update: Ok. It looks like the polling system can’t handle so many entries, and I’m not about to make a big bracket out of this. Instead, enjoy these and other spooky tunes as you wind out your Hallows Eve.
31 October 2008
(Tim Fite, from Flickr user Jalapeño)
I’ll have the Halloween band poll up in a moment (last chance to submit nominations). In the interim, you all have a right to know that Brooklyn weird-man Tim Fite has released his second annual Halloween album, Ding Dong Ditch, free for download today only on his site. In celebration he also posted last years album, It’s Only Ketchup as well. Download both from Tim here.
I still think one of my all-time favorite shows was Tim Fite / Calexico / Iron & Wine / Iron & Wine & Calexico show up at the (now-deceased) Avalon in December 2005. Tim’s awesome to see live, as many Northeastern kids found out at WRBB‘s killer fall concert.
30 October 2008
I thought of a way that I can keep fresh stuff up here and still dedicate most of my weekend to writing legal memos. Here’s a proposal:
It is Halloween tomorrow, and that’s a big day. We here on WordPress blogs also recently gained the ability to do on-site polling in blogs. So, I want to try a little experiment.
I want to come to some sort of a consensus as to who is the spookiest band of all time. Please – send me your nominations in the comments and we’ll do polling tomorrow. I’ll do a post with music samples and such so we can all consider and come to an educated decision.
Already nominated by Oscar and I:
Now this will only be fun if we all participate. So come on – let’s see some solid nominations.
Update: I’ve added the following bands into the running:
I think I’ll leave submissions open until midnight or so, and have polling up from midnight to midnight.
29 October 2008
(great screencap from Flickr user jidnet)
I have to break my silence to share this very substantial news.
The handlers of The Beatles content, longtime holdouts of the digital music world (having never gone on iTunes, or sold anything through digital means) have officially ended their boycott of the medium and decided to release content through MTV/Harmonix’s Rock Band franchise. Ars Technica and Wall Street Journal have stories up tonight, and a formal press conference is planned for tomorrow morning.
So, a console video game will be the venue by which the Beatles will enter the digital music world.
I mentioned back in June that there were rumors of this, and the impact of which will no doubt rattle the whole industry. This comes on the heels of the 10-year anniversary of two very controversial pieces of Copyright legislation: The Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Public Knowledge is running a great series on the occasion that includes a variety of interviews and reflective essays, for those who are really curious on how the legislation has changed how we handle copyright (for good and for bad). I have a sense that these two events coming together will lead to a massive discussion of technology, content, and commercialization – assuming of course we can tear ourselves away from election coverage for long enough to do so.
Incredible kudos go to Cambridge’s own Harmonix for being the ones that finally brought down the beast. I hope it all works out for all parties involved. As I said back in June, we as an industry want deals like this. At least I think we do.
(a gray wolf, from Flickr user dobak)
I’m always amazed how my website activity is reflected in my readership.
It’s a fascinating study – my longer, thought heavy posts receive more comments and greater google-search hits, but random “huh.” posts always trigger more aggregate and individual traffic and more traffic from people emailing my links (yes, I can see that [only as far as your email client, not individual address]. So can every website. You should know that as a consumer.). I had my fourth all-time highest view count on Sunday, but three days letter with no posts I’ve fallen way off the map on traffic.
Sadly, that trend will continue. I’m off radar for a few days, and potentially through the election. I’ll try and put something up for the weekend (more for my own sanity than for yours, I’ll selfishly admit). As of now I’ve got a lot of real-world work to do and of course Halloween to consider. In the interim I think my buddy Oscar is going to do a special Halloween post that will certainly be quality. I’ll link to that when it comes around.
Until then, dig Listening Post’s recap of all of the great derivative music coming from an already-derivative song: M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes.” And I use derivative in the language of copyright law (as in a work that uses the work of others), not as an insult to Ms. Arulpragasm’s abilities.
See you when the memos are done,
The Clash – Straight To Hell
27 October 2008
So here I was, taking a break from the ever-mounting levels of work we 1Ls deal with around finals season to watch the ever-classic It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on the YouTubes care of Paste Magazine’s writeup of the new deluxe edition release. I was thinking “gee, this mindless cartoon will let me take my mind off of the law for about half an hour, before I dive back into it.” How was I to know that not 3 and a half minutes into the special we get a contracts case involving promissory estoppel and statute of frauds!
“It’s a signed document! I guess if you have a signed document in your possession, you can’t go wrong. This year I’m really going to kick that football.” ~ Charlie Brown
So now instead of taking a little cat-nap while watching one of the classics of Halloween, I’m left wondering if Charlie’s got a torts or contracts claim against Lucy for damages suffered in reliance of the promise evidenced by the signed writing. I don’t think the lack of notarization will even matter, and perhaps the statute of frauds does not apply, since this would likely not be a case where the law forces the agreement to be so evidenced.
This winter break is going to be a welcome departure.
26 October 2008
DCist wins for the above caption and the below photo:
Or, as a friend of mine said as we were walking down 14th Street the other day, “here’s hoping that in a couple of weeks that’s extraordinarily disturbing.”
Thanks to Flickr user Psychofarm for the photo.
I’m feeling a little proud today. WordPress has me as one of their Top 100 “Growing Blogs” in their Blogs of the Day roundup. I came in at #10, right after this pretty sweet travel blog by a photographer named Mitchell, and right after a blog dedicated to deconstructing all the glitches and cheats in Disney’s Club Penguin MMORPG4kids.
So thanks, everybody. Sorry I won’t be around to write more today, but I’ve got a memo to write on some endangered wolves. Cheers.
25 October 2008
You could make an e-museum out of all the weird crap coming out of this election. I’ll be glad when the circus leaves town.
Thanks to Sister M for this one.
Ars Technica has a good article up looking into the touchscreen voting issues reported in West Virginia. Those unfamiliar can get educated over here (long story short, several people voting early using touch-screen voting were having their votes for Obama appear on the screen as McCain, and having a hard time correcting them).
Couple takeaways from this one:
- For what it’s worth, these screen misreads are almost certainly the result of a machine error, and not the product of a right-wing plot to steal the election for West Virginia (that state is virtually certain to be in the bag for McCain, anyway). Really, if they are going steal the electronic vote, they’re going to do it with malicious code during the tally stage, not perceptible to the average voter. So, yay?
- A lot of this is simple miscalibration. Machines that are brought out every two-to-four years and stored in poor conditions will often cause these machines to warp their components.
- Plenty of blame can be assigned to the iVotronics machines used in The Mountain State. The machines are more susceptible than many in miscalibration (using too intricate a calibration stage, ironically enough), and using a system that does not account for how the height of a voter might change the parallax.
- No voting system is perfect. All systems inherently have errors. We just don’t see the errors in optical scanner ballots (such as in Massachusetts), and never likely will. At least with electronic voting you can see how the machine is registering your vote, and correct it before it’s submitted.
I worry about the voting system we have. Obviously we are far to late to address it this year (truthfully, imposing a new system of voting last October would probably be too late for this year). But we need to pause and think about how we can address this, and I don’t think we should leave it to the Diebolds and iVotronics of the world. Nothing is more critical to our society than our right to vote. We cannot compromise it based on machine error (or, far worse, malicious code attacks). I put forth the following two somewhat-radical ideas for you guys to chew around.