More Music Sold Than Ever Before, Despite Piracy

12:18:07 AM, Monday, January 31, 2011

“Last week the BPI released their overview of 2010 sales volumes in the UK. As always, their press release was filled with claims that piracy is ruining their industry and most mainstream media was quick to republish this propaganda. However, we can use the very same data to show that more music is being sold than ever before, and argue that piracy is likely to have had very little impact.

The PR people within the music industry are masters of spin. They can take any type of data and make the public believe that piracy is killing their business. For years they have fought against this imaginary enemy, and every press release issued is filled with complaints about illegal downloading.

We’re not going to argue about the exact impact of piracy in this article, but we do want to balance out the music industry’s propaganda a little bit. By doing so we hope to show that the music industry isn’t doing so badly as they claim. In fact, year after year more music is being sold.

What’s changing is the type of music consumers buy, and this change is driving revenue down. The question, however, is whether piracy has anything to do with this change. We doubt it, and we’re going to show why…”

-- A bit old, but the article I posted below reminded me of this.

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Music Web Sites Dispute Legality of Their Closing

12:11:09 AM, Monday, January 31, 2011

“When federal authorities shut down five Web sites last month on suspicion of copyright infringement, they gave no warning and offered no details of their investigation, and they have not filed any criminal charges since.

John Morton, right, director of customs enforcement at the Department of Homeland Security, with Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., announced the seizure of 82 Web domains last month.

But after the seizure warrant used in the operation was released last week, the operators of several of the sites said in interviews that they were innocent of infringement, and criticized the investigation for misrepresenting how their sites worked.

In a 69-page affidavit seeking the warrant, an agent of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the unit of the Department of Homeland Security that did the investigation, said the five sites — rapgodfathers.com, torrent-finder.com, rmx4u.com, dajaz1.com and onsmash.com — were used “to commit or facilitate criminal copyright infringement.”

The agent also said the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America, the trade groups for the major film studios and record labels, had confirmed that the music and movies on the sites had not been released with the authorization of their copyright holders.

Yet after being shown the affidavit, the operator of dajaz1.com — a widely read hip-hop blog that posts new songs and videos — disputed many of the warrant’s examples of what it called copyright infringement. He said that, like much of the material on his site, the songs had been sent to him for promotional purposes by record labels and the artists…”

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Bill O'Reilly Proves God's Existence - Neil deGrasse Tyson

5:53:30 PM, Sunday, January 30, 2011
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Bill O'Reilly Proves God's Existence - Neil deGrasse Tyson
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

-- The sun goes up, the sun goes down, the tide comes in, the tide comes out, there's no miscommunication...

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Could Yellowstone National Park’s Caldera Super-Volcano be Close to Eruption?

10:19:01 AM, Sunday, January 30, 2011

“Scientists are predicting that the world's largest super-volcano in one of America's most popular national parks could erupt in the near future.

Yellowstone National Park’s caldera has erupted three times in the last 2.1million years and researchers monitoring it say we could be in for another eruption.

They said that the super-volcano underneath the Wyoming park has been rising at a record rate since 2004 - its floor has gone up three inches per year for the last three years alone, the fastest rate since records began in 1923.

It would explode with a force a thousand times more powerful than the Mount St Helens eruption in 1980.

Spewing lava far into the sky, a cloud of plant-killing ash would fan out and dump a layer 10ft deep up to 1,000 miles away.

Two-thirds of the U.S. could become uninhabitable as toxic air sweeps through it, grounding thousands of flights and forcing millions to leave their homes.

But hampered by a lack of data they have stopped short of an all-out warning and they are unable to put a date on when the next disaster might take place.

When the eruption finally happens it will dwarf the effect of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano, which erupted in April last year, causing travel chaos around the world…”

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Guy Accidentally Dunks Himself Through Basketball Hoop

10:13:08 AM, Sunday, January 30, 2011
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In Dubai, the State of The World is in Dispute

9:49:52 AM, Sunday, January 30, 2011

“A cluster of 300 artificial islands off Dubai's coast in the shape of a global map is stable, its developer Nakheel insists, despite a court claim alleging that "The World" was neglected and eroding away.

"There is no issue with the stability of The World islands that are approximately 70 percent sold and handed over," a Nakheel spokesman said when asked about the allegations.

"The island purchasers (have) the responsibility to proceed with their developments in due course," he added.

The islands, many of which represent individual countries and which can only be accessed by boat or helicopter, were meant to be one of the Gulf city-state's crowning developments.

Builders have announced plans for a few of the islands, but development has yet to begin on most of them.

A company contracted to provide logistics support to the islands filed a claim with a tribunal that handles cases related to the emirate's troubled Dubai World conglomerate, alleging that third-party developers had not been encouraged to develop the islands, and said they were being hit by erosion…”

-- Who would have thought!?

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Zeitgeist Moving Forward, Full Length Movie 2011

9:39:09 AM, Sunday, January 30, 2011

-- Peter Joseph third movie in Zeitgeist. The official Zeitgeist Moving Forward takes on the human behavior, the economic system and finally the solution with everything, the Venus project. Must watch for any free-thinker.

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Egyptians Connecting To The Internet Via Modem, Fax, Ham Radio

5:38:27 PM, Saturday, January 29, 2011

"Despite Egyptian authorities shutting down access to the internet, protesters in Cairo have been able to get online by some creative methods. Check out the slideshow to see how they're doing it."

