If the value is around 250,000 dollars per song, like the RIAA is claiming, then why can you buy it on iTunes for 99 cents? Does a fine that is 250,000 times more than the cost of the product make any sense at all?
Nobody takes these laws seriously because it is such a ridiculous amount. When a law does not make sense, people will not follow it. That is the reason that this is a losing battle for the RIAA. Otherwise moral people are not seeing the value in what the RIAA is doing and therefore are breaking laws that they considerto be unjust. It is the same reason that so many people ignore drug laws when it comes to marijuana. The laws make no sense, and therefore are ignored because that is the only recourse when elected officials won't change the laws.
Back to the theft argument, the definition of theft that I was using is the accepted legal definition... not my own. You cannot steal something that has no physical existence. You can copy it and use it for illegal purposes, but you cannot steal it. Ask your insurance company if their homeowners policy covers someone copying your CD's.
The kid is guilty of illegal reproduction of a copyrighted work, not theft. If it were theft, there would be physical damages. He is guilty of basically violating the terms of a license agreement. When you buy a cd, you do not own the song. You own the right to listen to the song on the cd... and if the RIAA had its way, you would not have the legal right to convert it to mp3 for your own listening.
Next time you accept a mix tape (or cd these days) from a friend, contemplate that you are guilty of the same crime as this kid and could be taken to court for up to several millions of dollars.
Furthermorem did you know that there is already a tax that gets split between the label, riaa, artist, and producer on blank cds and burners to compensate the music industry for the losses that may incur due to illegal reproduction. Personally, i think that people sued for filesharing should use this as part of their defense... the industry has been plenty compensated for whatever virtual losses through this tax paid by everyone who buys a cd burner or blank cd.
You are falling hook line and sinker for the RIAA's "poor me" argument, while they simultaneously screw the consumer and artists over. Go watch some Lou Dobbs for a while. He will probably make a lot of sense. You probably also nod your head in agreement when those MPAA commercials come on before movies equating downloading a movie illegally to stealing a car.
No matter how you slice it, the best way is to cut them off at the trade routes and basically ignore them publically while keeping a close eye on them (hey, sometimes they do actually deliver on the craziness).
It's really a lot like Planktin in Spongebob. All talk, no actual effective plans to steal the Krabby Patty.
Damn, this is the exact moment I fully realize that being the parent of a 3 year old has changed me...
I also hate RJ.
Wiring up someone's house with CAT-5 ethernet (cabling and jacks for computer networking), and also for a telephone jack from one location to another.
Computer networking I can do pretty much with my eyes closed. I haven't had much experience with telephone jacks and cabling. I had to pick up some jacks and wire to run along the house from Radio Shack, as it was the closest place and bought the necessary parts.
Low and behold, the jack i got had Punchdowns for 6 wires, and the phone cabling had only 4 (which is what i was expecting). And did I mention that the punchdown instructions only told you which colors went where for 6 wires... not the 4 I had in the cable. After about 2 hours of looking like a complete idiot I finally gave up on it for the day.
I get home and look it up and as it turns out that what people normally refer to as RJ-11 actually is not really used anymore. There are three of them. RJ-11, RJ-14, and RJ-25 (4, 6, and 8 wires respectively). The standard for jacks is CAT-3 with 6 punchdowns meant for RJ-14 cabling. It is perfectly able to be used with an RJ-11 cable, but the third line won't work (who cares), and the color coding is different. If it sounds confusing, it is.
Long story short, I printed a matrix of what goes where when using a different style plug from the cable and am going to try to redeem myself in the morning, but it kind of pisses me off that the ultra-confident sales guy at Radio Shack didn't think that I might want to match up the cabling to the plug... most likely he was as clueless as I was.
Oh well, today is a new day and I will (hopefully) make myself look competent again.
Go and read the transcripts of any Palin interview. In each sentence, there are several trains of thought, none of which ever reach their destination. She's just like that "political comedian" from SNL who reads headlines from the newspaper and comments on them, but never finishes a thought. The character is called Nicholas Fehn, and the segment is from Weekend Update.
Here's a video to jog your memory if you don't remember him.
We've been going through a lot of problems since I got laid off from my computer programming gig at the end of December. We're filing bankruptcy right now, and just got to the point where we can survive on my paycheck at my new job (computer tech, pays half of what I was making before) as well as my wife's part-time human resources job.
Well, yesterday I come home and my wife tells me that she got laid off because the place she works isn't doing so well right now. So we're applying for unemployment and scrambling to figure out how we're going to pay the bills... since we're filing bankruptcy, we have no credit cards to use.
Anyways, I just wanted to rant a little bit... get it off of my mind and onto (virtual) paper.
