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Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

Citysol – Live Music Via Solar Power, Biodiesel

Posted by Molli Fire on Friday, 15June07

Perhaps you recall, waaaaaaay back at the beginning of April, I reported that Solar One and Brooklyn Vegan had teamed up to organize an FREE weekend-long event for NYC. At the time, they were still looking for volunteers, including bands, to help out. The people of NYC responded and the result is an awareness raising, green energy, arts, and music festival that will be completely powered by solar power and bio-diesel generators! Today Brooklyn Vegan announced the lineup and other goodies one can participate in during the weekend of July13-15th. For example, you can bring your energy bill to the event and switch on the spot to a green plan with ConEdison. In return you receive credit for free beer at the concert! Or, simply bring a mug and get $1 off beer! These folks know the right language to speak when talking about improving the environment!
Here is the digs from Brooklyn Vegan:

Brooklyn Vegan & Solar One present Citysol:

Brooklyn Vegan Presents Citysol

A FREE SHOW on SATURDAY JULY 14 (1pm-10pm) in NYC w/
LES SAVY FAV (!!)
Land Of Talk (previously announced)
O’Death (yeah)
The Besnard Lakes (previously announced)
These Are Powers (ex-Liars)
The Budos Band (funky)
Frankpollis (starring Jackson)
plus a very special performance from OCDJ
(Dance Party until the solar goes out!)

@ Solar One at Stuyvesant Cove Park – located along the East River between 18th and 23rd Streets. Solar One sits in the north end of the park, near the 23rd Street entrance and the Gulf Gas station.

Righteous! There is so much excellent information to discover, it would be difficult to reproduce all of it here, so go over to the BV and check it out:

Brooklyn Vegan Presents Citysol 2007
The Citysol page on the Solar One website

Previous Citysol News On HearingTest:

Citysol Seeks Bands-Aid on HearingTest

 

Citysol and Brooklyn Vegan Free Concert

 


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Posted in +Greatest Hits+, activism, art, culture, DIY, festivals, free, guitar, Liars, LSF, music, music tech, news, NYC, rock, shows, social, street art, technology | 2 Comments »

Bjork Technology + M.I.A. To Open In France

Posted by Molli Fire on Thursday, 14June07

Bjork! Bjork! Bjork! Dang nothing happened. I thought maybe I could conjure up the faerie queen. Well, she’s probably to busy right now to be conjured. She’s still touring and doing all kinds of press.bjorkus.jpg

For starters, you can find a fabulous interview with Bjork in the amazing online magazine Dummy Mag. It’s a virtual magazine that you actually turn the pages of. I love these tree-free magazines! Her interview is on page 66, but you might not want to skip ahead. There are articles/interviews with Bonde do Role, Justice, Maccabees, Dizzee Rascal, Skull Disco and more with lots of big glossy looking photos. Surprisingly it loads super fast. I need to learn that trick. Must be a flash thing.

Over on the opposite side of the web (literally, from zmag.co.uk to apple.com) Alan Pollard profiled the technical arrangement of Volta for Apple Pro. Alan Pollard has an insider’s perspective as Bjork’s technical director for a full 10 years. He must be pretty good at his job. He’s in charge of the technical aspects of her music, and is especially important to her on tour. In this feature, he talks about how he packs the entire faerie kingdom into a laptop (lemme guess, a MAC laptop) and the details of how to make all her mechanization work seamlessly with her human performance. It’s a stellar read for studio and gear buffs.

M.I.A. Opens For Bjork In France

And, If you are able to catch her 2 shows in Nimes France in August, you will also get to see M.I.A. when she opens for Bjork at these 2 shows!

LINKS

Dummy Mag
Bjork Tech Profile
Bjork website
M.I.A.

