Monday, April 30, 2007

Save Internet Radio!

I sent the following letter to my representative. You should do the same. Unless, of course, you are a soulless, real-music hating ClearChannel executive. I fully expect Whitfield will vote against it though. Mitch will probably tell him to go the other way. Funny thing about Republicans, if the FCC was collecting the money, they would be screaming holy hell against it. But when some big multi million dollar industry-backed front group does it, they have their hand out for a campaign contribution.

Rep. Whitfield,
I am writing to you to encourage you to support H.R. 2060, otherwise known as the "Internet Radio Equality Act". As the internet has become the last bastion of independent music, this bill will help insure that people will continue to have alternatives to the heavily promoted, over played, lowest-common-denominated tripe that is currently served over "the people's airwaves".
As it currently stands, as a result of a decision by the Copyright Royalty Board, web broadcasters must pay royalties far in excess of what satellite and broadcast media have to pay, while they target a much more selective niche of listeners who are not being served by those other media.
I would also ask that you do not fall victim to the falsehoods being spread by the most vocal opposition to this bill, SoundExchange, who is tasked with collecting these royalties. SoundExchange keeps 50% of the royalties for themselves, before the other half is split between the recording studio, performing artist and session musicians. In that light, their arguments on behalf of "the Artists" seem disengenuine at best.
Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

If he bothers to answer with any substance I will post it. But don't hold your breath.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

HowTo: Create a Timestamp in a bat file

I may be one of only two or three people I know that might still write a batch file to do something. Hopefully not, but it does seem to be a dying art. One of my collegues turned me on to this particular piece of code that will create a timestamp for a file. I didn't know how to do that and this would be one way to do it.

Just look at it in all its ugly syntax, this is Old School, pocket protector wearer stuff:

for /F "tokens=1-4 delims=/ " %%i IN ('date /t') DO (
set DT_DAY=%%i
set DT_MM=%%j
set DT_DD=%%k

doSomething.exe > "%DT_YYYY%_%DT_MM%_%DT_DD%.txt"

UGLY. Where in the hell does the j,k, & l come from? Some sort of crazy auto-magicness? This is from the times when it was best not to question how it works. I still don't know but at least I got this trick card in the deck now.


Monday, April 16, 2007

Google: Conspiring with the Enemy of All that is Good

eWeek just came out with a story about Google making a deal with ClearChannel.

If you ask me, they might as well go down to hell and work for the Devil, to paraphrase Hank Hill. The article in question does not mention ClearChannel's previous deals with the Prince of Darkness, but I am sure that there have been a lot of back room deals and off the record inquiries from both sides. One would only have to look at their programming to find the evidence. I would be surprised if Mephisto was not a major shareholder.

I am not sure if ClearChannel actually at one time sold it's corporate soul to Satan or whether it initially began as a Hell-Spawned enterprise incorporated by the very forces of evil themselves. Either way, the effect is the same: the "public's" airwaves polluted with the lowest common denominator of the same old commercial-filled crap they've been forcing down our throats for years.

ClearChannel is one of the most evil, soul-killing corporate entities this side of the banking industry or Military-Industrial complex. Thanks to them, I squirm everytime I hear the term "Classic Rock" and think "For the love of God, please don't make me listen to 'Old Time Rock and Roll' or 'Sweet Home Alabama' or anything by Foreigner one more fucking time (ever)!!!"

So now Google, Mr. "Don't Be Evil" of the Corporate world, is going to dance with the Devil in the pale moonlight. For them I have this warning, taken appropriately from the words of an awesome musician who won't ever have airplay on any ClearChannel vommit-fest excuse for a radio station: Ry Cooder. "If you let him ride, The Devil sure as hell gonna' wanna' drive."

ClearChannel == Evil Incarnate and the Best Thing that Ever Happened to Public Radio.

"Whats the point of waging war for freedom when some corporation can simply point their finger and silence a musician." - Todd Butler, "Hard to Be a Hero"


Friday, April 13, 2007

So It Goes

I've dreaded the news I heard yesterday, ever since that time a long, long time ago when I first picked up this particular novel "Hocus-Pocus". I read it fast, from cover to cover, and had an epiphiny: here at last was THE novelist who most expressed the things I wanted to say in the way I would want them said.
Here was the perfect combination of rightous smartass and reflective philosopher for my liking. Since finishing that first book, I have regretted finishing every other Kurt Vonnegut novel that I have read, only because that meant that there was one less Vonnegut novel to discover and the appeal of literature was somewhat diminished for me because of it.
I was even thrilled to see him in that Rodney Dangerfield movie where he played himself writing a book report on one of his books for the Dangerfield character. Rodney is later told by his professor and potential love interest that "Whoever wrote that book report doesn't know the first thing about Vonnegut". I'm sure ol' Kurt loved that bit. He probably have even agreed with her.
What I took from Vonnegut was mostly this: we are all crazy. We are crazy for paying any attention to that crazy world outside of our homes where the people we love and all that is important resides. We are crazy for not paying attention to that crazy world outside our homes where fellow people suffer, where if we can do anything to stop the madness, as we see it, we should. Above all, Vonnegut said we should be nice to one another and that made him a radical.
Of course, some crazy Jew out in the desert said the same thing two thousand years ago, and we keep ignoring Him. We will probably keep on ignoring Kurt Vonnegut asking us to as well.

But thank you, Mr. Vonnegut for trying. I will surely miss you.

So it goes.