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  • Nov 30th, 2012 @ 7:51pm

    Good Lord... All that verbiage to say something simple!

    Ya know, after reading Piper's article, it sure was a long-winded way of saying "I don't like ebooks"!!!

    I don't much care for them myself but, GEEZ, who cares...

  • Nov 17th, 2012 @ 6:32pm

    Re:

    OOPS! Forgot to sign in before I sent that comment...

  • Aug 27th, 2012 @ 12:34pm

    Authors Guild Continues To Battle The Present; Attacks Another Legal Service As 'Infringing'

    Basically, to put this discussion into a 'short and to the point' average person view point...

    Who gives a good damn what the Authors Guild thinks!

    This can also be stated in common parlance as:

    Go piss up a rope and see if you stay dry in the process!

  • Jul 31st, 2012 @ 3:38pm

    Motivation is the Key

    I'd say that to a good degree I'm one those people this professor was talking about.

    Way back when (late 50's, early 60's) my problem wasn't algebra. Even at that age I understood the need for algebra in every day use, so learning it wasn't hard at all.

    It was geometry and higher math I failed miserably at (biology and chemistry too for that matter). I just couldn't see the relevancy of it to myself, as at the time I couldn't see myself working in a field that needed it (I didn't have a clue as to what I wanted to do). Nobody, including my Dad, was able to give a compelling reason why it did matter. In a nutshell, at that time my motivation to learn advanced math was entirely lacking and the 'powers-that-be' were singularly lousy and/or uninterested in explaining the need for it.

    It wasn't until I was about 19 that I finally realized what I was both good at and interested in pursuing as a career, which was electronics and computer science. Once I figured that out I was motivated and advanced math somehow became very easy to learn.

    What I'm pointing at here is that replacing algebra is not really the answer. Motivation is the key, and teachers/student advisers etc weren't all that particularly good at motivating and explaining why those subjects were important back when I was a kid. I suspect that is mostly still true today.

    Heh, especially bad at explaining it to a lackluster going nowhere high school student and pig-headed plus clueless teenager, i.e. me. ;-)

  • Nov 8th, 2011 @ 5:31pm

    (untitled comment)

    Gee, I wonder if some time in the next 5 years I might see a digital re-release of Ferrante & Teichert albums I can legally purchase because of Mr. Brandvoid's comments? I've only been waiting for over 20 years for that to happen!

    Of course, in the mean time I've already gotten every single song they ever recorded, all illegally downloaded because EMI (plus several other record label companies) very politely told me to get lost the multiple times I tried to purchase them. The original LP's were burned up in a fire, I didn't want to replace them that way, but I was left with no choice.

    So, yeah, I'm one of those unhappy, unsatisfied, customers Mr. Brandvoid was referring to.

    I've always wondered how many other people, like me, were in the same situation, it's gotta be millions!!!

  • Nov 8th, 2011 @ 4:01am

    Amazon screws up twice in one go!!!

    Just as an addendum to my above comment....

    The sales, according to the figures in Mikes blog, grossed $36,634.84. I don't know what type of royalties Amazon pays authors, but let's say it's 5%. At 5% the royalties owed to the author would be $1,831 and change. Now, for a measly $1,831, why does Amazon want to buy themselves this kind of bad publicity?

    The only thing that people reading this are going to see and remember is that Amazon is purposefully ripping off an author. Things like this, like their deleting books from Kindles debacle, are not forgotten.

    I can't fathom how presumably intelligent executives could be so stupid!!!

  • Nov 8th, 2011 @ 3:45am

    Amazon screws up twice in one go!!!

    Well, I suppose by a literal reading of the contract Amazon may not feel obligated to reimburse the author, but it would be the moral, ethical thing to do.

    Covering the same territory as AC in the 2nd comment, I could see Amazon's position if the mistake happened 30-40 times, or something like that in the low numbers, but 6,000 times!!! Uh huh, Amazon is being disingenuous at best.

