Andrew Orlowski On the Future of the Music Industry

October 8th, 2004

Finally it seems someone has put the music industry execs in their place and at the same time provided some ideas for still allowing those same execs to continue making money. I am speaking of the keynote that Andrew Orlowski gave to the In The City convention held in the UK last month. As I read through his speech, it was important to remember that Andrew was talking to a hostile crowd, essentially telling them that their current business strategies and enforcements (i.e. DRM) were rubbish. Told them that instead of enacting rigorous controls on the listening masses (you & me), they should instead look at ways of allowing us more freedoms pertaining to the music we listen to. I can only imagine the looks he got from his audience.

I for one am sick and tired of the music industry being driven by greed. I live in a country purported to be based on freedoms, yet in this country I am hindered from enjoying the music that I love so much in whatever form I find convenient at the time. I respect the artists and I purchase their music legally. But when it becomes a burden to extract that same music into a form that allows me to enjoy it in a more free manner, I do believe my rights as a music appreciator have been impeded upon.

I’ll reiterate what every other anti-DRM person has said. We are at a delicate place in time where technology is evolving faster than copyright law can be ammended to keep up. In a knee jerk reaction the music industry is choosing to arrest 12-year-olds rather than evolve with the times. And that reaction is driven by greed, they are afraid of losing money plain and simple. If anyone in the music industry has half a brain, they will see that the ideas put forth by Andrew are viable and music listener friendly.

I Am Geek

May 7th, 2004

Via Simon, MeriBlog : Because We Are Geeks. As geeks we are gifted (cursed?) with an abnormal longing to know how things work. I owned The Way Things Work book for kids when I was younger. My curiosity into tech is still driven by reading that book. Meri is looking for what compells non-geeks to buy the things they do. Why geeks and non-geeks can never understand each other. Does strike a chord with anyone out there? I know it does for me.

Underrated Movies

April 2nd, 2004

Via Simian Design, 100 Movies That Deserve More Love. Among them Equilibrium, Contact, A Knight’s Tale and The Prophecy; some of my more favorite movies. This is a list you will never see in Entertainment Weekly or Hollywood Access. And what’s more, it comes from people who are not paid for their opinions. No, rather these guys say what the want even if it is against the social grain. My kind of critics! It’s about time I found someone I can agree with.

All Fool’s Day

April 1st, 2004

The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.

As I make my rounds this morning, I am greeted with sites to amuse the passer-bys. Today the world revels in a day of humor and trickery. From the common weblogger to the upper echelon of respected jouranlists, “odd events” are being laid side by side with articles not so follied. I would have to say my favorite so far would have to be the design switcheroo done by stopdesign and mezzoblue. For a more extensive list of 2004 April Fool’s Day tricks online, see’s listing and’s listing. Also have a read on April Fool’s Day history.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

March 30th, 2004

Sunday I went to go see Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. About the only way I can describe the feeling of this movie is imagine that your strolling down memory lane, only to find when ever you look behind you, everything has been erased. This movie required an extreme amount of consentration on my part, I was almost lost early on. But hang in there, it starts to make sense and then the plot hits you in the face.

Quite possibly one of the best movies I have ever seen dealing with the inner workings of human behavior, and what happens if you start to screw it up. One commentators views on the relationships expressed in the film:

He’s [Charlie Kaufman – writer] a masterful writer with a daring mind that knows no boundaries or limitations, and in this film he directs his unflinching genius at relationships – the human need for them, the over-whelming fragility of them, and most profoundly, the pain they cause when we expect another person to fulfill the parts of ourselves that cannot be filled by another person – the illusions we have about each other, the baggage we bring to any new encounter, the neurotic preconceptions that pretty much doom any relationship once it gets past the newness phase.

All-in-all a brilliant film, I deffinetly recommend it.

Lament of the User

March 27th, 2004

Via Simian Design, I am USER, hear me roar!. The user has to long been pushed to the back seat at the hands of marketing and “the quick buck”. Sure it’s hard to pay attention to your audience, but sooner or later you won’t have an audience. These self-centric views sicken me. I have been on the giving and recieving ends of this and let just say no one benifits from it. Beyond just web interface design, I also talking about human nature as it exists today. So the next time you interface with someone, be it real or virtual, remeber that your audience is human and not a machine.

Windows XP Woes

March 26th, 2004

If I had a dollar for every time Windows shot itself in the foot, I would be richer than Bill Gates – as would many other people.

Where to begin… Wensday, I was doing some routine disk maintance. The “Disk Cleanup Wizard” presented a new option to “Remove Windows 98/ME Installation Files”, telling me that lest I should decide to go back to that version of Windows I should delete these files. So I hand Windows the meat cleaver and within 30 minutes I have 6 Windows File Protection alert boxes telling me that critical files to the operation of Windows have gone AWOL. But didn’t I tell it to delete said files? Thought so. For the record, don’t ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever (don’t think I got enough “evers” in there) delete these files. The updated OS still needs these files.

I was getting tired so I left this task till the morning. I began trying to copy these needed files from a working Windows XP in an attempt to avoid disaster. That is assuming the shell stays stable, which it didn’t. Reboot. Hal.dll is missing (for those who don’t know, this is a bad thing). Can’t even get a command prompt now. I start a new search for bootdisk solutions that have NTFS support. My goal: attempt to back up my files and wipe the slate clean.

Three hours and 8 tools later I come apon BartPE. This tool is genius. So very fleible. And most important, native NTFS support. I make my back ups and then go to finish the job that Disk Cleanup Wizrd started.

Slowly I am recovering from the loss of 4+ years of customizations. Quickly I am developing a psychosis at the hand of Microsoft.

Mac Killed My Inner Child

March 21st, 2004

Via my brother, Mac Killed My Inner Child. Simply brilliant (and hilarious) piece about this one guys strugles with the Mac OS.

The World’s Loudest Mouse Click

March 16th, 2004

Via TechGnome’s World, Mindful Musings :: The World’s Loudest Mouse Click. An endevor to symbolize peace. I think this is a great idea, to see the internet unite for one moment, with a single purpose. Even one so simple as clicking a mouse button.

Close to Home

March 11th, 2004

And I don’t mean the comic strip. I mean this thread hit close to home. To those of my friends and family whom I have aided in the past, please do not take this as a slant against you.

But I must say that at times I am truly amazed at what destructive activities some people can accomplish with their computers. Back in high school I had a class which was a position in the school’s Help Desk (cheap labor ;)). I have lived the life of a computer technician at the beck and call of a working group. Reading threads and rants and articles of this nature is relaxing and a humorous pasttime. I also like to share these with people to let them see my side of my work. I do take pride in the fact that I have a skill set that many stuggle to grasp. And with that I love to help. Us IT guys are funny people and we live in our own little world. Sometimes we must be handled with care. But we are people, just like you.