civil asset forfeiture penalties for anything used in copyright piracy. Computers or other equipment seized must be "destroyed" or otherwise disposed of, for instance at a government auction. Criminal asset forfeiture will be done following the rules established by federal drug laws.
• Says copyright holders can impound "records documenting the manufacture, sale or receipt of items involved in" infringements.
Jason Schultz, a staff attorney at the digital-rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says the recording industry would be delighted to have the right to impound records. In a piracy lawsuit, "they want server logs," Schultz said. "They want to know every single person who's ever downloaded (certain files)--their IP addresses, everything."
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
jess is right, maybe i shouldn't go outside today. at this rate i'll get struck by a meteor or random bolt of lightning on a sunny afternoon.
Monday, April 17, 2006
ufc 59 saturday night had some good fights, but unfortunately the two biggest matches were a little disappointing. tito ortiz vs. forrest griffin ended up being a really good fight; at first it looked like it was going to be awful as tito spent most of the first round raining elbows down on forrest's face. but forrest somehow survived that and shook off all the rest of tito's takedowns until the very end of the last round. forrest wailed on tito the second round, and the last was split pretty evenly. sadly tito's last takedown at the end probably secured the win for him, as he one by split decision from the judges. forrest griffin really is crazy, and is rapidly becoming another one of my favorite fighters.
andrei arlovski, another favorite of mine, lost his heavyweight title to tim sylvia in the main event. the fight itself was pretty disappoint; i was hoping it would at least last longer than it did. they both came out swinging. arlovski landed a killer hit that knocked sylvia down, but amazingly not out. shortly after that sylvia landed a monster punch of his own on arlovski's jaw, which sent him to the mat. sylvia pounced on him until the referee stopped the fight. it was a sad way to see arlovski lose. but congratulations to sylvia. i don't hate him like i do tito ortiz.
it was nice to see evan tanner and jeff monson get wins. that parisyan looks impressive too, i'd like to see more of him in the future. i hope they come up with a good fight card for ufc 60, because the matt hughes vs. royce gracie headlining match isn't really interesting to me.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
my other classes make up about 5% of the rest of my workload for this quarter. the journalism class i'm taking has homework most weeks, but the load isn't too bad. films & history of wwII is great, we spend the class listening to him lecture and watching old propaganda movies. there's no books at all, and no homework to speak of. history of rock n roll just has a minimal amount of reading required, and the class is 2 1/2 hours of entertainment. so basically it's just history 300 that's going to kill me. that and the journalism course, the two classes with homework, also fall on wednesday, which is my crazy-busy day: work 8:45-2:15 (same work schedule on monday, thursday and friday too), history 300 from 3-5:20, then journalism from 6:30-9.
so... i've decided i'm giving up video games for the rest of the month. i wasted way too much time yesterday and lost too much sleep playing day of defeat: source and sid meier's alpha centauri (which i pointed out to austin ironically abbreviates to form the word "smac," which is an accurate testament to addictiveness of most sid meier games). i originally was going to give up video games for the whole quarter, but figured that was much too unrealistic. i'll take this one step at a time. the sole exception i'm making is if i'm already hanging out with people, and they want to play x-box or 64. other than that, i can't afford to waste anymore time. i can't afford to spend anymore time writing this post now either...
Sunday, April 02, 2006
edit: ok, this link should take you right to her team page to donate. if not, follow the steps above to get to her page.