Monday, May 15, 2006

SkypeOut now FREE for US & Canada!

Yes. It is really very, very free. ThereĆ¢��s no prepayment, no minimum use, no subscription, no monthly fee, no nothing. You just download and install Skype and then you start calling. Both the caller and the number called must be in either the US or Canada. There are no strings attached.

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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Why Qwest Hung Up On NSA

If Qwest was availible in my area, I would sign up in a instant. But unfortunately, that is not the case. Glad to see at least one CEO is looking a the fine print before rollingo over any playing dead.

"When he learned that no such authority had been granted and that there was a disinclination on the part of the authorities to use any legal process, including the Special Court which had been established to handle such matters, Mr. Nacchio concluded that these requests violated the privacy requirements of the Telecommications Act..."

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Friday, May 12, 2006

NSA now immune to the Department of Justice

The NSA has denied clearance to the DOJ, in an effort to investigate the Bush administrations illegal use of wiretaps. It appears that the NSA now has a sort of pocket veto power when it comes to any investigation involving domestic(or otherwise) spying albeit legal or not.

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Darwin's "abominable mystery" Solved?

Researchers have proposed an answer to Charles Darwin's "abominable mystery": the inexplicably rapid evolution of flowering plants immediately after their first appearance some 140 million years ago.

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Congratulations Andrew

Andrew, my brother-in-law just recieved his degree in Chemical Engineering this past weekend from Washington State Univeristy. Mel had the chance to go out and celebrate the accomplishment, I'll have my chance in two weeks when we all are going down to the Bahamas, but for now, congrats Andrew!

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Some pictures of what I've been up to

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Sunday, May 07, 2006

This is why I ski...

These people are nuts!!
But this video will catch up by surprise... fair warning... its going to shock you.

btw - 172 kmh = roughly 110 mph

Saturday, May 06, 2006

RIAA - Suing people isn't a buisness model

Hey folks, just going to ask for a quick favor and head over to the fine folks at EFF to take a gander at what they are working on for us all. Sign the petition

Take a Stand Against the Madness; Stop the RIAA!

Join EFF!

More about P2P
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is on a rampage, launching legal attacks against average Americans from coast to coast. After over 18,000 lawsuits and counting against P2P users, file sharing has continued to increase rapidly. Meanwhile, music fans, like 12 year-old Brianna LaHara, college student Cassi Hunt, and parent of five Cecilia Gonzalez, are being forced to pay thousands of dollars they do not have to settle RIAA-member lawsuits, and many other innocent individuals are being caught in the crossfire.

This irrational crusade is not generating a single penny for the artists that the RIAA claims to protect. The RIAA should be working to create a rational, legal means by which its customers can take advantage of file sharing technology and pay a fair price for the music they love. With artists increasingly turning against the lawsuits, momentum may be shifting in favor of a better way forward.

Copyright law shouldn't make criminals out of more than 60 million Americans — tell Congress that it's time to stop the madness!

We have over 75,000 signatures so far - this is amazing! If we can get 100,000 signatures, we will deliver the petition to the Senate and House Commerce and Judiciary Commitees.

Friday, May 05, 2006

The worst senator you'd never want..

Fire Hatch, Elect Pete Ashdown

That is if you enjoy technology. Orin Hatch, what a guy, when faced with P2P systems he asked if hackers could "blow up" computers that were using file sharing, he went on to say
"If we can find some way to do this without destroying their machines, we'd be interested in hearing about that ... [But] if that's the only way, then I'm all for destroying their machines."

And if your kid was caught sharing pre-release movies or music, how's a five year prison sentence sound? First offence, does it really matter, not to Hatch it doesn't.

I'm not advocating stealing music or movies, but for me the piracy has always come down to microeconomics. Looking at price points via a demand curve, as you lower the price of an object, more and more people will be willing to purchase that item. But if you go too low, the company might not be around for long. On the counter side less people will be able to afford the item if it is priced high, but the company makes more money per item. You instill supply and demand to make this more dynamic. The movie and music industry has never really been strapped for supply. Once the product is out, reproduction is fairly easy. Its developing the product that slows them down. On the other hand, demand for the product is high due to the dynamic range of appeal. Both industries can cater to the very young all the way to the very old. This keeps demand fairly high for the product. With higher demand, customers have slowly moved up the price point scale, because while supply was never low, the technology started to gain a premium. It used to be that if you wanted the best quality, you had to buy a CD (on the generic scale, things like DATs, SACD, DVD-A can have better quality, but the market is small). These companies grew used the profits made off these sales. But as I said earlier, as you push the price higher you create two groups. Those whom feel the item's value to them is not worth the price, and those who value the item, but can't pay the price. When the population of people who wanted to see more movies, or listen to more music grew large enough, a new market emerged. In the absence of the music and movie industries presence, the only thing that could support this need developed, the black market.

My biggest point in all of the boring stuff is that both the music and movie industry ignored that market and kept pushing for the hard sell. When people were faced with paying $15 -$19 dollars for one or two songs or they could get the same songs for free online, it really was a no brainer. The vast majority of folks using P2P networks, did want to pay for but it was either not practical or the couldn't afford it. Hey, I would love a BMW M3, with my current finances I can't afford it, but if I did change a few things, yes I could afford it, but it would be horribly impractical. Any if you really need any more proof of what I am saying, look no further than the 1 billion+ songs sold on iTunes. $1 a song meets the market demands, plain and simple.

Orin Hatch is of the same bread of dinosaurs that gazed upon the VHS and cried "It will be the death of the movie industry!". And we all know how that turned out for Hollywood. These same tactics are being laid out for our newest and brightest technologies, how would you feel if you couldn't watch a recording on your new HDtv? Or if you iPod could only play certain songs. Its about time we clean out the closet of these dust bunnies and moth balls. Fire Hatch!