Posted by merwin in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Mon Mar 26th 2007, 04:05 PM
Gonzales Aide to Invoke Fifth Amendment
From what I understand, the 5th amendment is in regards to criminal trials. Here is the relevant section:
"nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself"
Testifying before Congress is NOT a criminal case. This is an investigation. It's the same as if a drug dealer refused to talk to the police for fear of prosecution.
One thing that is certain... if she is refusing to give testimony on the grounds of the 5th amendment, then she is saying that she is guilty and just doesn't want to get caught.
Iranians `need a stop button,' Rice says
WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Sunday she'll negotiate directly with Iran if it halts its nuclear program, but the Iranians claimed it's too late to put the brakes on its uranium enrichment research.
With the U.N. Security Council preparing a slate of new economic sanctions to further isolate Tehran, Rice insisted Sunday the Iranians "need a stop button" on their nuke plans.
"They need to stop enriching and reprocessing, and then we can sit down and talk about whatever is on Iran's mind," Rice said on "Fox News Sunday."
"I've said that I am prepared to meet my counterpart or an Iranian representative at any time if Iran will suspend its enrichment and reprocessing activities. That should be a clear signal," she added.
Iranian radio, meanwhile, quoted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accusing the Bush administration of "bullying" Iran, saying U.S. officials were "concerned about the collapse of their hegemony and hollow power."
Now, you may ask "Why do they need an Easy button"? Good question! Simply put, the USA is led by an ignorant monkey who won't listen to truth or reason, and gets an angry and confused look on his face when you use big words. So, any amount of logic will only make them attack you quicker.
Now, if you had an Easy button, you would just be able to press it and *Poof*, all of your troubles (read: Bush) would disappear.
AMD Receives Federal Subpoena
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 30 (AP) — Advanced Micro Devices said late Thursday that it had received a subpoena from the Justice Department regarding an investigation into possible antitrust violations in the graphics processor and card business.
A.M.D., based in Sunnyvale, Calif., is a leading maker of microprocessors that act as the calculating engines of personal computers. It entered the graphics chip market this summer, agreeing to acquire ATI Technologies for $5.4 billion.
That move was seen as a strategic blow to Intel, A.M.D.’s much larger rival, and one that would allow A.M.D. to broaden its product portfolio in a continuing attempt to banish an image as a small competitor that sold microprocessors and flash memory chips. The deal was completed in October.
A.M.D. said that the Justice Department had not made any specific accusations against it or ATI, and that it intended to cooperate with the investigation. A spokesman declined to comment further.
a) The Justice Department has far more important things to investigate, such as... Iraq? Republicans? Corruption?
b) Intel has been putting graphics chips with some of their processors for a while now. Since when is it considered antitrust for a SMALLER chipmaker to buy a graphics company to do the same thing that the larger chipmaker is doing already?
The fact that they refer to themselves as SHAG is even funnier to me for some reason
This is from tonight's episode of Law & Order SVU
Doctor: I excised this from her shoulder. I don't know what it is.
Detective Stabler: That's an RFID chip, and I think I know who put it there.
Doctor: Naomi doesn't... I asked her. Whoever did this to her must have injected this while she was unconscious.
Detective Stabler: High tech way of keeping track of your cheating wife. The guy invented a Ho-Jack.
Posted by merwin in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Thu Nov 09th 2006, 04:59 AM
For example, if we hold immediate impeachment hearings, it makes us look vengeful. That is the last thing we need, as it can be spun by the GOP in the nastiest of ways. Plus, you're only getting rid of one or two people.
Impeachment hearings are a one shot deal, and they will most likely NOT end in Bush getting convicted. And if they do, so what? You're left with a plethora of other corrupt politicians that you can't go after because you spent all of your time on these drawn out impeachment hearings.
We need to look like we are bringing ethics back into politics. So, we investigate every corrupt SOB in Congress and in the Administration... pull out ALL of the dirt. This will force NUMEROUS Republicans to resign, with some of the administration going with them. We take out as many of the corrupt buggers as we possibly can.
Let Bush dangle in the wind. He's powerless. Just a figurehead. If you honestly think he's running the show, I pity you! That guy doesn't have the mental power to run a lemonade stand, let alone a country!
Think Jenga! Take the top piece off and you'll do nothing. Take out the supporting pieces and the whole stack comes crumbling down.
Posted by merwin in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Thu Nov 09th 2006, 04:49 AM
The main problem we have with voting in our country is NOT the voting machines (although it would be nice if those were fixed). The main problem is the GOP's SOTV effort. For those less informed individuals, SOTV is an acronym for 'Snuff Out The Vote'. This is the term I use to refer to the efforts by the GOP this election year (and many more before it) to make the votes of certain individuals disappear.