All The Bjork News

Bjork news and reviews on HearingTest

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Posted in +Greatest Hits+, Bjork, culture, electronica, experimental, free, industry, interview, music, music tech, news, noise, pop, shows, technology, tour | Leave a Comment »

Digg Community Digs Grave For Digg

Posted by Molli Fire on Thursday, 3May07

Undertaker, build me a coffin.  No, no, no, make that 2.  One for the selector blogger, one for the mourner Digger…

digg-guy.png

The biggest story on the web today concerns a user revolt on the popular bookmark site, Digg. It started when somebody published a hack code that removes the copy-protection from HD DVDs. Naturally, this became big news and was a top post on Digg among many other bookmark sites. According to Digg staff member, Jay Adelson :

We’ve been notified by the owners of this intellectual property that they believe the posting of the encryption key infringes their intellectual property rights.

Digg then proceeded to delete the posts that contained the hack code, and suspend the members who posted it. As it turns out, the community who participates in Digg, without which Digg would not exist, being that it is a social bookmarking site decided to make it crystal clear who decides the news. Digg was bombarded with posts that contained the code, and had to make a decision – wholesale deletion and suspension, or give in to the masses. i’ll let Digg’s founder, Kevin Rose tell you what they did :

In building and shaping the site I’ve always tried to stay as hands on as possible. We’ve always given site moderation (digging/burying) power to the community. Occasionally we step in to remove stories that violate our terms of use (eg. linking to pornography, illegal downloads, racial hate sites, etc.). So today was a difficult day for us. We had to decide whether to remove stories containing a single code based on a cease and desist declaration. We had to make a call, and in our desire to avoid a scenario where Digg would be interrupted or shut down, we decided to comply and remove the stories with the code.

But now, after seeing hundreds of stories and reading thousands of comments, you’ve made it clear. You’d rather see Digg go down fighting than bow down to a bigger company. We hear you, and effective immediately we won’t delete stories or comments containing the code and will deal with whatever the consequences might be.

If we lose, then what the hell, at least we died trying.

Digg on,

Kevin

There you have it. The power of the people always wins when they unite to overwhelm the system. Of course, it helps if it is a system that you actually want to destroy. Personally, i always thought that Digg was corrupt. It has been pretty well documented that the system is rigged.

Viva La Revolucion!

personally, i’m just too anti-social to get that involved in social bookmarking. this blog has been a big leap for me. don’t get me wrong, i have a great circle of friends who are amazing, and we organize shows, play music, and all that, so i guess i’m social…. it’s the networking i don’t really get into much….

Posted in DIY, hacktivism, internet, legal, piracy, social, technology | Leave a Comment »

Hacking The Social Network To Get To The Top

Posted by Molli Fire on Monday, 30April07

Before I end the detour into posting about HearingTest and internet technical info, I want to add a few things….

This Here WordPress Blog

I like to read about all kinds of things and i’m fascinated with how things work. I have a terrible habit of dismantling things, especially electronic things, to see how they work. If they weren’t broken to begin with, I am good at getting them back together. One of my many obstacles in life turns up when I take things apart that don’t work for some reason. I leave them “exploded” – scattered bits about 1/16th inch away from where they were nestled together as a cohesive whole. I leave them that way while I try to find the part that will make them work again. This would be fine, except they tend to multiply. Many little unfinished projects with their guts exposed.

I can’t do this with the web. If something can’t be fixed properly, I have to figure out a backup plan that will work. Which brings us to the current design and layout going on here at the HearingTest HQ. WordPress worked on fixing the sidebar/widget problems this morning, and seems to have resolved it. For some reason, it’s not working for me. I have a dead widgets dashboard. I can’t mess with ’em. So what am i going to do now?

(shrugs) nothing.

It really doesn’t bother me too much, as long as all the correct info is there. I’d actually like this layout if the sidebars were on the left. And, i wanted to change the CSS for this site soon enuff anyway. So, maybe this will do until I get a chance to write up a stylesheet, it might increase my motivation to get on that. Or, maybe i will figure out how to get the old design working again. Either way, it means there will be a bit of a construction zone goin on here for a short time. I apologize, I hope no one is actually inconvenienced, though i hardly think a person could be inconvenienced by this site.

