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Friday, August 27, 2004

record company sued over drm

this is in france (so much for surrendering…)

French Suit Aims at Anti-Piracy Technology [ap via forbes, august 25, 2004]

The lawsuit accuses EMI and Fnac of “deception over the material qualities of a product.”

Filed on behalf of several music buyers, it alleges that the copy protection system used on certain EMI discs makes it impossible to play them on many car stereos, hi-fis and personal computers.

French consumer association UFC-Que Choisir is filing for damages in the legal action, which also claims that EMI’s copyright protection stops customers making personal copies of their CDs – a privilege granted to French consumers by a 1985 law.

posted by roj at 1:03 am  

Thursday, August 26, 2004

purple is the new red

acording to the boston globe, teachers are ditching their red pens for purple.

Purple now ink color of choice for teachers [, august 24, 2004]

“The concept of purple as a replacement for red is a pretty good idea,” said Leatrice Eiseman, director of the Pantone Color Institute in Carlstadt, N.J., and author of five books on color. “You soften the blow of red. Red is a bit over-the-top in its aggression.”

i’m sticking with red; i’m famous for my “hemorrhaging paper” editing. just ask joi (i actually did a lot of those edits with a red pen…)

posted by roj at 8:59 pm  

Thursday, August 26, 2004

cnn reports peace agreement in najaf

which is good news, i suppose.

during this whole episode, i’ve been reminded of an obscure, cult film with a standoff at a temple – wizards.

ok, babe. they ain’t gonna talk. gimme plan b

hey ark, what’s plan b?

hey hey. watch.

i imagine that’s going to be lost on most people, but it’s good for a chuckle.

posted by roj at 2:55 pm  

Thursday, August 26, 2004

bjork on filesharing and photography

two brief bits of business that converge on bjork…

the first, from an interview

So Björk is not superstitious then?
“You know, its ironic that just at the point the lawyers and the businessmen had calculated how to control music, the internet comes along and fucks everything up.” Björk gives the finger again, this time waving it into the air. “God bless the internet,” she adds.

while, nearly simultaneously entering my realm of attention, this observation on the bjork concert camera policy:

These are the Bad Guys

Bjork (Artist): Observe that there usually is a NO camera policy at these concerts.

deep down, i believe bjork is a pirate spirit.

posted by roj at 1:38 pm  

Thursday, August 26, 2004

food stamps in america

following on a theme of economics, poverty and politics, i ran into a news release with a very troubling headline.

To be worry-free about having enough food is not the norm in the United States, says a Cornell University sociologist.

“Rather, the need to use food stamps is a common American experience that at least half of all Americans between the ages of 20 and 65 will face,” says Thomas A. Hirschl, professor of development sociology at Cornell who has completed a study of food stamp use.

“The patterns that emerged from our analysis are particularly troubling in light of the fact that food insecurity, along with hunger, have been shown to be closely related to various health problems, including an increased risk in the development of chronic diseases, impairment of psychological and cognitive functioning among children and a greater likelihood of self-reporting health status as poor,” report Hirschl and Rank. “The fact that at least four out of 10 Americans will experience food insecurity at some point during their adulthood would appear to represent a significant public health cause for concern.”

of course, it’s important to realize that there’s a pretty big difference between an american using food stamps to pick up some ketchup (that’s a vegetable as well as a political statement and the rest of the world’s concept of “food insecurity.”

even so, we should be able to do better than this.

posted by roj at 1:29 pm  

Thursday, August 26, 2004

beyond the 11th

created by two widows of september 11th, an organization to provide financial and emotional support to widows of terrorism and war worldwide: beyond the 11th.

For the first Beyond the 11th fundraiser, Patti and Susan will ride from Ground Zero, in NYC, to the newly dedicated Massachusetts 9/11 Memorial in the Boston Public Garden.

information on participating in this first event is here

beyond the 11th gets my nod for thinking globally and forward, and for playing some role in fixing some of the damage we’ve done since 2001.

posted by roj at 12:14 pm  

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Noble Watts


posted by roj at 12:07 pm  

Thursday, August 26, 2004

ny gets a cost of iraq clock

project billboard and the center for american progress.

i thought i’d said something here about the project billboard and clearchannel communications controversy, but it appears not. otherwise you would find a self-referential link here. as it is, i can only point you to cnn.

in any case, the billboard is live and counting the cost of the iraq war at $122,820 per minute.

posted by roj at 12:05 pm  

Thursday, August 26, 2004

anything goes for bush/cheney ’04

this wouldn’t be worth mentioning in any form, if it weren’t for the golden quote at the end.

what we have here is a story about a utah republican that’s spent $30k or so buying up domain names that seem capital-d democratic and pointing them to the bush/cheney ’04 re-election site. there’s potential for blowback on all this, of course, but mostly it’s a non-story. people play games with domains all the time.

then i saw this:

Utah Man Buys Up Domain Names in Bush Push [ap via abc news, august 26, 2004]

Kevin Madden, a spokesman for Bush/Cheney ’04, said the campaign’s Internet staffers were unaware of the connection.

“But anything that directs traffic to our site is fine with us,” he said.

which seems to be about as close to the truth as i’ve ever seen from a political spokesperson.

two thoughts: 1) i’m sure there’s something that would cross even kevin’s line when it comes to drivig traffic to the site, and 2) isn’t that just begging for a ddos attack?

posted by roj at 11:58 am  

Thursday, August 26, 2004

35.9 million americans in poverty

just a little while ago, the census bureau released their annual data on poverty. this “strong” economy has done this:

* The number of people below the official poverty thresholds numbered 35.9 million in 2003, or 1.3 million more than in 2002, for a 2003 poverty rate of 12.5 percent. Although up from 2002, this rate is below the average of the 1980s and 1990s.
* The poverty rate and number of families in poverty increased from 9.6 percent and 7.2 million in 2002 to 10.0 percent and 7.6 million in 2003. The corresponding numbers for unrelated individuals in poverty in 2003 were 20.4 percent and 9.7 million (not different from 2002).
* As defined by the Office of Management and Budget and updated for inflation using the Consumer Price Index, the average poverty threshold for a family of four in 2003 was $18,810; for a family of three, $14,680; for a family of two, $12,015; and for unrelated individuals, $9,393

that’s 12.2% of the population (using the current “population clock” of 294.1 million americans). it’s also more than the total population of canada (32.5 million).

as a note, $9393 a year for an individual, working 2000 (50 * 40) hours a year works out to $4.69, which is just a wee bit below the federal minimum wage.

posted by roj at 11:23 am  
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