For example, each election cycle, tens of thousands of people are purged from the voter rolls. These people just happen to consist mainly of minorities, immigrants, college students, and the working class. They do this by hiring companies to purge their voter rolls (which is a legitimate process). However, they put the extreme loosest parameters on this process possible. For example, if your driver's license address is on 32nd Pl SE and your voter registration address is 32nd Pl NE, you could be purged. This time around, it was done after the primaries, so people thought that they were all set up and ready to vote come general election time. However, when they got to their polling place, they were told they were not registered and were handed a provisional ballot. For those who don't know what a provisional ballot is, you can consider it a placebo ballot... because there's no chance in hell that they're going to actually count it. Why? Simple... you were purged from the voting rolls, so you aren't able to vote.
This also applies to college students, as they may be registered to vote at their home, but they changed their driver's license to show their dorm address. Suddenly they no longer exist.
Then there's the age old scam of calling people up (or sending letters) telling them that their polling places have changed. Well, you know how that one goes.
And my favorite from this year... sending letters to people with certain foreign sounding last names, telling them they will be imprisoned if they show up to vote, even though they are legally able to vote in the United States.
The list goes on and on. To sum it up, it's easier for them to ask forgiveness then to ask permission. There's many Republicans who are perfectly willing to lay down on their own sword and end up in jail if it will help gain them a seat in congress.
PS/Disclaimer - I am in no way saying that E-Voting is not a problem. I'm just saying that it's not the biggest of our problems.
I got an e-mail recently sent to a number of people I know (who are all very liberal people). For some reason, this person thought it would be a good idea to send out a Pro-Republican and an Anti-Democratic version of "The ant and the grasshopper" story. Here's what they wrote:
OLD REPUBLICAN VERSION:
The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he's a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.
MODERN DEMOCRATIC VERSION:
The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he's a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.
CBS, NBC, ABC & CNN show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. America is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?
Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing, "It's Not Easy Being Green." Jesse Jackson stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, "We shall overcome." Jesse then has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper's sake. Ted Kennedy & John Kerry exclaim in an interview with Dan Rather that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his "fair share.
Finally, the EEOC drafts the "Economic Equity and Anti-Grasshopper Act," retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.
Hillary gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal judges that Bill appointed from a list of single-parent welfare recipients.
The ant loses the case.
The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he doesn't maintain it.
The ant has disappeared in the snow.
The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood.
I felt that I had to respond to this insanely stupid e-mail with my own version of the story... Here it is:
THE 2006 DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION VERSION
The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The wealthy grasshopper thinks he's a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.
A month into the summer, the ant loses his job due to outsourcing, and can't afford to ride the leaf down the stream into the city to find a job due to skyrocketing gas prices.
Another month goes by and the wealthy grasshopper has been blessed with tax cuts, while the ant is without a job and wondering why his taxes keep increasing... all the while the chimp who runs the country keeps telling him that taxes are low and the economy is improving.
Another month goes by and the ant's former well paying job has been replaced by a minimum-wage job at McDonalds. President Chimp announces that unemployment is at an all-time low, while forgetting to mention that the average income has been cut in half. The wealthy grasshopper is spending his time lounging poolside watching his stocks in oil steadily rising, while he drives his Hum-G through the McDonalds drive through and laughs at the ant.
Another month goes by and ads are popping up all over the TV telling us how the ants are going to ruin the country if they win the midterm elections, and how only the grasshoppers can keep us safe from the larger animals who want to take all of their food and money and kill them. The ant wonders how the grasshopper is going to keep him safe when most of the army-ants are deployed in the Middle East, and the grasshoppers can't even keep that country under control.
Another month goes by and the ants decide that they're going to take back the country from the grasshoppers who are driving it into the ground.
The story ends as we see massive ant turnout at the polls. Not even the grasshopper-owned voting machine companies can rig the electronic voting enough to secure a win for the grasshoppers.
REMEMBER TO VOTE TODAY! ONLY YOU CAN SECURE A WORLD FREE OF GRASSHOPPER RULE!
Let's GOTV and make this story a reality!
I was headed over to the Bavarian village of Leavenworth, WA a couple days ago for a family vacation and saw the most patriotic person ever. This guy is the symbol of anti-poor, anti-Mexican, red blooded conservative Americans, and he's not at all afraid to show it.
Vehicle: 1990's Ford Bronco
Decal #1: "Support our troops" ribbon
Decal #2: American Flag
Bumper Sticker #1: "Welfare should not be easier to get than a building permit"
Bumper Sticker #2: "Why the hell should I have to press 1 for English?"
Bumper Sticker #3: "W '04"
I mean, this guy is SO patriotic that he's STILL campaigning for Bush 2 years after his Re-sElection.
Brilliant clip by Al Franken from his radio show on Friday. They first play the real ad by the Competitive Enterprise Instutute called "CO2 - Some call it pollution. We call it life." Then they play their parody of it "Feces - Some call it pollution. We call it life."
I'll let the clip speak for itself.
Feces - Some call it pollution. We call it life.
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