Technorati favorites, Digg, Top blogs, And other Social Networking Issues In Web 2.0

I’m A Tinkerer

Part of my fascination with how things work extends to the web. I learned programming at a very early age – I was writing programs on a Commodore 64 that would tutor me on french when I was about 12 – so I am intrigued with SEO, accessibility, user interface, and such things. This is one of the reasons I thoroughly enjoy reading Problogger, even though i have almost no interest in making money from the blog itself. Sure, i have that link to Threadless Tshirts in the sidebar, which generates a whopping $3 credit in the store for me if someone were to use that link AND buy a shirt. (have you seen that link? oh you really should, it’s near the bottom. have you seen Threadless Tshirts? They are SO nice!) ;) But i digress. I read Problogger because I find it interesting. It’s useful, often has specific info on topics that are of interest to any website manager, and I like that he values reader interaction and quality of content more than what the web-surfing robots think. You know, the robots who decide things like blog rank and top posts and such.

Technorati Favorite Swapping

This weekend, I learned of yet another web 2.0 obsession – swapping favorite blog links. It is a game that some people play to get ahead on the web. The idea is to get enough people to add your blog address to their favorite blogs list on Technorati so that you get into the Top 100 Favorited Blogs. Darren, the author of Problogger, wrote a post about the dynamics of this game and whether being in the top 100 was a huge advantage or not. He has a great perspective in this matter, being #3 on the list, and it is valuable to get a glimpse of what he can see from there. Especially because he does not use this swapping method to get ahead in the rank. His post got me thinking about such methods, and I just thought I would put them here for the record. Think of this as an editorial in the Opinion section…

Put Down The Mouse, It’s Time To Get Some Fresh Air

Towards the end of that post, Darren offered up his honest opinion of the tactic. He said “This might not be popular – but I think that the practice of swapping favorites is a little sad and that the energy that some bloggers are putting into doing it could be much better spent by actually engaging with readers and encouraging genuine relationships to be formed.” I couldn’t agree more. The funny thing is that some people got really upset. Some even went so far as to use expletives in their comments! Getting heated about a topic like this displays how some people identify themselves with their blogs too much. MANY people in this cyber world need to step away from their computers and get some air. And some perspective. Take a walk, or a vacation. Seriously, it’s a blog, a web log of some series of events and personal experiences. Blogs may be taking over the web, but they should not be allowed to take over our lives. I say this even as someone who has spent 16 hours/day on my laptop every day for the last 2 weeks. I have not had any day off, I have been eating pizza and chinese, drinking too much coffee, and going insane. However, this is really unusual for me. I love the outside world, I love dancing and kung fu, I love huge stacks of speakers playing dub music, I especially love fresh air!

Every Man And Woman Is A Star

Blogs, writing, coding, programming, designing, and all computer based careers cause pixel burn to the eyes, a lack of social skills, stiff joints, sore backs, and a host of other problems. Why would i want to identify with these things? I find it a little scary that we, as an online population are getting so involved in web 2.0 that some people are beginning to internalize their online personas. Granted, your blog is a personal experience, and it probably follows the same moral standards that you adhere to in “real” life. But really, why take it so seriously?
I can appreciate the spirit of experimentation that this game began with (supposedly), but these types of trading, gaming, etc. is really just cheating. Is it more important to see inflated stats, rather than have any clue if someone actually likes the work being presented? For some, I suppose it is. But in the end, it’s just an illusion. I’d rather have one genuine reader than 100 fake ones. At least I would know if I was blogging to a brick wall in cyberspace. Plus, I hate it when a good idea, and a useful tool gets ruined by people who abuse it and exploit it, thereby making the tool completely inaccurate and useless. Well, for me, and my web persona, we’re gonna stick with integrity and moral highground. Even if it means we look insignificant in the vast universe of the www. Coz we are, we’re VERY insignificant. So is almost everything I post here. Do you think I would care about anything at all on the web if I was hungry from not eating enough for a week? How about a month? A year? Do you think our great great grandchildren will care about how popular our stupid blog was? Maybe it would be better to leave them a healthy environment, or an inspiring educational system.

