Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
OK, so here's what ThePete wrote for YouTube about the latest Jay TheVlog:
The last two weeks of Jay ThePal's clips on 12seconds.tv!! YEAH! Featuring all of his regular segments, What I Wanna Know, Pals of ThePal, and more--but special to this episode is Jay building his own giant poster! COOL! WATCH IT, MAN!!
Wanna take it with you? Download a 78MB mp4 of Jay TheVlog for August 29, 2009 and take it with you! Show your pals!!
OR just watch the YouTube player below, man, YEAH!! (Or do both!!)
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Edition. Why do I think this is the beginning of the end for copyright in the world? Well, honestly, I don't, but effectively, that's what the new RDE will do--whether industry will accept it or not is not up to me.
See, while Sony's new e-reader allows you to do everything the Kindle can do, book-wise anyway (there's no browser), it also allows you to take out library books. That's right. Library books--you "take them out" by downloading them wirelessly to your RDE. They expire after a given time, fulfilling the "returning your library book" part of the traditional equation without you having to do a thing--but right there is the part where copyright breaks down.
Unlike a real book, this is an an e-book--a digital copy of a book--there's no need for you to return it so someone else can check it out. This means that you can just take it out again and again. Effectively, you own the e-book without actually paying for it.
Sure, the library could apply rules that would determine how many times in a row you could check a book out, but since it's digital this is literally a creation of artificial scarcity. Sony's technology has jumped the capitalist shark and can provide unlimited copies of any book in any library that's part of it's network. So, why ever buy books again?
Now, I'm not really saying this is the end of copyright, but I am saying it might as well be. Once libraries start making their multimedia collections available for digital download (which they'll do eventually), that'll pretty much be it.
For me, this is just a replay of every argument against technology since the Church went after Galileo. Eventually science won out because it could prove that the Earth was not the center of the universe. The same loss hit the MPAA when VHS proved to be a technology Hollywood could actually work with.
Now it's just up to the Entertainment Industry to work out a new business model that will allow them to peacefully co-exist with this technology before they are out-evolved by it.
Adapt or die, folks...
Jay ThePal hosts Jay TheCallinShow Ep 2 featuring @MariAdkins, @thesolster, Bet, @Siskita, @KayThePal & a hater, too!
Jay ThePal listens to calls and replies to folks who want to Ask Jay ThePal questions!! In Episode 2, Sol from 12seconds.tv calls in and talks possible endorsement deals. Mari Adkins calls in to share some of the more unusual corners of the Bible with him! Bet wants to know just what Jay remembers from when he was born. Siskita calls and asks Jay ThePal for advice on how to pass the time at a boring dayjob. Kay lets Jay know that she's got a Google Voice number, too! Finally, some hater with too much time on his hands admits his disproval of Jay's sense of humor. Watch and see how Jay responds!! YEAH!! OH yeah and make sure to call (347) 994-YEAH and leave a message for Jay ThePal so YOU TOO can be on Jay TheCallinShow!!
OK, so here is a 47MB mp4 of Jay TheCallinShow Episode 2 for you! Or you can like check out the YouTube player below, man. Yeah.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Dig that crazy redaction! It's like the FOIA request from the ACLU that got this doc released got us
a whole lot of nothing--of course, despite appearances, it gave us enough rope to hang the Bushies
with... if only the Obamites will bother...
After reading today's column from Andrew Sullivan at TheAtlantic.com, I have had my fears reinforced and have come to feel that the United States Government has been and continues to be a sociopathic entity. Sullivan's column is called "The American Way Of Torture" and includes select quotes from the Office of the Inspector General's report on how the CIA systemically tortured terror suspects during the Bush years. There are some disturbing truths that Sullivan's piece forces us to consider:
1) this new OIG report pretty much damns the Bush Administration by proving they not only endorsed torture, but did so in writing.
2) this was definitely torture--what else do you call it when detainees are left in their own excrement?
3) Sullivan makes the point best:
In the past, the US was known for being a country whose soldiers would never mistreat prisoners; now, the US wants the world to know that US custody is something to be dreaded.
This is the same technique used by Grand Moff Tarkin in the original Star Wars movie--his exact line was "Fear will keep the systems in line..."
So yes, all those Daily Show jokes about Cheney were accurate: the United States was run by an evil, cartoonish bad guy.
Now this next part popped into my head thanks to Democracy Now, quoting one leader who spoke about Afghanistan:
The insurgency in Afghanistan didnâ€™t just happen overnight, and we wonâ€™t defeat it overnight. This will not be quick nor easy. But we must never forget, this is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity. Those who attacked America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven, from which al-Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans. So this is not only a war worth fighting; this is fundamental to the defense of our people.
That's not an old quote from Bush--that's Obama speaking at the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention in Phoenix, Arizona, last week.
