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Beware the useful hack

Don't copy that floppy - So annoying it makes me want to steal something just out of spite.

How I became a music pirate - Not out of spite.  In this case, the legally downloaded music was so mired in copyright protections that it couldn't even be played the prescribed way.  While this does showcase some of the shortcomings of DRM strategies, there's another layer of technical incompetence that seems new.  Was it ever the case that the music industry put out CDs that didn't play?  I mean, historically is it common for an industry to not understand or properly execute the medium by which its product is delivered?  Maybe I'm suffering from selective memory, but is there a historic equivalent of the struggle newspapers have had with blogs, or as in this case, the music industry has had with portable music files?

Maybe Google Wanted to be Sued: YouTube and Plan B - Probably the smartest thing I've read on the subject.  The idea is that Google recognized that YouTube's success or failure would have a big impact on Google's business, so rather than leave YouTube to fend for itself and likely be destroyed by inevitable copyright lawsuits, Google and its greater resources are defending YouTube's fate.

Emma Watson doesn't want to be Hermione anymore.  I don't see how skipping the last two movies will solve any of the problems she feels have resulted from doing the first five.  Kottke suggests Emmy Rossum as a replacement.  Isn't she American?

Speaking of Kottke, I was originally there reading his thoughts on Twitter.  Yes, coverage of Twitter does sound exactly like early coverage of blogs.  Yes, let's please not make it another popularity contest.  Many good, easy to digest (because they're Twitter-esque) points.

Speaking of Twitter, watch Twitters filed world wide in what could be real time but probably isn't exactly because I have to think they're being published faster that this thing is showing (even though they have labels like "less than one minute ago).  Amazingly compelling viewing (**I predict a good 70% reader disagreement with this statement but still, I watched it longer than I thought I would, which means it surprised me with how compelling it is).

Twittering your home - Ever seen the TV commercial of the guy who gets an e-mail from his car?  The idea behind Twittering your home is that you'd already have certain systems automated or otherwise digitized, so it would send alerts to a Twitter account, which would send them to you on whatever format you want to receive them at any given time.  BUT!  Before we get carried away, the line that really stood out to me was, "I'll lay odds that it gets hacked into a really useful service before long."  Because I'll lay odds that whatever industry ends up being the context for the useful hack will stumble with, at best, confusion, or at worst, business damaging ignorance while it tries to figure out how to incorporate this new useful thing it didn't realize was needed.  It's a great right-before-our-eyes example of how these technologies grow and spread.  And the reason you should care is that one day it'll be your boss who walks in with that Wall Street Journal article folded under his or her arm and says, "We need this."  And you'll be wondering where the heck "this" came from while a consultant is brought in to tell you that "this" is going to change the world and make you obsolete.

Speaking of being made obsolete by technology, Serious journalism won't die as newspaper fades (Don't miss the link to the emerging media ecosystem.)

Speaking of journalism, TPM Needs YOU to Comb Through Thousands of Pages - They're asking readers to choose some pages from the Gonzalez paper dump and comment on whether they find anything.  Folks putting together slide shows on Internet buzzwords will want to screengrab this one for the "crowdsourcing" slide.

And while TPM looks for help from amateurs, Assignment Zero is looking for pros to help their amateurs.

Speaking of adopting the role of journalists, This American Life on toy cameras - It reminds me a little of The Blair Witch Project when the character explains that it's less scary to watch what's happening through the camera. Can you imagine what it would be like to see what all those kids were really "shooting?"

Tomlin Vs. Russell: The 'I Heart Huckabees' Outtakes **- I came upon this first from one of the apparently elusive YouTube versions and had to do a WTF search to find out what it was about.  In short, director David O. Russell works his actors hard and sometimes fights with them.  In this case it's Lilly Tomlin.  That sounds like simple petty rubbernecking but the passion and expression is really compelling to watch.  It's also pretty amazing insight into the creative process of acting, which we usually either don't see or only see in parody ("What's my motivation?").  **NOTE:  It's cursing from start to finish.  Loud angry screaming F bombs and even a C bomb in one of them.

Journalist Scahill Charts the Rise of Blackwater USA

Connect the squares - This is a pretty unique puzzle game with a level of difficulty that lets you clear levels but still requires you to think.

Greek Gods family tree - This is one of those things that sets off "someday you're going to need a reference like this for something" alarm bells so I'm stashing it here.

Brain damage turns man into human chameleon - He adopts a new (entirely made up) identity depending on the social circumstances he's in.

Today is Bum Rush The Charts day.  We've seen efforts like this with organized Amazon purchases to improve sales rank as a marketing trick.  This time it's with iTunes and they want to put an independent band in the number 1 download spot.  Their hope is to make this happen at least temporarily by getting lots of people to buy the song at the same time.  The iTunes equivalent of Googlebombing.

By random chance, just before reading this story about the guy accidentally wiping out both a primary and back-up disc worth billions I had watched this Eddie Izzard clip on computers (NOTE: Contains a few casual F bombs).

This is another one of those empowering love-your-body-the-way-it-is videos but for me it was enlightening because she actually says how much she weighs and what size she is.  Those are both things I don't have a good concept of so the whole "there are no clothes in our size" argument is usually too abstract for me to really grasp.  The whole clip focuses on these kinds of very real complaints, so it's more than just a pep-talk video.

One guy who has to be thankful for the Internet is Dennis Kucinich.  He's running for president again, not that you would be expected to know that because I don't ever see him in the media.  And with all his impeachment talk you probably won't see him in mainstream media any time soon.  But this recent YouTube video is coming up on 23,000 views in less than three days.  That's not quite the audience of a cable news appearance but it's surely more people than he could speak to in two days on the campaign trail.

A new power rises in Iraq - Michael Totten returns to Iraqi Kurdistan to see how hope motivates productivity.

YouTube to present video awards - This is a great idea, not because anyone deserves and award or anyone should even care but because it starts a whole new ball game with a whole new set of celebrities and events.  Remember the ongoing search for the online celebrity who'd successfully turned into a real red carpet celebrity?  We never found a really good one but if YouTube can bring the red carpet to the online world, that could change the very premise of the question.

Speaking of online acknowledgment, Who was the first blogger?

How to turn an indoor pool into a home theater - The only problem with this one is that I'm thinking that anyone who can afford to have an indoor pool in their house probably doesn't need handy DIY tips on making a home theater.  Let me know when they come up with "how to turn one of the bedrooms in your rental apartment into a pool without losing your security deposit."

The wisdom of children - The world from the perspective of young people, but not in a stupid "Look Who's Talking" way.

The 100-year-old photoblog

Eyetracking artists - Cooler than the usual market research, this shows how artists literally look different(ly).  The article makes it clear that they do so as the result of training, though I imagine there's a nature/nurture argument to be had.