mike rice’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Jun 4th, 2011 @ 6:41am

    (untitled comment) (as Ida Tarbell)

    I use Free MP3 Recorder to simply record rare tracks from youtube and have for years. There are also other more elaborate and difficult to operate programs that will do this. They take too long. Free MP3 recorder is similar to when I worked in radio, made commercials, used tracks to feed into a master and simply recorded from sources.

  • Mar 30th, 2011 @ 8:38am

    Limewire (as Ida Tarbell)

    Its sad that peer to peer isn't what it was in the Napster era. I took Joel Whitburn's big pop songs from 1955 until around 1999 and just went alphabetically, taking what I liked. Everything that had ever been put on a cd was there. Even stuff from creaky old LPs and even singles were shared in those days. Napster was a renaissance for old, even forgotten songs. I got everything I ever wanted except a few things that no one bothered to turn into mp3s. Today you can find most rare stuff on Youtube and make a sound recording though quality varies. Far more music is available from websites where you simply download anonymously named files. There are around 30 english speaking file-sharing information email lists that I know of who use sendspace and other download file platforms to share literally thousands of tunes at a time. I started to see this six years ago. Some of these tunes may have begun as torrents. When Napster was threatened way back though, sharing peer to peer with its magnificently broad collection of pop and rare music, began to decline. Many people were afraid they'd wind up in court with the RIAA. The four or five years of Napster was a great moment in musical history. Many recordings are in the public domain and one should be able to acquire them at no risk. I never found adequate, serious, rare classical music in those days though I wasn't looking hard for it at the time. Its a shame some variation of file sharing wasn't preserved by government sanction. We're all the poorer for it, now that the music renaissance moment has passed.

  • Jan 11th, 2011 @ 9:31am

    Liberty Media (as jaszmin)

    This isn't John Malone's Liberty Media is it? That would finally make manifest Rent's claim that the internet truly is for porn.

  • Dec 18th, 2010 @ 6:16pm

    Limewire Disappears, So What, Youtube is better (as Jaszmin)

    I read laments about the demise of limewire, but Youtube is the simple way to retrieve mp3s of the rarest songs on the internet anyway and you can get them faster. Perhaps four years ago, clever folks on the net figured out you could simply plug the official artist - title.mp3 formula into google and the search engine would find every instance of that song anywhere on the net. Many times, that would be the file and it was downloadable. This was about the same time that email lists began exchanging information on large compilations that could add to over 1,000 songs downloadable from a single online platform like Sendspace. In the time since, Google has bought Youtube, and now Youtube is the place to look for rare songs that can be transformed into mp3s by simply playing them back on one's computer, using freeware to make an mp3 copy. While I read continuing reportage about the decline of Limeware as a search engine, or the attempt to resuscitate it by hackers, I never read a line about Google's insitutionalization of MP3 collecting at Youtube. What gives?

  • Nov 10th, 2010 @ 5:01am

    Getting around downloading. from Limewire

    Using a peer to peer network is now passe anyway. The simplest way to get tunes is to subscribe to MP3 email lists where people trade 'information' suggesting where entire CDS or even multi-CDs are available. The CDs or multi-CDs are then placed on website platforms under names that don't reveals the CD or the artist. The package is downloaded as a rar or a zip. It seems to me one of the downloading programs which typically have free versions and paid for versions to download, is actually under attack by the riaa and selected record companies. The one that is under attack isn't even the biggest uploader/downloader out there. In the space of the two years since this variation got going, people's song collections has boomed to where personal tune collections go over 100,000 tunes and beyond. Downloading one song at a time is so hopelessly 1999, one has to be clueless to bother doing it. But if a tune at a time is what thrills one, the easiest way is to go to youtube and find a good stereo version of the song you're looking for - and youtube has located most of the seriously rare tunes by self selection, maintaining the fiction of a 'video' that is often nothing more than a video of an old style record player playing, or even a still of the artist. With software like free video recorder or a couple of programs that simply record the sound from a video automatically, getting them one song at a time is simple, and the Youtube process can find the rarest stuff on the net, all under the seemingly 'action-proof' youtube rubric umbrella.

