Monday, May 28, 2007

Looking for boobs?

No, Wxman. There's no porn to be had on this post. But, read on, 'cause this is a weird mashup. First, a word from our sponsors.

I am not, nor have I ever been an advocate of breast enhancement through plastic surgery. I must say the same for breast reduction. As a learned scholar with advanced degrees in breastology, I'm an avid supporter of appreciating "what the good Lord gave you." Big or small. Firm or saggy. Get a well-fitting bra (see Oprah's bra show) and call it a day. Women make the mistake of thinking that all men want is the super-model boobs. WRONG! The reason I LOVE boobs is that no two are the same. Quit trying to fit someone's idea of beauty and be happy with what you've got. My wife has got a rack that her girlfriends tell her they would pay thousands for, but she's still neurotic about it. Go figure...

Back to our regularly scheduled program. So, some guys are at a bachelor party in Vegas. Stripper tells the guys that she's upset because she can't afford a boob-job. One guy says, "I got five on it!" Another guy says, "Put me down for $20!" By the time the night was over, she had collected over half of what she needed for the boob-job. The guys were inspired to start a website. Ever heard of Prosper.com? Well, this is the same idea, except with boobs. Social networking to the nth degree. Web 2.0 redefined... Myfreeimplants.com. Again, I don't agree with the premise, but I am fascinated by the market forces...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Arrrrr!!! The Pirate Bay is at it again...


Those crazy Swedes are trying to get themselves locked up at Guantanamo! Although it's the Entertainment establishment that wants their heads, and I'm not sure where Hollywood locks people up. Skywalker Ranch? Dr. Phil's house?

Anyway, the history of The Pirate Bay is really fascinating. To understand them, you've got to place them within their historical context. In the world of movies and music, there are pirates and there are pirates. Type-A pirates are those who copy a movie or a CD, and then sell the copy for a profit. This type of operation is a VAST industry, with huge markets in southeast Asia and Latin America. I'm not sure about the figures, but I'm sure the profits are in the hundreds of millions annually. Type-B pirates distribute (share) such content freely to anyone with a high-speed internet connection. No money is made from such distribution, unless you count ad revenue from clicks into the hosting website, although this probably only covers the cost of operating such a site. Type-A pirates have been targeted by the FBI, and over the last five years have seen huge criminal busts within their ranks. Their warehouses have been raided, computer seized, DVD burners confiscated, and their employees frog-marched to minimum security prisons. But much like the hydra, they simply sprout a new head and find different ways to evade the authorities. In contrast, the Type-B pirates have only been the target of a few civil lawsuits from the RIAA, and those lawsuits have focused exclusively on the *uploaders* or posters of the content, and NOT the downloaders or leechers. And the money part of this whole story is that the guys at the top of the pyramid of BOTH types of piracy, are the SAME guys!!! Literally. And these guys who seed the content to both types of pirates NEVER get caught! It's only the middle-men who end up on COPS. Weird, hey? It's a fascinating saga referred to by fanboys such as myself as "The Scene". Check out the story...

Enter The Pirate Bay. Residing near the bottom of the Type-B pyramid, they are shameless in their "We don't give a sh*t about copyrights" attitude. And being based out of Sweden, the enforcement laws have more often than not come down in their favor. What the Hollywood establishment REALLY hates about The Pirate Bay is that they are big mouths. Observe: Below is an exchange between The Web Sheriff (Europe’s leading internet policing specialist and acts for numerous media organisations, newspapers, broadcasters, film companies, record companies, artists and celebrities) and The Pirate Bay.


Subject: Re: Re : WHITE STRIPES / Pirate Bay - Torrents
From: anakata
To: Jgela1@aol.com
Date: Thu, 26 May 2005 14:01:41 +0200

On Thu, 2005-05-26 at 06:11 -0400, Jgela1@aol.com wrote:
>
> Web Sheriff
> Protecting Your Rights on the Internet
> Tel 44-(0)208-323 8013 / Fax 44-(0)208-323 8080
> websheriff@websheriff.com www.websheriff.com
>
> STRICTLY PRIVATE & CONFIDENTIAL
> ATTENTION ADDRESSEES ONLY



>
> Dear Frederik,

It's spelled "Fredrik".

> We would refer you to our notification of yesterday's date regarding
> the above, the contents of which are self-explanatory (hereinafter
> referred to as the "Notification"), to which we have yet to receive
> the courtesy of a response.

We would like to refer you to our Legal Threats section, on which we,
while having much fun, ridicule people like you.
Thank you for your contribution.

> Notwithstanding the fact that you contend that torrent hosting is
> legal in Sweden (which we would dispute),

...and I would like to refer you to the relevant court cases.
Unfortunately, our legal team partied quite heavily last night, so the
only reference I can provide you with is Högsta Domstolen (the Swedish
Supreme Court) NJA I 1996 page 79.