End : rant transmission

Thanks for reading through all that. I don’t often rant and I’m not sure what has inspired this sudden interest in interacting with fellow bloggers. Today I even found myself going back to the WordPress forum about the broken sidebars and posting the temporary solution that had worked for me. I went back, and shared my insight in the hopes others could benefit as well from my discovery. This is totally my style, but not usually my web style. I hope I haven’t been virtually bit by a link swapping, black hat, blogger vampire!

Take it slow,
miss iVi

Posted in +Greatest Hits+, design, experimental, hacktivism, HearingTest updates, internet, piracy, social, technology, wordpress | Leave a Comment »

Today’s WordPress Problem Fixed With Easy Solution

Posted by Molli Fire on Monday, 30April07

hi there music fans!

if you are viewing this post on the actual webpage, you might notice that HearingTest looks quite different today. it’s true, and hopefully it is only a temporary solution. i dun know what gwan with di wordpress serverisms, but i go lookin at me page and the sidebars are all muckled up something naaasty! it seems that the problem is limited to only 2 or 3 wordpress themes : Andreas 09, which is what i was using, Garland and Freshy. Freshy is causing problems for some but not others. those are 3 out of about 4 total wordpress themes which offer 2 sidebars aka 3 columns. well, it just so happens that wordpress support peeps were away at the moment, perhaps fully aware of the situation and already investigating. so, until dis a figured out, i jes simple changed di theme to somethin similar but totally different, and everything is where it should be, no bugs or nuthin. i decided to use the theme titled “2813” because it has 2 sidebars plus the main column, which is as close to the other theme that i could find. that’s right, i jes change di theme to anything else besides those 2, and all of my sidebar info is restored with no additional work. judging from users feedback in the forum, any 3 column theme is potentially problematic right now. some users were not able to fix the problem with the 2813 theme, but got good results from switching to a 2 column theme. the best advice is – leave those widgets and sidebars alone! there is probably nothing wrong with them, it’s a problem with the theme that is having trouble communicating with them. if you make changes now, you could end up deleting them yourself when they were fine to begin with. if you want to make any changes while wordpress is working on the fix, stick with theme changes and posts, but don’t touch anything else. whew! so glad i dun hafta recreate alla dat. i got nuff work drowning me right now. no time fer di blog.

Report from the HearingTest HQ

i’m almost finished wit what i am writing and contributing for the reggae music and culture book i am collabing on. heaps of amazing research results, and some pretty good rants and tirades about dancehall music, its influence on other styles of music, and its place in the world. i’m writing pages and pages of content about soundsystem culture, the huge part that the dance-as-social-gathering has played in the survival of some of the world’s most oppressed populations, the psychoacoustic effects of riddims, speaker stacks, and repetitive drumming, even some crazy in-depth shizzle about dancing as the antidote to Babylon’s toxins – a fairly thorough exploration into the outmoded fight or flight response, which is more psychoacoustic stuff. you will definitely see some excerpts from alla dat come up soon.

thanks again for bearing through technoccult difficulties over pon HearingTest music brewery…..

a few things that will be revealed on HT this week, for you to anticipate :

  • photos and videos from a killer roots underground sound system party that featured End.User, Dan Doormouse, Arson, Bonk, theStapler, 666 Gangstaz, and Rtype. celebrating the record release of Teen Suicide 002!!
    TS002 is engraved with secret messages from 666 Gangstaz, HRock, the Stapler, and Planetsize. Available in record stores worldwide starting this week!
  • essays and rambling thoughts about dancehall – it’s history, cultural significance, and continuing cross cultural popularity…
  • more news than is worthy of reporting, except everybody likes something different, so hopefully you will enjoy at least one post per day.

and, we’ll just have to see what else happens. hopefully something fantastic and worthy of further discussion.

