Category Archives: News

Angry Talk Radio

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It is with great pleasure that I announce my new show Angry Talk Radio. I’ve been wanting to do a show like this for a while now, and I couldn’t have a better cast. Jason Jones, John Carbon, and Chelsea join me to present our take on the most current or topical stories weekly. The first episode is up, and it’s a little choppy being a new show. I hope you’ll listen, and I welcome all comments and suggestions on the show page, or the Facebook page.

R.I.P. Roger Ebert

Earlier today, Roger Ebert, died at 70. I can not express how upset I was to hear this. Few critics, in my mind, have put out sold, consistant work. Few critics opinions have been worth a damn. Most reviewers are too preoccupied with coming up with pithy lines, that they let their article suffer. Ebert had a fantastic ability to not only provide a solid review, but they were also eloquent and entertaining  without being distracting. He was cultured without being snobbish, and he treated movies as ridiculous as The Fast and the Furious with as much respect as Citizen Kane. He was the best in the business, and will truly be missed.

Sun Times: Roger Ebert dead at 70 after battle with cancer

Chasing the carrot

It’s been a year since I moved to Washingtonland. I had such high hopes, only to be met with lackluster, Oroborous. That’s right, I used Oroborous as a verb. I’m clever.

I won’t lie, I’ve been too consumed emotionally by this soulless city to even begin what I came here to do. A tremendously slow business development, extended work hours, and a frigid environment have stifled my ambition. A year later, and I’m just starting to get my shit together. Every step forward, and it seams I’ve taken two steps back.

Truth is, I’ve never been lucky. Every time folks have seen me chalk one up to success, they’ve never seen the countless hours I’ve had to shake my ass. To paraphrase Esquire Magazine and Carol Bartz, when she worked as a cocktail waitress, “Sometimes you have to know when to do the bunny dip.”

I’ll get it together. I haven’t even hit my stride yet.

Fuck it. I moved. It’s still a beans and rice diet for me, but I did it. Step one is complete. It’s slower than expected but I’m moving in the right direction.

Stay tuned. Great things are coming.

$1,000,000 a day since Jesus was born

I’m an independent, and I usually get upset when people shove propaganda down my throat… But this video has makes an interesting point. The stimulus package that just passed is more money than if you you compared it to spending $1,000,000 a day since the (hypothetical) birth date of Jesus Christ.

That’s disgusting.

Copyright Fight Brewing Over Amazon’s Kindle 2

Wired – By David Kravets
If this lawsuit goes through, I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes illegal to read books aloud.

The Authors Guild warned Thursday that Amazon’s newest digital e-book reader’s voice function is likely violating writers’ copyrights — an assertion intellectual property experts said was baseless.

“Until this issue is worked out, Amazon may be undermining your audio market as it exploits your e-books,” the guild told its members in a memo Thursday.

The issue concerns a function on the Kindle 2 that permits a user to enable a robotron-like voice to read the literature aloud.

“They don’t have the right to read a book out loud,” said Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild. “That’s an audio right, which is derivative under copyright law.”

In short, the guild says authors should be awarded audio-licensing fees for these e-books, as is the case in the $1 billion audio-book market in which writers or actors orate novels. Out-loud reading by a machine is fine, the guild said, “if it’s from an authorized audio copy.”

It warned that the computer-generated voices, so-called “text-to-speech” functions, are expected “to improve rapidly” and undermine lucrative audio-book sales.

Wendy Seltzer, a legal scholar at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, said no rights are being violated. Amazon’s newest gadget, she said, “is enabling another feature to make further lawful uses of that book.”

The Kindle 2 is exposing the closing technological divide between digital and audio formats of books, she said.

“Once you have a lawfully made reproduction, you can read it, you can use it as a door stop and you can text-speechify it,” Seltzer said.

Michael Kwun, of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, has an in-depth posting on the EFF’s DeepLinks Blog that he said debunks the guild’s theory. He wrote that the synthesized voice is not a derivative work, as the guild claims, that is “based upon one or more preexisting works which, as a whole, represents an original work of authorship.”

That’s jargon for this: It’s not as if the Kindle 2 is producing Broadway plays with e-books — which obviously would require derivative licensing.

Amazon did not return messages seeking comment, but told The Associated Press that the e-books are properly licensed.