    Amazon's response does not say anything remotely good about their ethics!!!

  • May 25th, 2011 @ 5:17am

    (untitled comment)

    Dang... Don't you ever go to bed Mike!!!

  • May 9th, 2011 @ 3:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: (as Paul Stout)

    Ummm... Let's say your facts are actually correct, something we can't know unless you're very specific about where they came from.

    But, saying they are correct, please inform me on how this makes it a doctors business? If ones uses the logic, as posted here by many users, then the doctors might as well ask if you own a car, a plane, a boat ad infinitum.... Any you'll likely get uninformed opinions on every one of those subjects due it not being the doctors area of expertise.

    And before you ask, yes I'm both an owner of multiple firearms and also a life long member of the NRA.

    With only one or two exceptions here, all of these replies (plus Mikes article, which is a bit of sloppiness on his part that I'm not used to seeing) ignore the fact that the bill has nothing to do with outlawing a doctor asking that question. It has everything to do with outlawing a doctor being able to refuse treating a patient if the person involved says "none of your business" or just flatly refuses to answer the question.

    Geez people, at least get your facts right.

    Mike, you should have a done a better job of researching this particular article.

  • Mar 31st, 2011 @ 10:57am

    (untitled comment)

    It seems to me that the appropriate reply from Zite to the letters signatories should be:

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    Kiss my ass. Have a good day.

    Sincerely,

    Unfortunately, in the real world, the response from Zite will probably waste 3 pages of legalese speak to say exactly the same thing.

  • Feb 14th, 2011 @ 6:17pm

    (untitled comment)

    If you're ever up in Seattle Mike you really owe it to yourself to go see the JPQ play live.

    The first time you mentioned JPQ here I went to their web site because I love jazz, have lived in Seattle for years, and had never heard of them. Loved the free samples on the web site and bought the CD. When Jason let us know about his new project and its being set up on Kickstarter I kicked in some bucks for it. Later on in Dec he did a preview of his version of Nick Drake and it was great, listening to it live was a real kick. It had a pretty good turnout too. Met the quartet and they were all pretty cool dudes. Heh... Not to mention that all four of them were nice enough to put up with this old dude's probably stupid questions with a smile...

    Listening to a CD is nice, but hearing it live and watching the players/audience really get into it is even better.

    If it hadn't been for your mention of the JPQ on the blog, I would never have heard of them, or had the opportunity to make a contribution to the new upcoming CD. It was sort of nice knowing that in a very small way I was able to help make something happen that I love and could _never_ do myself. A big thanks to you for showing me the way to them....

    I'm also looking forward to the release party. ;)

  • Feb 11th, 2011 @ 4:34pm

    (untitled comment)

    As much of a slimeball that Evan Stone undoubtedly is, one would hope you wrote that with tongue firmly in cheek.

  • Feb 10th, 2011 @ 9:14pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Both your post, and that of Mike, cut to the core of the matter.

    I'll give you a specific example of that.

    I grew up in the late 40's and 50's listening to big band, pop, and early rock. As a fan of those genres over the years I built up a huge collection of LP's, almost 400 albums. A big part of that collection was all of Ferrante & Teichert's albums. After I retired from the service in 1983 I put most of my household possessions, including my music and book collections, into storage while going back to school and living on campus. Shortly after doing this the warehouse they were stored in burnt down to the ground destroying everything I owned. I quickly discovered that my LP's were mostly not replaceable as they were no longer available, either as LP's or (later) CD's. What was available was mostly "Best Hits' compilations, usually consisting of the same few songs repeated across the various titles. Such is life, and I accepted that at the time, because there were no other affordable options (such as paying $20 or more for a used and well scratched LP).