~have a lovely week~
miss iVi

Posted in design, glitch, HearingTest updates, internet, news, technology, wordpress | Leave a Comment »

New Bill In House Hopes To Save Internet Radio Broadcasting

Posted by Molli Fire on Friday, 27April07

Radio And Internet Newsletter aka RAIN reports today that a bill has been introduced into the house by Representative Jay Inslee (D-WA) that shows hope for indpendent internet radio broadcasting. It is titled The Internet Radio Equality Act and covers the following aspects :

The bill has five major provisions:

  1. Nullifies the recent decision of the CRB judges
  2. Changes the royalty rate-setting standard that applies to Internet radio royalty arbitrations in the future so that it is the same standard that applies to satellite radio royalty arbitrations — the 801(b)(1) standard that balances the needs of copyright owners, copyright users, and the public (rather than “willing buyer / willing seller”). (For more detail on this point, read the recent RAIN issue on “Copyright law,” here.)
  3. Instructs future CRBs that the minimum annual royalty per service may be set no higher than $500.
  4. Establishes a “transitional” royalty rate, until the 2011-15 CRB hearing is held, of either .33 cents per listener hour, or 7.5% of annual revenues, as selected by the provider for that year. Those rates would be applied retroactively to January 1, 2006. (The logic behind this rate, incidentally, is an attempt to match the royalty rate that satellite radio pays for this royalty — thus the name of the bill.)
  5. Expands the Copyright Act’s Section 118 musical work license for noncommercial webcasters to enable noncomms to also perform sound recordings over Internet radio at royalty rates designed for noncommercial entities, and sets an transition royalty at 150% of the royalty amount paid by each webcaster in 2004. (Note that this amount would be a set, flat fee through the end of the decade.)

For future CRBs (e.g., 2011-15), adds three new reports in the CRB process: The Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information will submit a report to the CRB judges on the industry impact in terms of competitiveness of the judges’ proposed rates; at the same time, the FCC will submit a report to the CRB judges on the effects of the judges’ proposed rates on localism, diversity of programming, and competitive barriers to entry; and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will submit a report to Congress and the CRB judges on the effect of the the judges’ proposed rates on their licencees.

RAIN’s webpage is much more informative, as it has links sprinkled throughout these provisions. RAIN also points out :

Now that the bill has been introduced, the SaveNetRadio.org “call to action” is specific and direct: The site is now asking listeners to call their Representative and ask him/her to “cosponsor the Internet Radio Equality Act, introduced by Representative Jay Inslee.” Once listeners click the “Call Your Representatives” button on the site and enter their zip code, they are given their Representative’s House office phone number and a list of “talking points” to emphasize.

Please click over to RAIN’s webpage for more information. They have a pdf version of the entire Act, as well as more coverage and suggestions for how you can participate.

One thing you can do is call your Representatives and urge them to co-sponsor the Internet Radio Equality Act. Hit Save Net Radio to get your Rep’s phone number.

International Listeners

If you reside outside the US (lucky you!) you can still help keep internet radio from being crushed by this BS. Join SaveNetRadio’s coalition! Click Coalition to find out how.

 

 

SaveNetRadio.org

MORE LINKS

http://www.savenetradio.org/index.html
http://www.kurthanson.com/

Posted in +Greatest Hits+, activism, CRB, DIY, dj, free, hacktivism, internet, legal, music, music tech, news, piracy, radio, RIAA, social, technology | Leave a Comment »

Stop Global Warming With Virtual March

Posted by Molli Fire on Wednesday, 11April07

Sheryl Crow has embarked on a multi-media tour aimed at raising awareness about oil dependency, alternative technologies, and global warming. the Grammy awarded singer will be travelling with Laurie David, activist and producer of Al Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth in a tour bus running on biodiesel. the “Stop Global Warming College Tour” kicked off today in Texas, US and will visit 11 universities in the southeastern states. the tour is part of a “virtual march” led by StopGlobalWarming.org and each stop will feature a multimedia show with speeches, excerpts from An Inconvenient Truth, humorous clips from top comedians, dialogue with students, and a short musical performance by Crow.

according to a New Orleans’ Loyola University article reprinted on Crow’s website :

The goal is to motivate college students to become part of the movement to stop global warming and demand solutions from themselves, their schools, and their country. The tour will conclude on April 22nd, 2007 at the George Washington University Smith Center, where they will celebrate Earth Day.

