Monthly Archive for March, 2007

Who’s defacing what?

Short film director LorcanFinnegan has created a great little video about graffiti vs. banner advertisement.


RIAA’s rejected mascots

Adam Frucci of and Pedro Camargo of ACT-I-VATE have produced four mascots RIAA rejected. I don’t understand why they were rejected. They appear to be very accurate.

My personal favorite is on the right.


Smack that RIAA up

Merl Ledford III, a California lawyer representing a family sued by RIAA in their war on P2P, has put forth a formidable smackdown on RIAA.

His letter to RIAA lawyers caused RIAA to dismiss the case. It’s unclear at this point, though, whether the Merchant family will be able to get legal fees from RIAA.

The letter has some very interesting sections in it, in particular the section labeled “Independent Factual Investigation and Probable Cause to Sue: Lack of Probable Cause”. That section applies to all lawsuits RIAA has filed. It’ll be interesting to see how future lawsuits will evolve after this.


Finnish Broadcasting Company program MOT covers Mari-El

Finnish Broadcasting Company’s MOT program covered Mari-El during their most recent show this Monday.

Unfortunately the transcript is only available in Finnish at the moment, but the program covered most aspects of Russian oppression of Mari-El culture brilliantly.

The unsolved murders and other violent acts towards Mari-El activists were thoroughly discussed. The journalists wanted to interview Mari-El President Leonid Markelov over the issue, but their interview request was never answered. The little dictator has a history of animosity towards Finnish media, so it’s not surprising at all. He put his propaganda machine at in full swing though, and the questions sent along with the interview request somehow ended up on the pro Russian propaganda website with “commentary” from the morons running the site. Apparently asking about how violent acts towards Mari people never seem to result in arrests is “preparing for another Finnish provocation of Russia.” Well, you can’t really fault the logic of neo-nazis, simply because there is none.

Leonid Markelov is in good company for not commenting on the story. The Finnish President, Tarja Halonen, joined him in the club. It’s interesting to see Finnish Government staying silent on this issue. Apparently criticizing Russia is just as “delicate” as criticizing Soviet Union once was for Finnish Government officials.
The program also investigates some curious “public works” projects in the Republic. Mari-El is one of the poorest regions of Russia, but yet the President is proudly building a 2nd swimming hall (not a small one either) and a third hockey arena (the region’s best hockey teams do not play in any major league in Russia). Well, bread and circuses worked for Romans, why not for a small-time communist wannabe dictator in Russia.

The program covered the cultural oppression as well mentioning mari language school closures and firings of Mari activists from their jobs.

All in all, the show was one of the best, if not the best, coverage over the Mari-El issue in recent times. Kudos to MOT and the Finnish Broadcasting Company for showing it.


Fuck the Norwich Bulletin

Norwich Bulletin is a local newspaper in Norwich, CT where Julie Amero is facing a sentence up to 40 years in prison because her classroom computer was infected with porn pop-up spewing spyware.

The Norwich Bulletin has been “covering” the case, if by coverage you mean trying to get Julie Amero burned on the stake. I guess it’s too much to ask for a small local newspaper to employ people who are computer literate, but I don’t think it’d be too much to ask to do SOME fact checking before blindly parroting the incompetent Norwich Police Department or the even more incompetent District Attorney.

Norwich Bulletin should be ashamed of themselves for their reporting of the Julie Amero case. It’s despicable.

Here are links Andrew Kantor’s coverage on Norwich Bulletin’s horrible and irresponsible reporting on the Julie Amero case. Andrew Kantor is a professional journalist (unlike the unnamed Norwich Bulletin editors…yes, they do not put their own names under their editorials) and has written articles for several well respected publications, incl. C|Net and USA Today.

Why Norwich Bulletin’s Sunday editorial is so wrong
Articles about Julie Amero on Norwich Bulletin keep dissappearing


Best car related ad. Evar.

I’m not a big Ferrari fan due to their arrogance on the Formula One racing series over the years, but you can’t deny Ferrari’s place at the top of the pyramid in automobile history. This upcoming TV commercial featuring several Ferrari formula one cars advertising Shell is another instant classic. Enjoy.


Spammer e360 sues a spam fighting newsgroup

Spammer e360, who previously sued Spamhaus for listing e360 as a spammer, is now suing members of a spam fighting Usenet newsgroup

Apparently the spammer is not too happy about being called a spammer. I can’t imagine why.

The news was broken by the most excellent publication for the email marketing industry called DM News. The brilliantly penned article had this marvelous passage in it:

Nanae, a Usenet newsgroup whose Web site claims to be “dedicated to discussing e-mail spamming,” did not immediately return e-mails for comment.

That’s pretty good. I am wondering about a few things. A Usenet newsgroup has a web site (no, Google Groups is not it)? How does one go about contacting a newsgroup for comment? And if by some magic, one manages to contact “the newsgroup” for comment, who exactly did they contact? A random poster? All the posters? What about lurkers? It’s all a big mystery.


The European Parliament condemn attack on Mari-El activist

Couple of weeks ago a group of Members of the European Parliament comdemned the attack on Galina Kozlova.

Now the entire European Parliament has done the same. EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes had this to say about the attack:

The commission regrets the violent attack on Galina Kozlova, which took place on January 25 in the capital of Mari republic, and I express my sympathy to her, to her family, and my best wishes for a speedy recovery from her injuries.

Russia will probably answer by attacking the messenger rather than addressing the serious human rights problems they have in regards to ethnic minorities.


Greed kills

Copyright Royalty Board has released its new rules for royalty rates on Internet radio. .08 cents per song per listener in 2006, and increased every year upto .19 cents per song per listener by 2011. Seems reasonable.

However, when you look closer, you start to realise quickly the rates are completely out of whack. Take, an extremely popular online music site that enables users to easily find new music. Essentially it’s a music promotion tool that’s run at no cost to the record labels. has 6 million subscribers, each of whom can have upto 100 channels (or music streams). The theoretical maximum annual royalty payments of are astronomical (easily in the hundreds of millions of dollars). Even the probable costs will run so high it will be impossible for to run without losing money. They will have to shut down. And so will all other net radio sites run by hobbyists or startups.

You have to wonder about the wisdom of royalty rates this high. Is the purpose of the royalty rates not to raise money for the artists? If so, then these rates won’t cut it, because net radio will simply cease to exist and the royalty payments from net radio stations will be exactly $0 USD. Maybe the true purpose is something else.

More background and insights from independent net radio operators, and Mark Cuban in an article at


Achievement unlocked

I have reached a great milestone.

The symmetry. The sense of completeness. The numerical beauty. The yin and the yang.

It’s perfect!