  • Nov 4th, 2010 @ 3:59am

    (untitled comment) (as Jaszmin)

    The failure of the DVD as a cash cow for the studios is having an effect on the movies themselves. The Studios are scaling back. No simple drama will be budgeted above $40 million from any studio from now on. The Studios are now producing even worse junk than before for teens and post teens, and better stuff than for a long time, for grown ups thirty and older. The failure of the DVD model is responsible for this improvement. But the 28 day delay just cuts DVD sales and rentals further. When the price got too high to RENT DVDs, after I'd been paying just $1.50 up until December, 2008, I just quit renting from stores and switched to Red Box, while focussing on classic film rentals from Netflix, to copy. I'm still sailing along that way two years later. I go to at least 60 theater movies a year, see everything I want to as I always have, but stopped watching marginal DVD material I had been watching, when the stores either closed or wouldn't give on the rental price. I believe this is some variation on what every DVD consumer is doing now. H'wood is spiking itself in the nose. Rolling out films from the Cloud won't work either. Someone will figure out how to steal even those films. I watch the occasional bit torrent film. My friends have such horrible taste I rarely watch what they download. But I'm fine. I'm still building a DVD film library at roughly 30 to 40 cents per dvd from netflix and $1 from Redbox. My collection is richer since I stopped copying new ones which had become primarily dreck since 2000. There weren't generally good enough NEW DVDs to make copies of anyway. My switch to classics came as a result of the outrageous charges for the dreck. The Industry cannot win now that the digital genie has been released from the bottle.

  • Sep 30th, 2010 @ 4:42am

    Zucker and Access

    The problem with the press is that it doesn't report what it knows anymore.

  • Sep 25th, 2010 @ 5:34am

    Re: Maybe Anonymous Shouldn't Be Anonymous

    What part of the copyright holder industry do you work in? There is really no incentive for an ISP to cut off a customer. There is no incentive to 'misread' the DMCA rules. Why should an ISP give up revenue for a rule that isn't really a rule? Answer: There isn't any reason and it won't happen very often.

  • Sep 18th, 2010 @ 5:40am

    Razors as Metaphor (as Ida Tarbell)