StopGlobalWarming.org is a call to action for Americans to voice their concern about global warming. Over 675,000 individual “marchers” from around the country, including 31 U.S. legislators, mayors, and governors, have joined the virtual march to acknowledge immediate the impact of global warming and to demand solutions to the problem. The movement has galvanized support from leading scientists, political and religious leaders, corporations, and individuals. During the two-week tour, college students, university leaders, faculty, and staff will be encouraged to join the virtual march.

more info with lots of steps you can take, and simple ways that you can help within your own globe :

http://www.stopglobalwarming.org/
http://stopglobalwarming.msn.com/

video trailer for An Inconvenient Truth

https://i0.wp.com/www2.mog.com/images/users/0000/0004/9826/images/1176185097.jpeg

The tour schedule is as follows:

Monday 4/9: Southern Methodist University (SMU), Dallas, Texas, McFarlin Auditorium, 8pm

Tuesday 4/10: Texas A&M, College Station, Texas, Rudder Arena, 7:30pm

Wednesday 4/11: Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, LSU Union Theater, 7:30pm

Thursday 4/12: Loyola University, New Orleans, LA, Republic New Orleans, 8pm

Friday 4/13: University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, Bartow Arena, 7:30pm

Monday 4/16: University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, Stephen O’Connell Center, 7:30pm

Tuesday 4/17: Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN, Murphy Center, 7:30pm

Wednesday 4/18: Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, Life Center Ballroom, 7:30pm

Thursday 4/19: University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, Charlottesville Pavilion, 7:30pm (with special performance by Robert Randolph & the Family Band)

Saturday 4/21: University of Maryland, College Park, MD, Cole Field House, 1pm

Sunday 4/22: George Washington University, Washington, DC, The Smith Center, 4pm

https://i1.wp.com/www2.mog.com/images/users/0000/0004/9826/images/1176185149.jpeg

 

 

 

 

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Posted in activism, guitar, internet, music, news, rock, shows, social, technology, tour | 2 Comments »

DJ Spooky Spins Lecture At U of NC

Posted by Molli Fire on Friday, 23March07

DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid will be presenting an interesting lecture at Asheville, North Carolina’s UNCA on wednesday march 28th. Spooky describes his topic in an interview with :: Amy Jones :: as “something about the world of information as a collage. My talk is about what happens when we’re picking information, putting together the info from all of the things around us, video clips, the web, music. As an artist it’s something I deal with everyday. Then I’ll move through the deejay culture and we’ll talk about patterns of culture. I’m really interested in the stuff that’s in front of us everyday.”

The lecture is called “Rhythm Science” and is part of a annual lecture series called “Aesthetics: Thinking Beyond Experience”. Spooky will be combining turntablism, technology, music theory, information culture, and scholarly research into a multimedia presentation. The :: UNC Asheville website :: description says :

During his multimedia presentation, Miller will use historical texts and rare audio and film recordings to illustrate the history of digital art and media. Using the DJ’s mix as a template, he will discuss how today’s artists can rearrange the cultural ideas and objects that bombard us to produce something new and expressive. Miller will also discuss technology’s impact on DJ culture and the issues that arise from it, such as intellectual property rights and ownership of ideas.

sounds fantastic! Spooky is one of a handful of dj’s involved in the academics of music theory, psychoacoustics, information technology, and intellectual property and rights law. A few others that come to mind are Wayne Marshall aka Wayne and Wax, and DJ Ripley, both part of the Rhythm Method. (loyal readers – you may recognize these names from my recent post Grime Explosion, where they are mentioned as part of the SF grime/dubstep uprising. these 2 plus Kid Kameleon are good peeps, academically proficient, wicked dj’s and not to be missed if you ever get a chance to see them play, give a lecture, or participate in community efforts)

