In case you needed more reasons to be disappointed in the federal government, the RIAA has apparently convinced the federal Copyright Royalty Board to implement an unreasonably high fee on online music, outraging everyone from NPR to cutting edge webcasters.
Speaking of corporations taking their ball and going home, what happens when Google loses? By the end his short answer is that nothing happens. It's not like Web video would come to an end or anything. But what interested me about Scoble's perspective (remember his job now is making original Web-only video) is that he thinks Viacom is shooting itself in the foot because Web video is the future and if Viacom isn't going to share its content online audiences will watch something else online. I have a hard time being completely convinced of that argument, probably because I watch so much corporate video (mostly on TV) that I'd probably end up watching it on an official site instead of YouTube. But as a metaphor for the situation with Web radio I completely understand what he's saying. If the RIAA is going to make it harder to listen to the music they represent their audience is going to end up discovering a lot of non-RIAA music online. And non-RIAA musicians are going to have an easier time finding an audience eager for music.
Speaking of being better than anything you'd find from Viacom, here's Ze Frank on the nature of creativity (again) - This was his last week, though pretty much everyone expects him back by '08 in a newer, bigger, stronger way. I never managed to be a regular Ze viewer but I've seen a bunch and more than once he's expressed this anxiety about whether he'll be creative tomorrow or even 5 minutes from now. It's funny what he says about confidence because seeing him continue to produce in the face of his own anxiety boosts my own confidence that creativity comes when you let it.
Speaking of online radio, since a lot of people wrote in with a favorable reaction to Slacker.com radio (which hopefully won't have to go out of business now) here's a look at the player they're expected to release. This would be the iPod killer part of their plan.
Speaking of not needing corporate approval to have a good time, the mistake in thinking that blogs will be extinct in ten years is thinking blogging is about the audience and quality expression. Blogging is about self-expression which is part of the human condition. The only way blogs will go extinct is if someone comes up with an even easier way to express oneself. Until then there will continue to be bad blogs, bad music, bad art, etc. (and good too of course).
"A New Jersey civil engineer powers his home with solar panels and hydrogen tanks. Can it work in the mainstream?" (His energy bill is zero.)
The universal rule for live performance is no kids and no animals. Ignore this at your peril.
Rachmaninov had big Hands... but for everyone else...
Weird Al may be a dork but you have to admire his ability to fit these palindromes into a song. Self-indulgent Weird Al anecdote: Weird Al played at my college and I was dating a girl on the committee that set up the performance. Among his requirements was an acoustic guitar that he would smash on the stage after singing an Every Rose Has A Thorn parody. In the course of cleaning up the stage after the show my girl grabbed the guitar strap from the wreckage and gave it to me. Yes, that means I have in my possession an authentic Weird Al guitar strap.
Delutube offers users a way to view deleted YouTube videos - That sounds like a big deal but I hit the random viewer button a few times and saw pretty much the same stuff I see on undeleted YouTube. A huge girlfight, miniskirted teens doing wiggle lip syncs, regular old rock videos, homemade rocketry videos with copyrighted music soundtracks... There's a chance you could see something genuinely tawdry but I wasn't so lucky.
I didn't realize such a big deal was being made over the 30th anniversary of Star Wars.
"The "visits" metric, defined as the number of times a unique person accesses content within a Web entity with breaks between access of at least 30 minutes, is a way of measuring the frequency with which a person views content, thereby illustrating a key component of user engagement." Can 'Visits' Replace Pageviews?
Smoking 2.0 Gives Lungs a Break - It's battery powered and vaporizes the tobacco instead of burning it. Doesn't that make it basically an inhaler?
When I heard the news that Democrats were being warned from appearing on The Colbert Report I thought it was an embarrassing admission that they aren't smart enough to defend their own positions against his parody arguments and silly verbal traps. But reading the Hill story that brought the news I see that not going on Colbert is part of more positive advice: "Pay attention to your district, don't go Washington, go home every weekend." Now I'm a little embarrassed at myself for caring about members of Congress on comedy shows. Go do your jobs.
The bracelet phone - I want to be able to talk on it with it around my wrist, like Michael Knight summoning Kit.
I looked for a primary source link for this sport pump but I couldn't find it on the designer's site.
Last WWI Combat Veteran Laid to Rest - Of course this would happen eventually but it has such a Children of Men feeling the headline really stood out to me.
People are accusing Garrison Keillor of being anti-gay in this essay. I think they're missing his point, which is that adults need to get over themselves and devote more of their lives to their children. There may be room for discussion of whether there's "life after kids" but I don't think he's arguing that gay people are inherently too self absorbed to raise kids. UPDATE: Thanks very much to JE in the comments for a counterpoint. The link to which he refers is here. Note, as he does that it has a pretty prominent F bomb on the page. Also, the discussion in the comments section of the Savage entry is a good read.
Giving Filmy, Flimsy Plastic Bags the Sack - I don't think this would be too great an inconvenience for the most part. I imagine there'd either be a lot more satchel wearing or dual-purpose hairnets would come into fashion.
Richardson to legalize medical marijuana - The reason that's a big deal is that he's running for president. The article mentions it being a political risk but who is it that opposes medical marijuana - other than the federal war on drugs folks? There aren't religious objections that I know of. Maybe law enforcement types who see it as likely to leak to the street? The only real political risk in legalizing medical marijuana that I can think of is the exposure to the dishonest spin that's going to try to present it as "pro-drugs" or something. Would anyone believe that?
My visual DNA - If you like horoscopes or those magazine quizzes you'll enjoy this. Answer a set of questions based on your preferences and get a little evaluation of yourself.
Missionary encounters extremely bizarre skin condition in Eastern Europe NOTE: Pretty gross. High potential for freakout.
If you've been considering Flickr (disclaimer: I have a pro account there) you might want to first take a look at Zooomr (3 Os, no E). That's a nice feature list they're putting together.
I can't find the source post for this and I hate to deep link but it's really neat. Can a hammer really push up when it's hanging?
Genius butter cutter - Why isn't this standard kitchen equipment?
Why men are never published in Dear Abby - Quick and funny. Don't quit in the middle.
If computers can look so cool, why are they so ugly?