    I, by happenstance, bought some double-edged Persona platinum Plus blades yesterday, ten for a buck, in the clearance aisles at Wal-Mart. I got them home and discovered I already had another ten pack from Persona I'd bought earlier. When I was ten and younger, I found the whole history of gillette razors and blades in a great closet my grandfather had, filled with old shaving soap, early blades, before the blue blade, some of them gold. A friend shoplifted a Schick double-edged razor in College which he gave to me. I'm 65 now and still use it. I recently discovered from another friend that one can shave without shaving cream in the shower, without even looking at a mirror. You could feel whether the beard was still there or not. After a month of so of that, I stopped. I wanted to return to using cheap shaving cream and the mirror model. I'm fascinated by the cheap cell phone expensive service revolution that is supposedly going on. I never had a cell phone until 2010. I bought a cheap nokia 1208 with 10 cent a minute T-mobile service prepaid, that I now keep as a backup. I have since bought a Straight Talk prepaid that self pays $30 each month through a credit card for 1,000 Verizon minutes voice, 1,000 text messages and 30 megs of internet I never use. I nearly used that many voice minutes last month while travelling. But at home I use a free wet loop included with centurylink dsl at $46 a month, with google voice attached to make POTS-like 'free' phone calls at home. I read all the sturm and drang about smartphones, but ignore the so-called smart phone revolution. I believe the real revolution is the melting down of the high phone tariff model cell phone industry. Google's Android just undercut Apple's I-Phone in the last quarter, selling a phone for what it cost, without a supposed subsidy wherein the gouging tariff more than pays off the expense of the phone subsidy with an enormous profit for carrier and phone manufacturer alike. Yesterday, a friend who is a house painter told me he heard about a free phone spoofing caller ID App available with Google android. I explored phone spoofing with a credit card the least expensive way of doing it two years ago. Not cheap enough for me. I would like to have that Google Droid app on my Straight Talk. But you see, I believe I will have that app, and free, on the Straight Talk or some variation of it, eventually. And I will also have the free app that allows an I-Phone user to watch the DVDs one has on a hard drive at home on a laptop, in the air while circling, say, over Moscow. I have five computers but no printer because my system is paperless. When I want something printed, which is rarely, I have a friendly office with a printer, print it out for me. I don't need a printed out airline tickets anymore. I can get one at the airport. My uncle, who uses printing and fax equipment at home, recently sent me a paper copy of an Esquire article about Newt Gingrich. Wanting to send it to friends, I googled the article and sent it as email. Somehow, this era reminds one of the early 1900s when the progressives started to whittle down the excesses of the robber barons. The Press which has reaped enormous revenues from Apple's ad campaigns for the I-Pod, I-Phone and now the I-Pad, have been suppressing dissent about all these products and the I-Tunes associated with it. I wrote scathing letters to both the Times and the Post about this. The Times replied with a pile of I-Phone complaints a few days after one of the Google founders dropped off the board at Apple over the Google Voice App squabble. But both the Times and the Post are mostly maintaining radio silence as editorial policy in Apple stories. Fed by extraordinarily high ad revenues, the smart phone revolution is being kept aloft by a big print media and television-manufactured hype. The real revolution is in far cheaper prepaid cell phones, which are melting down the revenue per phone averages of all carriers, while manufacturers scramble to adapt to the temporary success of smartphones and the rise of cheaper prepaids. In Texas I discovered a motel manager who has no cellphone nor a POTS phone at home. What he has instead is a jail broken generation 3 I-phone that he uses both at home and at work to make ALL of his phone calls over wifi networks. He paid $200 to a friend for it. I learned a few days later that Apple is filing for a copyright to get around the government agency that allowed jail broken I-Phone use. Apple wants to shut down those jail broken I-Phones, supposedly to prevent misuse of left behind data on the phones. But really to keep the comfy little empire Apple, AT&T and others run around the world, intact. This should have been enormous news in the part of the press dealing with new tech issues. It was not. The news was suppressed with other 'news' that threatens the interests of the big Ad Budgets at Apple and other players including Verizon, the latter trying to offset declining cell carrier revenues that are a byproduct of the prepaid phone revolution. The Government has been slow to take up the cause of the discarded cellphone owner who has upgraded to get a 'new' phone, making the old one worthless, but still working fine if one wants to keep it. I expect this issue to rise to the fore in the next two years. I haven't heard anything about it on Techdirt either, but I haven't read every issue. Last, I need to tell you a collusion story that happened in my area of the country and may have been replicated in other parts of the country. Verizon had no presence except roaming in the La Crosse region in Wisconsin where I live. Last August, months after it had bought Alltel, a prepaid carrier that operated in my region, Verizon began marketing in this area. But in October, Verizon rolled out its trac phone alliance with Wal-Mart, using samsung phones. The Straight Talk phones immediately started to undermine Verizon's market push in the area. A startled Verizon persuaded Wal-Mart to stop selling the Straight Talks in its stores in this area. You could still buy them in, say, Winona, Minnesota, where I bought mine in January or February, 2010. But you couldn't find them in Sparta, Tomah, Onalaska or South La Crosse stores. You could find them in Black River. Wal Mart electronics managers were disappointed. One of them in Sparta started going around the blockade, ordering them in blocks of two dozen or so at a time, but usually available in only a single model when ordered that way. He was successful, other Wal-Mart managers in the area found out about it, and started making small orders too. By now the blockade is over, and Straight Talks are available in all the stores. I don't know in how many areas of the country this Verizon-Wal-Mart collusion went on, but I suspect there were many. I have about 25 of those platinum plus era doubled edged blades now. I suspect I won't have to buy anymore, ever!

  • Sep 3rd, 2010 @ 7:59am

    Harassment (as Jaszmin)