    Fast forward a whole lot of years to when the Internet had become well established and digital versions of music were common place. I then made the rounds of the various record labels (phone calls, letters, email etc), specifically to buy replacements for my most favorite artists. Again, I use Ferrante & Teichert as an example. In a nutshell, I was told well here's the seven or so "Best Of" albums, take it or leave it. I.E. multiple copes of the same songs and, for all intents and purposes, none of the tunes "I" wanted. I was perfectly willing to buy replacements for my destroyed LP's, be it a CD or digital version, but the music labels weren't interested in making them available, especially as digital copies, because they were no longer main stream big dollar makers and people like me weren't a big enough market for them to care about. That last sentence, by the way, is pretty much exactly what I was told by the music label representative on the phone (if I remember correctly the company was BMI).

    About two years ago, while doing a Google search on Ferrante & Teichert fan sites, back on about page 3 or so of the search I noticed a Bit Torrent link for one of their tunes. That was when I discovered that somebody had gone to the trouble of making high quality digitized copies of just about of all their album releases. Not too surprisingly, it wasn't done by a record label. As it was the _only_ way I could replace those tunes, I downloaded them all, which took a huge hunk of time. Since then, because I had no other option, I've done the same for just about all of the LP's I lost in that warehouse fire.

    The one common denominator in all of this, is that virtually none of the music I replaced was available for purchase by the record labels. To replace what I lost I literally had no other option other than to 'pirate' the music. I wanted to give the record labels my money, hell, I was practically begging them to take it, but they gave me no way to do that. So, I became a 'music' pirate in the process, and have not one iota of guilt about it. I tried to be 'honest' about it, and the record labels basically laughed at me.

    Is there a market for older music releases, like I was unsuccessfully trying to buy? You bet there is! If you don't believe this, do some quick searches on Google, Amazon, or Ebay. Are the record labels making even minimal attempts at servicing that market? Hell no, not even when the cost of creating digitized copies of the music is virtually pennies compared to the ROI!

    The labels lost sight of their market, it changed on them and they didn't have the wit to see it. Which pretty much gives you a snapshot of why record labels are bleeding profits right and left. It has nothing at all to do with 'piracy', and everything to do with not being able to recognize profit making opportunities when they're staring them in the face.

    In a nutshell, basic marketing (kindergarten version), if you don't offer what your market wants, at a price it's willing to pay, that market will eat you alive.

  • Feb 1st, 2011 @ 11:15am

    Re:

    Heh... Somehow I don't see the judge in the case reacting very well to this situation, and especially not well to the 'tone' of his letter to the court dropping the cases.

    It sort of sounds like a prime example of 'Legal Mistakes 101', how to piss off the judicial system.

    I wonder if he slept through that part of his education!!!

  • Feb 1st, 2011 @ 11:07am

    Legal Shenanigans

    I certainly hope, with regard to the likely steps the EFF and Public Citizen take to have the court chastise Mr. Stone, that there is a followup to this. Somehow I don't see the Judge being very forgiving about Mr. Stones casual approach to judicial ethics.

    It certainly sounds like Mick Haig Productions tried to "cheap out" on their legal representation and got what they paid for. It would also seem Mr. Stone took his 'training wheels' off before he was ready to play with the 'Big Boys'.

    Other than that, after reading this article and the contents of the 'problems' link, I do not foresee Mr. Stone as having a very rewarding and/or lucrative legal career. He seems to be more than a little ethically 'challenged'.

  • Jan 8th, 2011 @ 7:04pm

    (untitled comment) (as Paul Stout)

    I was astonished to learn from this post that the Rooty Tooty Fresh n Fruity is a real thing. How does anyone order it without giggling?

    For years I've been wondering that one myself.

    But you gotta admit, as an advertising ploy it has a touch of genius as it sure does stick with you!!!

  • Sep 21st, 2010 @ 8:31pm

    Great Article (as Paul Stout)

    Since I live in the Seattle area and like Jazz (well, old fashioned Dave Brubeck/Ramsey Lewis style jazz that is) I used the link to look at his site, played the sample track and loved it, so I bought the CD. This is a good example of how reaching out, even it's only by way of an interview, can expand your possibilities (both his and mine). I didn't even know this local jazz quartet existed until I read this article!!! I find out more stuff this way than I ever did before I dumped my subscription to the Seattle Times!!