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Egyptian Revolution Jan 25th 2011 Video

4:36:25 PM, Saturday, January 29, 2011

"We will not be silenced, whether you're a Christian, whether you're a Muslim, whether you're an atheist, you will demand your goddamn rights, and we will have your rights, one way or the other! We will never be silenced!"

-- It is good to know that some people still have some fight left in them. I hope it all works out alright for all of us...

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Disabled UK Man Has Wheelchair Banned from Roads Because... It's a Tank?!

12:01:50 AM, Friday, January 28, 2011

“A man from the UK has been told by local authorities that he cannot use his custom TC Mobility wheelchair on public streets because its size technically lands it in the same category as a tank. The chair uses two rubber treads and a 24-volt electric motor, and it used to allow Jim Starr to go down to the beach with his family. That was before the Driver and Vehicle Licensing agency decided that the chair was too large to be classified as a typical wheelchair. Weighing in at 485 pounds, Starr's tracked-machine weighs 110 pounds more than the legal limit for motorized wheelchairs. It's also too wide.

As a result, Starr has been banned from riding his all-terrain chair anywhere other than private land. The hang-up is that in order to get to areas where he can legally use the device, he has to cross public roads.

Starr used to work as a landscape gardener before chronic arthritis, back and joint conditions bound him to a wheelchair in 1999. Head over to YouTube to watch the video of Starr in his Tank Chair (embedding disabled)…”

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Obama Barraged By Pot Questions For Upcoming YouTube Town Hall

10:25:03 PM, Thursday, January 27, 2011

“President Barack Obama plans to take questions from YouTube viewers Thursday afternoon, and for the third time in as many years, the overwhelmingly most popular query involves the legalization of marijuana.

Of the top 100 most popular questions as rated by YouTube users, 99 are about the drug war or pot. Of the next one hundred, 99 are again about drug policy. Somehow, two questions about clean energy made their way into the top 200.

The pot questions don't stop there, but HuffPost stopped counting deep into the 200s, as the president is unlikely to answer all of them. If past history is any guide, he may not answer any of them.

A White House spokesman tells HuffPost that the president on Thursday will answer whatever questions YouTube puts before him. "A selection of top voted questions has been made to insure that as many of the most important questions as voted by the YouTube community will be asked," a YouTube spokesperson told HuffPost.

Obama did answer the question in 2009, addressing folks who asked if the president would consider legalizing marijuana to boost the economy and tax revenue.

"Can I just interrupt, Jared, before you ask the next question, just to say that we -- we took votes about which questions were going to be asked and I think 3 million people voted," he said to aide Jared Bernstein. "I have to say that there was one question that was voted on that ranked fairly high and that was whether legalizing marijuana would improve the economy -- (laughter) -- and job creation. And I don't know what this says about the online audience -- (laughter) -- but I just want -- I don't want people to think that -- this was a fairly popular question; we want to make sure that it was answered. The answer is, no, I don't think that is a good strategy -- (laughter) -- to grow our economy in 2009."

That answer tortured legalization backers as much as being ignored, if this year's questions are an indication. Many of them knock the president for laughing at their issue…”

-- Just legalize it already...

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Authorities Seize a TREBUCHET Used to Hurl Pot Into Arizona

10:03:51 PM, Thursday, January 27, 2011

“What will drug smugglers think of next?

In an industry that thrives on innovation, some enterprising Mexican marijuana runners went medieval on the border fence, using a catapult to hurl bricks of weed into Arizona, authorities say.

Grainy video from the Department of Homeland Security shows three men priming the throwing arm of the mechanism. Two of the men step away, and when the remaining man lets go, the catapult chucks its wares over the fence.

Various media reports claim the device was capable of launching about 4 pounds of pot (or, presumably, any substance).

Customs and Border Patrol agents, National Guard troops and Mexican authorities joined forces to disrupt the operation, KOLD-TV and other CNN affiliates reported.

The National Guard, operating a remote surveillance system at the Naco Station, about 100 miles southeast of Tucson, observed the men launching packages south of the border fence, according to KVOA-TV.

KGUN-TV said Mexican authorities were unable to apprehend any of the suspects. The surveillance camera operators witnessed the men fleeing.

A sport utility vehicle, the catapult and 45 pounds of marijuana were seized, the affiliates said…”

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The Red Skinny by Hoai Minh

2:08:14 AM, Thursday, January 27, 2011
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World Eskimo-Indian Olympics: Ear Pulling Competition

11:32:04 PM, Wednesday, January 26, 2011

-- 2007 World Eskimo-Indian Olympics. The obvious thing to do when it's a snow storm outside and you're bored.

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Paper Planes Launched from the Edge of Space

10:28:54 PM, Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"What's the difference between a paper plane and a paper space plane? Altitude! About 125,000 feet to be precise:

The balloon, filled with helium gas and carrying a load of paper planes, took 2.6 hours to rise to 37,339 metres (that's at the edge of space!), where it burst and took only 40 minutes to fall back to earth. It landed in a forest just south east of Berlin, where our team had to use a very long pole to retrieve the payload from the top of a tree.

The hand-crafted paper planes with their precious cargo of Samsung SD memory cards were released at around 36,3500 metres and could land anywhere..."

-- Awesome! via www.wonderhowto.com

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