So, here comes Obama, explaining that we have no choice but to be in Afghanistan, mimicking the same rhetoric that came from the Bush 43 Admin for so many years. We did it because the Taliban were harboring Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. My question is, how big a threat is Al Qaeda to America? OK, fine, Obama, they're plotting
against us--but how many of us can they really kill?
In 2008 34,017 Americans were killed in car accidents according to the DOT.
In 2005 (the most recent year numbers are available) 159,217 Americans died of lung cancer alone according to the CDC.
In 2007 around 2 million people worldwide were killed by AIDS according to Avert.org.
In 2007 terrorism caused 22,685 deaths worldwide according to the US National Counter Terrorism Center. The number of American civilian deaths by terrorism is almost non-existent since Americans have to leave the country to be killed by a terrorist.
What this all means is that terrorism is a tiny, tiny, tiny threat to the American way of life. Yet, the Bush administration and now the Obama administration thinks it's worth ignoring our morals and our principles to stop the killing of less than 23,000 Earthlings while seven times that number die of lung cancer in America, alone. 53,005 died of colorectal cancer, 27,259 American women died of gynecological cancers, 41,116 American women died of breast cancer--and I could go on.
So, in the end, our government is "protecting" us from nothing. We're spending over a trillion dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan to stop this threat which does not even really exist. My only conclusion is that our government actually enjoys being horrible to people--it's literally sociopathic. Either that, or our government is too addicted to fear, or rock-stupid, to check and compare the statistics, which took me about 30 minutes to do.
With all these people dying of Cancer in the US right now, wouldn't it be nice to have a War on Cancer, instead of a War on Terror?
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
The above image was created after entering my name into an online art piece called "Personas." After hitting "return" on my keyboard, a series of interesting things happen. It's hard to really express what happens--nothing mind blowing, but you watch as the above image is created based on data culled from the Internet. The piece was created by Aaron Zinman and the idea is to point out both how capable and how flawed the Internet is in determining who we are as people. Here's what I found on the official project page for Personas:
WHAT IS PERSONAS?
Personas is a component of the Metropath(ologies) exhibit, currently on display at the MIT Museum by the Sociable Media Group from the MIT Media Lab. It uses sophisticated natural language processing and the Internet to create a data portrait of one's aggregated online identity. In short, Personas shows you how the Internet sees you.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Enter your name, and Personas scours the web for information and attempts to characterize the person - to fit them to a predetermined set of categories that an algorithmic process created from a massive corpus of data. The computational process is visualized with each stage of the analysis, finally resulting in the presentation of a seemingly authoritative personal profile.
In a world where fortunes are sought through data-mining vast information repositories, the computer is our indispensable but far from infallible assistant. Personas demonstrates the computer's uncanny insights and its inadvertent errors, such as the mischaracterizations caused by the inability to separate data from multiple owners of the same name. It is meant for the viewer to reflect on our current and future world, where digital histories are as important if not more important than oral histories, and computational methods of condensing our digital traces are opaque and socially ignorant.
Pretty neat idea considering just how much faith is put in this giant network we call the Web. Seems we humans are still necessary pieces of the information-gathering puzzle. Check it out for yourself and see what you learn about the Internet or about yourself (or folks with your name):
We uploaded it last night to YouTube so here's the description thepete wrote for it:
"Who is Jay ThePal?" is a ten minute documentary using 12-second clips and video from longer-form web content that answers the age-old question: "Who is Jay ThePal?"
The answer? You must watch the documentary for that!!
Don't like watching with the YouTube player, man? Or maybe you just wanna take me with you? No worries, man! Here's totally like a 54MB mp4 version of "Who is Jay ThePal?" hosted by @lisarein of OnLisaReinsRadar.com!! THANKS, LISA!!! YEAH!!
Monday, August 24, 2009
Why does iMovie work this way? Beats me. It's just one of the many annoying things you get to deal with when using software designed by people who only think they are smarter than you. (This was one thing Windows software programmers never seemed to do, believe it or not.)
Incidentally, I use iMovie (for now) because it consumes less resources than Final Cut and has very handy preset titles. However, thanks to the amount of time I've wasted dealing with iMovie's little idiosyncrasies I'm contemplating going back to FCP or perhaps just cutting everything on my netbook's copy of Windows Movie Maker since (surprisingly enough) it seems to have much fewer quirks to deal with. The only drawback is that it's Windows and seems to export only WMV. Blech.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Puts 104 in Custody on Actual Ice, originally uploaded by thepetecom.
Not too much to say that this screencap doesn't already say (source ). Since the creation of the INS, over a hundred people in ICE custody have died--10 of which were only exposed thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request. That's a little bit like the old "you never asked!" joke.
Regardless, people who may not even have been guilty of anything at all died in custody and no one seems all that concerned.
Just thought I'd mention it since illegal immigrants probably don't deserve to die just because they broke an immigration law or two.
