Friday, September 29, 2006

The PERFORM Act by Feinstein

Few power plays are as blatant and harmful as the PERFORM Act (S. 2644) from northern California's own Dianne Feinstein. Simply put, PEFORM revokes your right to tape radio shows while imposing draconian DRM on all internet radio.

The Audio Home Recording Act (AHRA) explicitly allows a person to record radio programs for their own personal use. In exchange, we all pay a Hollywood Cartel tax on some blank CDs and tapes. It's a bill that has served us well for over a decade, but now with advanced satellite radio receivers that allow paying subscribers to time shift their favorite programs the Hollywood Cartels are asking for 'backsies' on the AHRA. Always eager to please her real constituents in Hollywood, Dianne Feinstein
stepped up to the plate and introduced PERFORM.

But, if overturning the AHRA wasn't enough, Feinstein slipped in a provision that changes the Copyright Act to force Internet radio stations to impose the most severe and draconian DRM possible. All of the Internet radio stations that you know and love will be forced to abandon MP3 streams. Innovative companies like Pandora are already heavily burdened and taxed by the DMCA, forcing them to spends additional money to license DRM is an undue burden.

Who does Dianne Feinstein represent? Is it Northern California, the economic engine for the entire state and the nation? Or is it Southern California, the repressive monopolists that seek to limit expression and technology?

You can find out how you can stop Senator Feinstein's PERFORM Act at

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Monday, September 25, 2006

Orioles: Free The Birds

A truer sentiment may have never been related.

Friday, September 22, 2006

S1RA is Back; Call to Action

Copyright Law just keeps getting better and better. I just wanted to bring this your attention.

In June we brought attention to S1RA (The Section 115 Reform Act), which has the laudable goal of bringing mechanical licensing into the 21st Century. However, buried deep within the legislation was a provision that required all incidental copies of a song to have their own separate license. In other words, a copyright holder could charge you for every copy that exists in a caching server, your ISP's own cache, or even the buffer on your computer. It's double dipping, redefining fair use, and now it's back and worse than ever. S1RA lives on under the title of the Copyright Modernization Act of 2006. Sounds ominous enough. It still includes all the terrible provisions of S1RA by taking aim at Internet radio and satellite radio by gutting the Audio Home Recording Act, which explicitly allows devices to time-shift radio.

CMA is trying to elbow itself into law by wrapping itself in a good bill: the Orphan Works Act of 2006. This bill is an important piece of legislation that removes significant hurdles that artists have to jump to create their art. Right now, with our over-reaching copyright regime, if a documentary film makers wants to include an image, film clip, or song in their work, but no copyright holder can be found, the film maker is out of luck. OWA allows the artist to include the work, assuming they employed due diligence to track down the copyright holder, and would severely limit any damages stemming from an infringement suit if the owner suddenly reappeared.

However good the Orphan Works Act is, S1RA is worse and negates the benefits that come from OWA. We cannot sacrifice our technological future by imposing an innovation tax on internet and satellite radio."

Friday, September 15, 2006

Becoming Link on the new Nintendo

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Baseball Hall of Fame expecting a deluge next summer

Cooperstown readies for '07 rush

This is unequivocally going to be a momentous occassion in baseball history. I've already got my room reserved - how about you?

Anyone planning to attend the 2007 Hall of Fame induction ceremonies better make reservations, well, yesterday. The lucky ones just might find a place to stay within 100 miles of Cooperstown, the central New York State village that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors annually but has insufficient housing to accommodate all the pilgrims who come for an induction on one weekend .

Although the names on the ballot used by the Baseball Writers' Association of America for next year's election won't be announced until late November, fans are well aware right now who some new candidates will be. With the ballot to include 3,000-hit Club members Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn, Cooperstown and Hall officials are already bracing themselves for what they believe may be the largest induction turnout in history.

Ripken, whose remarkable career was enhanced by his playing in 2,632 consecutive games, and Gwynn, an eight-time National League batting champion, have the credentials to be first-ballot Hall of Famers. Although there is a debate among voting writers about the qualifications of the man who broke Roger Maris' 37-year-old single-season home run record, Mark McGwire presents the possibility that the 2007 ballot could produce three first-year inductees.

Only one time since the original class of five players (Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson) was elected in 1936 have as many as three first-year candidates been elected. That was in 1999, when Nolan Ryan, George Brett and Robin Yount made the grade. Their induction attracted a crowd estimated at 50,000, which is believed to be the largest attendance for a ceremony. Tickets are not sold for the induction, so the Hall has to approximate the amount of people who find a place on the hills beyond the Clark Sports Center.

My personal jury is still out on McGwire. He was a childhood hero of mine, broke a pretty impressive record and definitely had a HoF career. Granted, it is said he used some performance enhancing drugs -- which no doubt taints the above points -- but I believe it was determined that they were not against the rules at the time of his use.

I'm positive many of you out there do not share my iffy stance, but the child in me just finds it tough to imagine him not there. Either way, I can't wait to see Cal and Tony. Next year will be amazing.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Band Name Origins

Ever wonder where your favorite band got their name? Well look no further then this website. They have a great list of bands with explanations or rumored explanations of their names. Here's a classic one:

LED ZEPPELIN - Jimmy Page was drinking with Moon and Entwhistle, who were bitching about their band mates Daltrey and Townshend. They joked about the two of them starting a band with Jimmy, and one of them said "Yeah, that will go over like a lead balloon". When Jimmy formed his own band, he remembered this and thought "Lead Zeppelin" would be good, both from that conversation and the heavy/light contradiction similar to the band named IRON BUTTERFLY. They decided to drop the "a" so Americans wouldn't mispronounce it.

Monday, September 04, 2006

R.I.P. Steve Irwin, Crocodile Hunter. You will be missed.

This is horribly, horribly sad :-( - Stingray kills 'Crocodile Hunter' - Sep 4, 2006:
Steve Irwin, the Australian TV presenter known as the 'Crocodile Hunter,' has died after being stung in a marine accident off Australia's north coast.

Australian media reports say Irwin was diving in waters off Port Douglas, north of Cairns, when the incident happened on Monday morning.

Irwin, 44 was killed by a stingray barb that went through his chest, according to Cairns police sources. Irwin was filming an underwater documentary at the time."

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Tripod on the Water

I just uploaded a ton of new pics to Flickr. Check it out :)