There is a lot more great information on UNCA’s website about DJ Spooky’s career and the school event, so definitely check that out further. Here is the event info :

Who: DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid.
When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Where: UNC Asheville’s Lipinsky Hall.
How much: free.
Information: 828-251-6600.

dj spooky   dj spooky

Posted in +Greatest Hits+, dj, electronica, experimental, music, news, scratch, shows, social, technology | Leave a Comment »

How To Live DRM Free In The Digital Age

Posted by Molli Fire on Wednesday, 21March07

Living DRM Free In The Digital Age

Is it possible? It depends on what you do as an individual, and what the manufacturers do with the technology that they make available to the public. You, as an individual, have a say in both cases. The first step needs to be taken immediately, while the second step will improve your stride into the future! Here is a new, more organized installment of “a very detailed report” about what is happening this week with digital media – storage, streaming and sharing as well as some resources for DRM free music experiences. (Feel free to read my previous installment, which is long in the tooth, but pretty widely peppered with links for lots more information about the CRB’s drastic increase in royalty rates for webcasters. You can find it in the archive on March 7th.)

First, if you are not familiar with DRM and its issues, start by reading the Wiki entry for DRM which is thorough in its portrayal of the different opinions and motivations that have polarized the music community.
Next, read Steve Jobs’ “Thoughts On Music” on apple.com which has been a hot topic since its publication February 6th 2007. Jobs basically dumbs down the history of Apple’s involvement with the music distribution companies, explains how hackers are smart enough to crack any protection they implement, forcing Apple programmers to keep up an endless game of “cat and mouse” with hackers in order to keep the big music companies docile enough to not yank its entire catalog from the iTunes Store.

– -if you want to know the punchline from these thoughts right now, then keep reading this section. otherwise skip past the brackets and read the manifesto in full on apple.com- –

[- – SPOILER WARNING – – Jobs outlines 3 options for dealing with DRM, choose one : “The third alternative is to abolish DRMs entirely. … This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat. …” But then he ends the lesson by leaving this option in the hands of the Big 4 and the EU. It’s too bad he did not make a more clear statement of intent for making changes to Apple’s software and hardware, nor the imposed DRM on tunes and movies that are not under the authority of the Big Boys….]

In the interest of counterpoint, i’d like to know how Apple and Steve Jobs would benefit or be compromised by opening up the DRM restraints. Would it ease legal difficulties arising in courts in EU countries? Would it eliminate obstacles to launching the iPhone with full online and streaming capabilities? Are we to believe that Steve Jobs is a man of the people, and making this statement as a champion of the consumers?

This time last year, CNN reported in their Money section :

The companies – Universal, Warner Music (Research), EMI and Sony BMG – were forced to accept Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ pricing because the iTunes music store has so much influence over the U.S. download market, the report said. The iTunes music store accounts for 80 percent of paid downloads.

The newspaper says that some labels were considering signing short-term contracts with Apple now and then bringing up the issue again in the near future.

Wow, that’s a lot of influence our man Steve Jobs has. If he has this kind of sway over the market and the big music companies, then it seems he would be able to make option 3 in his statement a reality : a DRM free industry, where all media players can play the music that we purchase in all of our listening environments. No more cds bought from best buy that can’t be ripped to play in the car. No more tunes purchased from online stores that cannot be played in mp3 players not made by Apple. Freedom from restrictive micro-management.

How do we the people, who gave Steve Jobs that kind of clout by purchasing 80% of all our downloads from the iTunes Store with millions of our hard earned dollars, let him know that we want DRM free music.? How do we push him into championing the cause of the consumer and putting his ideas into concrete action? It’s simple, and realistic, and it involves those 2 steps i mentioned at the beginning of this episode. First, we tell Steve Jobs that we like his ideas and we want them to become reality. Second, we use our dollars as voting power, and only purchase music that is distributed without DRM. Believe it or not, both steps are very easy, and most likely will not restrict your musical experience at all.