  • Aug 21st, 2010 @ 12:23am

    Re: Comcast not bad around here

    Gads... I can't think of anything Comcast can screw up so bad as to make me want to switch my phone service, or any other service, back to Qwest.

    Qwest is the only utility I've ever used (and that covers 50 years), whose service was so bad, whose executives so blatantly lied, and thoroughly made me so angry that for a while I actually entertained the notion of applying a baseball bat to a random senior executive or member of the board of directors. While it was a very entertaining thought, common sense did finally prevail. Even PG&E, though God knows they tried hard, wasn't as bad as Qwest.

  • Aug 21st, 2010 @ 12:03am

    Re: Aye

    Well, to be honest, you only think you're getting 20Mbps service. I say this because I've been paying Comcast for that level of service, but in point of fact I've been extremely lucky the last seven months to get even 8Mpbs.

    Why do I know this? Well, after finally noticing that my average speed was much slower than 20Mbps, I spent 3 months doing hourly speed tests tracking my actual average speed. It turned out my average speed was in the range of 7.5-8Mbps. A major portion of the problem was the modem Comcast had installed. The standard Arris modem was just not capable of adequately handling 20Mbps speed. After complaining about this to tech support last week I finally got a tech (who actually knew her job, or cared about it), that installed an upgraded version of the Arris modem which resulted in noticeably faster download speeds.

    Unfortunately, whether or not you can get this upgraded modem depends VERY much on just how good your Comcast tech repairman really is. I can tell you that ping speeds, at sites I regularly test at, have gone over the last week from an average of 150-200ms to 20-40ms, which is quite a significant improvement. I'm still testing to see what that improvement translates to in terms of Mbps speed.

    So, as a note to Comcast subscribers, if you're paying for the higher level speed packages (16-20Mbps) and having speed problems, make sure Comcast installs a modem capable of actually handling those speeds.

    I should mention that I'm rather lucky in that almost all the other people on my node are extremely light Internet users. The node consists of a series of close together senior housing apartment complexes whose tenants pretty much only watch TV. So, problems of maximum node Internet use are virtually non-existent, which pretty much means any problems with speed are solely due to Comcast hardware problems.

  • Aug 6th, 2010 @ 2:32pm

    Phone Calls are for Old People? Just not Efficient Enough (as Paul Stout)

    I totally agree with Ken and Gracey. In my case, being 65, I guess its a 'generation gap' issue.

    Whatever the case, I gotta admit that this is the very first blog article of yours that I 100% disagree with. In point of view, it's a boat load of BS.

    While I had my cell phone I infinitely preferred that some one just call me, and forget about texting me. When I had text messaging on my business cell phone at least 90% of all text messages were pure drivel, for which I had the unwanted pleasure of also paying for. It annoyed me so much that I very quickly turned text messaging off, as in totally unavailable. Thereafter my cell phone was strictly a 'voice only' phone and if someone wanted to 'text' me they could damn well just send me an email on their own dime.

    One of the pleasures of selling my business and retiring was the absolute joy I had in smashing it into pieces with a hammer and tossing it into the nearest garbage can. Having a cell phone was a business necessity, but not a necessity I enjoyed. Plus, after 5 years with AT&T, it was also quite enjoyable to tell AT&T to take their contract "early cancellation" fee and shove it where the sun didn't shine.

    But you were right about one thing, voice mail is sheer unadulterated torture. I can't avoid it when calling out, but if any incoming calls start off with automated voice the phone is immediately hung up. As you said, it's very rude. I'm one, of probably millions, who detest and abhor voice mail in any its forms.

    If anybody ever invents and markets a phone that can, on incoming calls, automatically detect automated voice and immediately hang the phone up, I will buy it in a heart beat and hang the expense!!! Just think of all the asshole (pardon my French) politicians, and fly-by-night charities, that I'd never have to spend another second listening to!!!

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