    It is Facebook that is harassing legions of its members. You're surprised at first that the promoters of a 'social network' are so unfriendly. But FB promotes a rigid definition of social on its website. Critical newsletters like this one are unaware of what lengths FB will go to prevent users from assembling friends in the thousands. If you've been to the world of serial friend adders, you know this is going on. But to most critics including techdirt, FB is an abstraction, an idea they write about. They've never been inside where the FB harassment of its members takes place. Facebook harasses its serial adders by claiming they are harassing other FB members. What form does that harassment take: simply asking to add someone as a friend. Deep in the serial adder universe are thousands with 5,000 friends, but no more than that, many of them from England. When you try to add someone who has asked to become your friend, who is already nearing 5,000, you're often told "this member already has enough friends!" And thats the end of that. Sometimes you're told that when the FB member doesn't have that many friends. New serial adders are finding that since FB allowed all those Brits to reach 5,000, they've set a new lower upper limit, at 3,500. FB's complaints that FB adders are harassing other FB members is a fiction. You ask once, and if there's no response, that's the end of it. FB's charges against serial adders are hypocrisy masking their true intentions. Serial Adders meet other serial adders inside Facebook, reeling from the clubbings meted out by FB. With 500 million members, FB has an interest in keeping the size of each member's web space, daily keystrokes, and general facilities use within limits. The business about harassing other FB members is a fraud. There's a critical new film coming out soon based on the minor issue of a contract between the FB Founder and a partner at Harvard. The 26 year old Founder is struggling to keep his own privacy out of bounds in the court case. But the real issue surrounding facebook will gradually become the harassment of members by facebook itself that is going on behind the scenes. FB is already way too big. Facebook has been playing with fire since beginning this venture. The FB management will have to establish more and more limits or their growth will stop. I believe their growth WILL STOP before their numbers reach those of the populations of India and China. Facebook members will grow tired of the growing restrictions. Many of them won't be marching anymore.

  • Aug 14th, 2010 @ 3:11am

    'net neutrality'

    Though its true that Google made its faustian bargain with the evil Verizon Network, and that it was done so that Google could succeed in the closed cellular world of carrier control,
    and that the bargain has implications for net people as well as phone folks, it is not the biggest issue. The big question is who is going to control the major bandwidth of the future: Cell phones or the internet? For the last few years I thought the cell phone carriers were gaining ground. A hotel manager who uses a jail broken generation 3 Iphone to make free phone calls on open wifi networks everywhere, epitomizes the differences and the struggle between giants from both these two worlds, for primacy. For a long time I feared the more parochial cell phone giants wanted control of the Internet. I not longer believe that to be true. I also believe that whatever inroads increasing cell phone access makes in the internet world, those inroads will not change the essential underlying democracy of the Internet world.

  • Jun 15th, 2010 @ 6:58am

    Paydirt (as Mike Rice)

    This article is much ado about a minor gaffe at the Times. Murdoch isn't serious enough to have pulled up the drawbridge at the Wall Street Journal. All you need us the headline from the story and you can place it in google search and find the entire story free online, Murdoch Paywall or no. People might try that at the Times and see if it works there too.

  • Jun 15th, 2010 @ 6:02am

    Tweets (as Mike Rice)

    You can't get a following on Twitter unless you're already a celeb, because the followers of Twitter are followers, only able to respond to already proven success. They're unable to recognize significant writing. Twitter is for dopes.

  • Jun 15th, 2010 @ 5:52am

    Bit torrents (as Mike Rice)

    Why, after going through all the problems of getting a bit torrent lit up into a decent movie, is a codec required also? I consider the business of getting a torrent fairly mysterious. I used to just download the newest version of Divx player, I'd have all the codecs. Someone has to make this codecs business easier.

  • Jun 15th, 2010 @ 5:38am

    Two Way Wrist Radios

    Sam Ketchum, Blossom Plenty, Dick Tracy.

  • Jun 15th, 2010 @ 5:34am

    Hips (as Mike Rice)

    They don't lie.

  • Jun 15th, 2010 @ 5:27am

    Coca Cola Vs. Bob's Soda

    Coca Cola is a notorious gas producer. If you want to live a long life, you'll stop drinking it. Same with Bob's soda. Every food store is a toxic way station. Beware ye who would enter here!

  • Jun 15th, 2010 @ 5:13am


    Starbucks is a joke. Why would anyone pay to stay there when you can buy a bottle of water at a coffee shop without having to pay for wifi. You can bring your own coffee to a wifi library. There are cheaper places to hang out. I've never spent any time in a Starbucks except possibly picking up a Wall Street Journal there. I never knew the wifi wasn't free. I would see people hanging out there. I've been at coffee shops where hanging around the people there was the object. None of those coffee shops is a starbucks and in every instance the free wifi, and a single cup of coffee or bottle or water are all that's necessary for entrance.