Free media is awesome

Did you know that Dawn of the Dead is now in the public domain?
I found a link to Undead Art in one of my rss feeds today (sorry, I don’t remember which). It turns out that Dawn of The Dead is now in the public domain! Download it, burn it, and enjoy! Undead art is doing a sort of public domain remix content to support Creative Commons licensing. If you’re looking for more cool public domain content, check out The Internet Archive, they have tons of awesome public domain video and audio. It’s perfect for burgeoning culture re-mixer.

ICANN changes its rules

The ICANN has changed the domain transfer rules because they are evil.

I found this article on Slashdot this morning about how ICANN is changing the rules on domain transfers to inexplicably make it easier for hijacking. There is some good info on netcraft about it. Here is the actual change language. It freaked me out, of course, so I went to make sure that all my domains were locked. Smartly, Network Solutions automatically locks their domains to make hijacking impossible. Moronically, MyDomain doesn’t. You have to specifically add it for each domain. At least it is free. I guess you get what you pay for. Now is a good time for you to check out the settings on all your domains and make sure they are protected.

Laurie Anderson

My kind-of review of last night’s Laurie Anderson performance in Seattle.

I saw Laurie Anderson last night here in Seattle. She continues to be an excellent performer, but something has changed in the way that I relate to her as I get older. I first discovered her when I was 16 and I checked out her United States 1-5 on vinyl from the library where I worked (hint on my actual age here). It blew me away. She became, and remains, one of my heroes. Her observations were revelatory to a suburban teenager in Reagan’s America with aspirations toward the avant-garde.

Her new piece, “The End of the Moon” deals with her time as NASA’s first (and last) artist in residence. While much of it was engaging, when she would wander off into deep-sounding non-sequiturs I caught myself wondering if she was actually trying to say something or if she was in sort of automatic art mode. I never noticed this in her work before. I’m not sure if she was just filling space in the piece or was actually going somewhere and just lost me on the way.

More interesting to me was how her music has progressed. I’ve always admired the sound beds she creates that form the backdrop of her more introspective music and her narratives, but a lot of her music didn’t thrill me. Last night, I was a lot more impressed by her music than her words for the first time. She has been playing violin for decades, but last night was the first performance of hers where I actually felt her virtuosity on the instrument. It could be that technology has finally caught up to her vision, but her extended music solo music pieces (with computer accompaniment) were amazing. It really inspired me to re-think my own extended playing techniques.

I don’t know if she’s picking up new audiences anymore. We were definitely on the younger side of the audience age range, which is saying something. It’s too bad, because while some of her new work is a bit too much like some of her old work, the rest is really worth exposure to some new minds.

Posted: Tue – November 9, 2004 at 11:20 AM

The truth starts to come out

Who wouldda thunk it that maybe the Republicans stole the vote after all?
Well, it seems that those pesky lefties are starting to dig through the numbers and surprise, surprise, they don’t seem to make any sense. In Florida more ballots were cast for president than the number of people who voted. In Florida and several other states mostly democratic counties seemed to have voted overwhelmingly for Bush. Could it be that the exit polls (which are usually a highly accurate predictor) were correct and the voting machines were wrong? There are stories coming out about how people selected Kerry on their screens and had a Bush vote shown back to them. Now, I’m not a fan of conspiracy theories as a rule, but the evidence is mounting. Moby has some numbers in his journal. Michael Moore has got some good references as well.

The question is: who is going to investigate this? Can we trust the government to do the right thing? I doubt it. It seems to me that the right is consolidating their power by all means possible legal and otherwise. We’re being turning into a single party country against our will. I’m doubting that there is a way to fix this from within the system. The system has been corrupted.

Where do we go from here, we true fans of democracy, when the republic has become an oligarchy?

Me, I’m pondering creating an initiative to have Washington secede from the US.

Embracing Canada

Thinking about moving to Canada rather than face four more years of Bush? You and me both!

As someone who has spent a lot of time in our neighbor to the north and briefly considered moving there about 10 years ago, this election has made me think again about moving somewhere less moronic. It turns out that I’m not alone as this article on mentions. There are some other cool sites too, like Immigration Canada, The Canadian Government’s Citizenship and Immigration website, this Harper’s article, and this Bushwatch site. Here’s a great top ten reasons to switch to Canada site which includes a link to download John Bender’s excellent Apple switch ad parody.

Moby’s thoughts and Cascadia

I like most of what Moby’s been saying. I’m thinking about secession.

My friend Heather pointed me over to Moby’s Website. His journal articles are doing a good job explaining how a lot of us feel. (I’m more pissed off than him, but thats ok). I’ve been thinking about secession a lot. There is that book, Cascadia, that I read a few years ago. It’s about how northern California, Oregon and Washington split off from the US and form their own country. It was written in the 60s, the new country of Cascadia is like one large Burning Man Festival except without the frat boys and with more free love. The hippy parts didn’t make too fond of it, but I’m thinking more and more how that might not be a bad idea.

Take California from San Jose northward, Oregon and the western half of Washington and you’ve got a pretty awesome country with abundant natural resources, a thriving tech economy, agriculture, manufacturing, ports and tourism. I think I’d be much happier in Cascadia, and I think those Southern states would be happier without us “freaks” making them have to go vote every four years to make sure they get another good ‘ol boy in the white house. Plus, we wouldn’t have to be supporting their asses with our taxes while getting so little back from D.C.

Anyone with me?

Hey podcasters!

a few tips for the podcasters of the world

I’ve been checking out a bunch of podcasts and am enjoying many, there are a few things that are driving me insane however. I realize that podcasts are an excellent DIY technology enabling the rest of us to add our voices to the mix. Yet nothing annoys me more than having to ride the volume knob while listening. There a couple simple tricks that the amateurs can learn from the pros.

1) EDITING: Edit out your coughs, wheezes, long pauses, etc… There are a million freeware audio editors in the world, pick one and spend a couple minutes fixing this kind of stuff. It will make me, your audience, A LOT happier.

2) COMPRESSION: You talk quiet, you talk loud. I strain to hear and then I pull the headphones off my head in pain. Your freeware editor has compression, I’m sure. If not, there are excellent free VST, DirectX or Audio Unit plug-ins for you to use. Spend the 5 minutes it takes to learn about compression and then USE IT. It will help you get a consistent level for your content, it will help you avoid compression artifacts, it will make the compression more efficient and I won’t hate you for hurting my ears.

Posted: Wed – November 3, 2004 at 01:27 PM

Wow am I pissed off

What the hell happened? What is wrong with this country?

My fellow Americans, at least 51% of you are idiots. I can’t believe you people. You’ve been suckered and now all of us are going to pay for your stupidity. You voted for a man who doesn’t care about you, your job, your family. You’ve voted to increase crime, increase terrorism, and make this country hated by both terrorist and free states. You voted for a man who looks you straight in the eye and lies to your face. A man who feigns faith without showing any understanding of what he claims to believe in. A man who will deny a woman’s right to choose but will willingly kill thousands and thousands of children in Iraq without compunction. You chose to vote for this evil asshole because you believed him to be moral, or Christian or a strong military leader. You’ve given him a mandate to pollute the world, invade your privacy and create a country that grows weaker not stronger as it continues to slide into chaos and poverty. You’ve voted to turn us into a third world nation with peasants working in the Wall Marts with no insurance or hope of ever living a comfortable life and corporate barons living in their luxury hill-top bunkers surrounded by walls and guards.

Welcome to the decline of a once great nation. We the people have chosen mediocrity and we will be forced to endure the spoiled fruits of our mistaken trust beyond the rule of this smug autocratic joke as his policies will ruin this country for decades to come.