Huge Bombing in Baghdad "Raises Questions" about USGIs Leaving Iraq, originally uploaded by thepetecom.
Capped this article just now on my iPhone (source) and it makes me wonder if more violence will be used as an all too convenient excuse to "find" ourselves "forced" to leave troops in Iraq.
Forget that Iraq will have to take over their own country eventually, there are those who will use this bombing and any further violence as an excuse to keep our men and women over there.
In fact, new violence in Iraq is such a convenient excuse that it makes me wonder just who was behind the bombing and whose side they are on.
700,000km Wad of Trash Floating in the Pacific Ocean, originally uploaded by thepetecom.
This shouldn't be too surprising, but the lack of surprise doesn't make up for the lameness of its existence. Yep, it's a giant floating wad of refuse the various Pacific ocean currents have picked up and gathered toward the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The Wikipedia entry for the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" explains that "The patch is characterized by exceptionally high concentrations of suspended plastic and other debris that have been trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre."
It goes on: "It has been estimated that 80% of the garbage comes from land-based sources, and 20% from ships at sea. Pollutants range in size from abandoned fishing nets to micro-pellets used in abrasive cleaners. Currents carry debris from the west coast of North America to the gyre in about five years, and debris from the east coast of Asia in a year or less. An international project led by Dr. Hideshige Takada of Tokyo University studying plastic pellets, or nurdles, from beaches around the world may provide further clues about the origins of pelagic plastic, including that of the Pacific garbage patch."
OH and here's what Wikipedia says the wad does to wildlife: "Many of these long-lasting plastics end up in the stomachs of marine birds and animals, including sea turtles, and the Black-footed Albatross. Besides the particles' danger to wildlife, the floating debris can absorb organic pollutants from seawater, including PCBs, DDT, and PAHs. Aside from toxic effects, when ingested, some of these are mistaken by the endocrine system as estradiol, causing hormone disruption in the affected animal. Marine plastics also facilitate the spread of invasive species that attach to floating plastic in one region and drift long distances to colonize other ecosystems."
The Wikipedia article also mentions that the debris field is: "estimated to be twice the size of Texas."
Isn't that great? It's a giant floating garbage pile bigger than the biggest state in the union (assuming two-Texases > Alaska). I'm pretty sure there isn't a person alive who wouldn't find this fact pretty disappointing. Luckily, there are a few people looking into whether or not it can be cleaned up, but the fact that this has happened at all is pretty sad.
Thanks be to @Blogdrop who posted about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch" on his Posterous blog, blogdrop.posterous.com. You should go subscribe to it--it's got a lot of great stuff--art, politics, current events, environmental stuff, too.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Oh the Hypocritical Lies: Death Panels have been around for years..., originally uploaded by thepetecom.
This is what I'm calling the voices against health care reform.
These people are either the biggest idiots or the biggest liars (with Sarah Palin, it's very hard to tell).
So, Palin and others are "scared" there will be these government death panels deciding who lives and who dies based on how sick you are. What a crock. Companies have had this power for years now. Salon.com recently did a piece called "The 'death panels' are already here." The Salon piece mentions the case of Nataline Sarkisyan, who died in 2007 after insurance company Cigna dragged their feet because they decided a liver transplant wouldn't save her life (she later died without the transplant).
Sounds pretty death-panelrific to me, but I remembered a case from further back--after about 30 seconds of Googling I found an excerpt on Michael Moore's YouTube page from his old series The Awful Truth where he explored the case of Christopher Donahue, a man who's insurance company, Humana, was refusing to pay for the pancreas transplant he needed to survive. Michael Moore held a funeral for Donahue outside of Humana's headquarters, which Donahue, himself, attended. Before long, Humana caved and paid for the transplant, but as we saw years later with Nataline Sarkisyan, not all companies are as "generous" as Humana.
So, the next time you hear someone praise the free market for all things, think about this kind of situation.
If we truly believe all humans have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, doesn't the "right to life" mean we have to make sure everyone can get health care? And if companies are going to put their "right" to make as much money above our right to life, doesn't that mean that these corporations are anti-American and, really, anti-human? Pretty bizarre that they're in the "business" of providing health care insurance when they look to ways to avoid doing just that.
So, UNBELIEVABLE, once again, that these idiots or assholes honestly think the government would institute death panels when they've existed for over a decade. That's right--the Michael Moore show, The Awful Truth episode I described above was aired in 1999.
We've had death panels since last century--thanks, Sarah Palin (and others), for finally getting around to noticing just now.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Well, almost. Just gotta use a Sharpie to fill in those edges and
where the printer screwed up. Yeah.
Almost done, man! YEAH!!
Turning it over once the strips were taped wasn't easy, I'll tell ya
that much, man!
Now I'm attaching each strip to the one above it.
Use the small pieces of tape so you can make adjustments easily, man--yeah!