> you also seem to fail to recognise that your web-site is accessible
> all over the world and that, as such, your actions and, furthermore,
> your refusal to act, opens you and your company up to the possibility
> of law suits in - inter alia - the United States and the United
> Kingdom. Such law suits could result in your being refused entry to
> both the US and the UK

Damnit. You got us there. Now I'm so scared I pissed my pants. Where
should I send the invoice for cleaning them?

> Accordingly we would strongly recommend that you immediately comply
> with the Notification, failing which we shall be obliged to advise our
> clients' attorneys to take against your company (and your company
> officers) without further notice.

Wow, we have something in common! See, I also have obligations of my
own. For example, I'm obliged to provide entertainment to our users.

> We would also warn you that, if such steps do prove to be necessary,
> our clients' attorneys would also (a) notify the Swedish tax
> authorities of your commercial activities,

You mean our non-commercial, loss-generating activities?

> (b) notify the Swedish government of your illegal activities, (c)
> notify the Swedish record industry association of your pirate
> activities and (d) notify the IFPI of your piracy activities.

Do you seriously believe that these parties aren't already aware of the
site? You may want to read Swedish media...

> We shall look forward to hearing from you.

We look forward to receiving more of your so exquisitely designed HTML
e-mails with the shiny wanna-be-police-star.

> Whilst writing, we would further caution you against communicating
> or otherwise posting any remarks that could be construed as being
> defamatory of our clients (or Web Sheriff) or that could otherwise be
> injurious to our clients' (or our) genuine business interests.
> Similarly, we would inform you that the copyright in the Notification
> and, indeed, this e-mail is vested in Web Sheriff and that, in the
> event that you attempt to publish either the Notification or this
> e-mail on your web-site (or elsewhere), appropriate action shall be
> taken for infringement of our copyright (we trust, in this regard,
> that you will concur that Sweden does recognise copyright).

We trust, in this regard, that you will concur that publishing your
e-mail is not in violation of Swedish copyright law. When our lawyer's
hangover has passed, he will be more than happy to explain the juicy
details to you.

> Naturally and notwithstanding the foregoing, all accumulated rights
> of our clients - including, but not limited to, the right to institute
> proceedings against your company in the United States - remain
> strictly reserved.

You also have the right to institute sodomizing of yourself. Preferably
with barbed wire, but retractable batons might also work if you push
them far enough.

> Yours sincerely,
>
> WEB SHERIFF

I wanna be a cool WEB SHERIFF when I grow up. Do I get a shiny star and
a six-shooter?



I'm sure George Lucas and Steve Jobs have a wanted poster up with a hefty reward for these guys. Which brings me to their latest venture. The Pirate Bay will soon host a "video streaming site" ala youtube! I should say, this will be an uncensored video streaming site. Youtube has very much been a victim of it's own success having to devote a considerable amount of its resources to policing it's own servers for copyrighted material. The Pirate Bay just doesn't give a sh*t. The race will now be on. Joost is signing legit content at an amazing rate, and the service is free, although selection is still small. The Pirate Bay content will surely be free, but the content (movies, TV shows, MP3's) will mostly be illegal (in my neck of the woods) though probably with a vast selection. Either way, I win!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

News commentary round-up!

I'm baaaaaaack!!! After a week of vacation, and another week of traveling with the company, I'm back in the schizophrenic Wisconsin weather. Grrrrr.

Anyway, some hot topics being talk about out there.

First up, somebody gave my favorite wannabe "TV over the internet" startup an assload of money. Yes, Joost is the newest recipient of $45 Million in tasty green venture capital cash. Did I mention that they suck? Wish somebody would give ME cash like that to overpromise and underdeliver...

A moment of silence for the venerable audio-tape.


I remember when a high school buddy lent me his tape of Public Enemy's It Take A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (classic rap, by the way). I copied it with a Philip's high-speed dual-cassette "dubbing" tape-deck and listened to nothing else but Chuck D and Flava Flav for a MONTH! Now you copy some music on your PC and run the risk of the RIAA slapping a lawsuit on you... Read on over at P2Pnet.

And finally, it looks like my favorite internet music site Last.fm will soon be playing videos! Is anyone out there using Last.fm? It's nothing really flashy or glitzy and the real magic doesn't happen until you let it listen to your music tastes for a while. Then let it start recommending stuff to you. That's when you'll start to see the beauty. And when you hear something you think is REALLY cool, head over to Emusic.com and buy it! Or just subscribe. You get a bunch of downloads per month, and there's NO DRM!!! But there's also a dearth of popular music. It's strictly an indie site, but that's where the cutting edge is at in terms of music right now. And to round out this tangent, plug-in Rocco Deluca to Last.fm's search engine and listen to what you get. They are a slick new indie group that Kiefer Sutherland is promoting. I got a chance to hear them recently. Tell me what you think...