Category Archives: media

Dear 1%: Stop whining, you cry babies. #OWS

If the 1% “job creator” class doesn’t like seeing people out on the street “whining” who don’t they go out an create some more jobs in the U.S.? When unemployment drops to 2% then they can complain about “slackers”. Until then, shut up, build the wealth that apparently only they, with their non-taxable income can create, and be thankful the protestors aren’t competing in the same dwindling job pool and the rest of us.

>Lesson learned buying the cheapest Apple iTouch.

>I bought an iTouch a few months ago, and I got the cheapest one I could find, because I didn’t have a need for it. I had just bought a new nano a few months earlier, but I wanted to explored the app store and also test out ebook reading on a device without committing to a Kindle or on Nook or whatever. I got the cheapest one I could: 8 gig, previous generation, refurbish, and I love it.

Absolutely love it, but this post is not about that.

It’s about this:
My 8 gig iTouch is about half full. I have hours and hours of music on it, hundred of free classic novels via Project Gutenberg, and a dozen or so books I’ve bought for the Kindle or Stanza ereader apps, and about 18 different apps half of which I hardly ever use. I’ve never had a frustration with speed or usage. This thing more than meets my needs.

I’ve always made an effort, when upgrading, to get the best of everything: the fastest speed, the biggest drive, etc, on the theory that it will pay off in the long run with an extended life cycle. Well from now on I’m getting the cheapest and the slowest.

Whatever I buy today will be faster and bigger than what I am using right now, and I’m most likely going to upgrade everything in a few more years again anyway, and the slowest and smallest available then will be better than the fastest and biggest available now. I’m web surfing, I’m doing very minor photo editing, I’m creating prose documents with either my ten-year-old (and therefore eminently usable) version of Word, or occasionally a version of OpenOffice for Mac called NeoOffice. I’m not editing “Lawrence of Arabia” or producing studio-quality rock albums.

So, never again.

Except for screens. I put money towards the biggest screen I can afford, because that makes a huge difference to me.

Slow and cheap, is my new credo.

>1 way I’m saving time on the internet.

>When Gawker Media user accounts were hacked I went through my passwords to various things, tightening up security giving some thought to all the little accounts for various bullshit I have signed up for over the past decade. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ll never sign up with anything for the privilege of making blog comments again. The reason has nothing to do with security, it’s just the blog commenting is a waste of time. Huffington Post, Gawker, boingboing, The Daily Beast, etc all get thousands of comments a day, most of them in written to protest the point of view of the blogger or some of the other comment-leaver, and, I suppose, correct their thinking on the subject at hand. This sets other people off, who comment in outrage to correct the corrections and soon you’ve a threat of a couple hundred comments, that if you really want to keep up on the post you will have to scan and rescan frequently. By then, unless your comment is especially outrageous or obnoxious your contribution will be lost in the crowd. You will see that others are still making the argument the you so succinctly demolished pages earlier, and then you will consider posting again.

I say don’t do it! The only way you can have an impact is if you are one of those power comment-leavers and have the time to leave dozens, if not hundreds of comments a day. I know you; you have better things to do, many more useful and satisfying ways you can contribute. If a big registration-required blog has an article you really feel passionate about just share the link on facebook, your own blog, or tweet about it. Don’t sign in the blogs using your facebook or twitter: not that there is a security danger. Linking a blog to one of you existing accounts will save you time and convenience in set-up, but you’ll lose more time in the end if you start leaving comments. The real danger is time-suck.

>Best movies 2009, belated.

>Looking back, without trying to think to hard about it, these are my
recommended movies from 2009 (titles are in alphabetical order within tiers).

Tier One:
Funny People
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Julia & Julia (really just Julia, though)
A Serious Man
Up in the Air

Tier Two:
500 Days of Summer
Whip It

And here’s a couple I really looked forward to and wanted to like more than I did:
Crazy Heart

Roger Ebert on McCain’s VP Pick

The American Idol candidate :: :: People

Ebert on Palin, Sun-Times:

People identify with the contestants. They think, Hey, that could almost be me up there on that show!
My feeling is, I don’t want to be up there. I want a vice president who is better than me, wiser, well-traveled, has met world leaders, who three months ago had an opinion on Iraq.

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When I first caught The Middleman I thought it was a mildly amusing Men in Black meets “Buffy-parody” fun summer series, with the added advantage of a very fetching Natalie Morales as Wendy “Dub-dub” Watson. As the season continued and the pop culture references piled up, I thinks it’s more that that: a charming campy, sci-fi/hipster/comic book nutty soup of clever goodness. Sort of like the 1960’s Batman series, but with story continuity. I hope it comes back next year. Ratings were weak, I heard. First couple episodes aren’t much, but it gets better each week. All online now. ABC Family: The Middleman videos: watch free.

The series is created and written by the original comic’s creator, Javier Grillo-Marxuach; is that a first?
By the season finale, in which every single man in the mirror universe sported a goatee, I found myself looking for the “more like this” button on my remote.
UPDATE: Apparently all but the finale episode have already expired at ABC Family website, (but will return at somepoint?). Meanwhile there is iTunes for just under $24, and the other method people resort to when networks fail to make their content easily accessible, in an on-demand advertising-supported web format.

The 39 Clues: Harry Potter Publisher Promotes Next Big Thing

Gimmicks, a different writer each volume: no way this will be anything near the success of Harry Potter. This time next year, the press releases and blog posts about this product will be as funny as last year’s “Zunes/iPod Killer” hyperbole is today.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Sunrise by Shannon Hurley remixed

We spent all afternoon remixing a song on ccMixter using Garage Band which was fun. Garage Band’s not that intuitive though. We couldn’t do a lot of things — which is probably for the best, because it kept our band’s version simple. Not that we created any original samples, we grabbed everything from Creative Commons. Here’s the license. Another thing we would never ever been able to experience in the pre-digital age.

Here’s the original:

AND HERE IS OUR VERSION: A Simple Sunrise.mp3

That other time no one expected a Palin: “Our Chief Weapon is Surprise”

“amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency …”

“The Universe sent you a pasty goblin to welcome you into the world. “

My favorite celebrity blogger (hey, he's read and praised Michael Shea): Patton Oswalt's graduation speech to his old high school is funny and moving.