NOW – –*right now*– – If you want to show your support for a DRM free experience and urge Steve Jobs and Apple to lead the way out of DRM and its Digital Restrictions Mafia, then add your signature to the “Open Letter to Steve Jobs” on the Defective By Design website. The letter simply urges him to back up his online pledge with reasonable action, specifically by opening the DRM for all media in the iTunes Store that does not require this impairment. This would cover giving independent musicians and labels the option to decline DRM restrictions being added to their files on iTunes, as well as opening DRM from other products that are not required to use DRM. Jobs also has the authority and corporate standing as a member of Disney’s Board of Directors to have the DRM dropped from Disney’s movies and videos sold in the iTunes Store.

Now for the 2nd step : Starting right now, you can begin living a life free from DRM. you probably won’t want to ditch all the DRM music that you already have and enjoy listening to, but you can make concious choices about the music that you purchase in the future. So much of the music we listen to today will be out of regular rotation in our playlists a year or 2 from now ayway. Making choices about music now could actually convert more and more of our playlists to be free of restrictions. Defective By Design features an online guide to DRM-free Living. The guide features links to record labels, online music stores, software, players and more that provide digital music to the public without the restrictive DRM.
This is where i cheer and jump for joy – Yay!!! Because, there are some great stores on this list that i already frequent, and have been posting links to for you to listen to the great music that i have been writing about! Not only do i vouch for some of these sites, i highly encourage you to go check out their selection! Bleep.com is on there, a great online store for electronic music (Warp Records, Traum, Ed Banger), hip hop and dj music (Ninja Tunes, XL), blues and reggae (Birdman, Trojan) and much much more. The store is vast, and nearly every song on every album has a preview clip to listen to. And yep – eMusic.com and Canada’s Nettwerk is on there as well. When you are checking out this amazing guide, don’t miss page two, because that’s where you will find the link to DRM-free streaming videos like the Decemberists and Postal Service, as well as internet tv and video podcasts.
Oh, and speaking of defective design, many links in the guide were not working for me! but, i was able to locate every website address by hovering over either the site name or the tag name, reading the address and typing it by hand in the location bar. hopefully DbD will have that fixed soon.

Whew! There you have it, an exhaustive report on how to survive as a music lover in the age of music restriction. Consider this your bootleg bottle of prohibition digital music information! i hope you enjoyed the read, and found it helpful. i imagine there will probably be another installment next week, when the industry announces more ways to steal our money.

Posted in +Greatest Hits+, activism, DRM, hacktivism, internet, legal, mp3, music, music tech, news, piracy, RIAA, social, technology, writ | 1 Comment »

U of Michigan is ready to turn students over to RIAA

Posted by Molli Fire on Wednesday, 14March07

According to a letter sent out to all U of Michigan staff and students :

“the University of Michigan received notification that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) intends to sue or receive settlement from more than a dozen members of the U-M community engaged in unlawful peer-to-peer file sharing of music over the Internet. The RIAA has designated these individuals through IP addresses, and the University is in the process of identifying and notifying them.”

to read the full letter and comments via a Wired Blog, click here…

this is only one stance taken by the universities that have received threatening letters from the RIAA. i remember reading last week that Ohio University (who is #1 in pirates) has set up numerous sessions for students to meet with staff and legal consultants to discuss the options and obstacles. other universities are coming up empty handed. RIAA sent 2 letters to University of North Dakota, requesting student identities for offenses that occured more than a month ago. U of ND only retains ip records for 30 days, and therefore cannot fill the RIAA’s request.

more info here.

Posted in internet, legal, mp3, music, news, RIAA, technology | Leave a Comment »

MPAA steals school projects

Posted by Molli Fire on Monday, 12March07

from tech dirt :

MPAA steals school projects from college videomakers in an attempt to further their propaganda. A very interesting read, makes you wonder how these companies get away with stealing while trying to destroy piracy.

with a link to torrentfreak which has some video examples

Posted in +Greatest Hits+, news, piracy, technology | Leave a Comment »