aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Arianna & George
Even if she’s right she’s wrong!
I saw the Clooney post and didn’t think it particularly substantive, much as I liked his opening line, “I am a liberal. And I make no apologies for it. Hell, I’m proud of it.”
Hell, I almost quoted it.
But now it turns out he didn’t write it:
“Miss Huffington’s blog is purposefully misleading and I have asked her to clarify the facts. I stand by my statements but I did not write this blog. With my permission Miss Huffington compiled it from interviews with Larry King and The Guardian. What she most certainly did not get my permission to do is to combine only my answers in a blog that misleads the reader into thinking that I wrote this piece. These are not my writings - they are answers to questions and there is a huge difference.”
Arianna says it’s all a misunderstanding:
So we put together a sample blog from answers he had given on Larry King Live and an interview with the Guardian in London, and sent it to him to rework in any way he wanted.
A publicist who was working on the promotion of Good Night, and Good Luck, emailed back saying, “I will get it to him and get back to you as soon as I hear anything.” Three days later, she emailed again, approving, without any changes, what we had sent: “Of course this is fine, Arianna!”
And once we had the approval, that’s what we ran: George Clooney’s words put into blog form.
Er, that’s not what I call blogging. I mean, fine if that’s what she wants to do. But I quote Arianna from time to time, I read the Huffington Post from time to time, and I’m rather appalled to find that she thinks that’s kosher.
I’d have more respect for her if she copped to the Wonkette defense, ”she was wasted!” You know Tim Russert’s getting a kick out of this…
Everything that’s wrong with publishing
A blogger buddy has a beef with Malcolm Gladwell. I wanted to look into it. Regular readers will recall that, like many a modern reader, I often buy audio books. When I want to refer back to specific passages I use the Search Inside function of Amazon.
Today when I searched Gladwell’s Blink I got this important message:
Amazon.com is pleased to offer our customers the ability to view copyrighted material from books participating in the Search Inside! program. To protect this copyrighted material, the books are subject to publisher-approved page-viewing limits.
You have reached a page-viewing limit. For security purposes, we are not able to provide further information about the specific limit reached.
We encourage you to use the other Search Inside! features that are available to you regardless of your limit status. These features include the ability to search inside any book in the program and view text-only excerpts from that book. You can also browse sample pages for any book in the program by clicking the links in the “Browse sample pages” box found on that book’s product detail page.
For the record, I have not searched this particular title at all and for the entire past month I have viewed maybe 6 or 8 pages inside any book. I wasn’t counting or paying attention, but “for security purposes” I have no way of knowing, and no right to know, what my limit might be.
Now imagine being in a bookstore and being told, “I’m sorry sir you’ve reached your limit. You can’t page through any more books in the store.”
Freedoms that we commonly assume in the physical world WE DO NOT HAVE in the digital realm. This is yet another example that we’re losing something fundamental and important here, and we’re hardly even noticing.
UPDATE: It appears that the limit is set per title, not per person. Several of us have searched the same title, Blink, which is blocked. Still. But I can search inside other titles with no problem. That block is no less offensive.
Everything that’s wrong with filmmaking in America today
Thank God Hollywood has not embraced remix culture: I dream of Kotter in Dallas. NOT!
Peering into the future
Residential broadband use is still growing in America, but the rate of growth has fallen significantly according to a pair of studies covered last week in this column. [link] This is nothing dreadful and nothing permanent, but under the current system of solely personal computers using the Internet, it will take another generation (20 years) to reach near-100 percent market penetration comparable to telephones. Ironically, by that time homes with traditional hard-wired phone lines will have dramatically decreased, showing us the other end of the bell curve as technologies become obsolete. But it doesn’t have to be this way, as technology companies well know. The way to kick broadband growth back into top gear is to change the nature of the network and its interfaces, adding phones, television, and home automation to the mix. And that’s why we see huge efforts in all these areas. But the point I made last week that inspires this week’s column is the idea that only through peer-to-peer data distribution can this new network operate efficiently. READ ON.
Sweden is not a state in these United States
The site is called The Pirate Bay, and it’s operated by a crew of intrepid Swedes who revel in tormenting the content industries.
“All of us who run the TPB are against the copyright laws and want them to change,” said “Brokep,” a Pirate Bay operator. “We see it as our duty to spread culture and media. Technology is just a means to doing that.”
A quick look at The Pirate Bay’s lineup suggests which side is winning the piracy wars. Among the site’s most popular downloads are recent Oscar nominees and winners like Closer and Brokeback Mountain, Steven Spielberg’s Munich, the latest Harry Potter film and even stinkers like Underworld: Evolution and The Pink Panther. Downloading doesn’t require users to register or install spyware—if one has a BitTorrent client installed, anything listed is just a click away.
To international observers, The Pirate Bay’s defiant immunity from copyright lawyers is somewhat baffling. But in Sweden, the site is more than just an electronic speak-easy: It’s the flagship of a national file-sharing movement that’s generating an intense national debate, and has even spawned a pro-piracy political party making a credible bid for seats in the Swedish parliament. [...]
[T]he group that founded it is embracing grass-roots activism and political legitimacy. PiratbyrÃƒÂ¥n today has 57,000 registered members committed to its belief that file trading is a means of sharing culture and making new art.
My favorite part of The Pirate Bay site of course is their rogues gallery of cease and desist letters.
My favorite is their response to Dreamworks: “As you may or may not be aware, Sweden is not a state in the United States of America. Sweden is a country in northern Europe. Unless you figured it out by now, US law does not apply here. For your information, no Swedish law is being violated.” Click through to read the rest, but keep in mind it’s NSFW.
A commenter adds: “ My anti-virus caught a dialer waiting to be installed. Not recommended not only for work...”
Others have pointed out that Isaac Hayes quitting South Park over “intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs” that are “sacred to people” is suspect, coming as it does years after Chef boxes Jesus and knocks him out with a single blow and molesting priests in Red Hot Catholic Love, not to mention last year’s Bloody Mary.
Gizmodo has an hilarious, in-depth story on the history of the E-Meter, the “religious artifact” used by the “Church” of Scientology to detect and clear “engrams”—negative energy left behind by unhappy events in this life or lives gone past. The Cadillac of current official offerings, the Quantum Super VII is the ultimate in e-meter artifacts, priced at over $4,500 new…