Tuesday, May 24, 2011

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Your Daily Posterous subscriptions May 24th, 2011

Formal Apology

Posted about 21 hours ago by 1_thumb clementine to ReflectionOf.Me

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Sometimes, it isn’t enough to just say that you’re sorry. In times when flowers or a hug just aren’t enough, use this handy form to make it official.

Universal Music: We Need PROTECT IP Because Musicians Are Dying!

Posted about 21 hours ago by Unknown35 joelpomales to joelpomales's posterous

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via Techdirt by Mike Masnick on 5/23/11

Last summer, we pointed out that Universal Music Group Distribution President Jim Urie had sent out a letter on behalf of MusicRightsNow -- a laughable astroturf group that pretends to support musicians, but is a front for major label and legacy industry interests, asking people to submit letters to Congress in support of a new law against online infringement. At the time, we had thought it was a push for a three strikes law, but it was really just pre-COICA posturing (showing, of course, that the major labels knew all about COICA before the rest of us did). Once COICA was out, Urie sent out another such letter, and followed it up with one more right before COICA was set to be up for a vote (before Ron Wyden thankfully blocked it). With PROTECT IP being the reincarnation of COICA, it should be no surprise that Urie has sent out yet another such plea letter, asking people to alert their Congressional representatives of why they should support PROTECT IP. Just as with the past letters, if you follow the link in Urie's letter, it takes you to a website where the letter is static. There is no way to edit it. In fact, the site claims that the text is required. Yup. It's "required" that you leave the letter intact. There is no way to express your own opinion at all. You may only parrot Jim Urie and Universal Music's position on PROTECT IP.

Doesn't it seem somewhat ironic, for an industry that talks up the importance of individual creativity and not copying others, that it only wants you to copy the letter they've pre-written?

So what does the static letter say? After kicking off with a rather false offer to "compose message," when you can't do any composing, it offers the following required text:

My livelihood depends upon a healthy music industry – and that’s why I hope you will support S. 968, legislation to protect Intellectual Property and encourage action against online theft.
Lots of people's livelihood depends on a healthy music industry, but S. 968 doesn't do anything to create a healthy music industry. As plenty of studies have shown over and over again, there exists a very healthy music industry today -- more healthy than before the internet came along. What's unhealthy is the part of the business Urie is in charge of leading: the part that's about selling recordings. Just because Urie failed to lead Universal Music into the modern world, it doesn't mean we need a law designed to break the internet to cover up for his failings.

And, seriously, can we stop calling infringement theft?

The online theft of music is killing artists, singers, songwriters, musicians, retailers, production engineers and others. It is destroying jobs, dreams and careers. The music community is at risk, as is the unique culture of American music itself.
Yes. Read that again. He doesn't say that it's killing their careers (even though it's not). He literally says that it's KILLING THEM. Talk about ridiculous hyperbole. Even if they really just meant that it's killing their careers, this is flat out wrong. Over and over again we've shown that more and more people are making music and making money from music than ever before. The music community is not at risk and neither is the culture of American music. What's at risk is Jim Urie's job. For shame. Probably should have adapted to a changing market. Pleading to Congress by lying about dying musicians is a desperation play, but won't save your job, Jim.
Despite an astounding array of legal and convenient ways to obtain digital music today, online theft continues. Of course, music is just the “canary in the coal mine” – books, movies, television programs, games and software are suffering damage that will grow more profound if left unchecked.
And yet, there is no evidence that stopping infringement leads to more purchases. You know what would lead to more purchases? Adapting to a changing market. It's a shame, then, that Urie and Universal Music is unwilling to do so.
S. 968 would provide law enforcement with new tools to stop criminals engaged in piracy and counterfeiting online. I urge you to support this legislation and any other efforts designed to assist our nation’s creative community.
S.968 would provide law enforcement and Universal Music with new tools to stifle speech, attack innovations and generally hold back progress hopefully for long enough until Jim Urie can retire. What it won't do is stop "criminals." It certainly won't assist our nation's creative community. Our nation's creative community (the truly creative ones) have learned how to embrace new forms of distribution and new business models and will actually be held back by laws like this.

Anyway, we eagerly await the evidence Jim Urie has of musicians deaths from infringement.

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Walgreens Fires Pharmacist Who Foiled Robbery By Firing Gun

Posted about 21 hours ago by Unknown35 joelpomales to joelpomales's posterous

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via The Consumerist by MB Quirk on 5/22/11

What some called a heroic save, Walgreens has found reason to terminate the job of a night-shift pharmacist. Jeremy Hoven fired his handgun during an armed robbery at a store in Benton Township, Mich. and was subsequently fired.
His coworker, a manager on duty that night, thanked him with a card and included a picture of his four children, bu Hoven, who has a permit to carry concealed weapons, was given the boot after two masked gunmen fled the Walgreens when faced with shots from his gun, reports The Herald Palladium.
He says he fired three or four shots from his revolver during the incident at 4:30 a.m. a few weeks ago. His lawyer is looking into whether or not he should pursue a wrongful termination lawsuit. The county prosecutor says he's reviewed police reports and store security video and says Hoven did nothing criminal.
Walgreens most likely doesn't want its employees carrying guns, but does potentially saving the lives of the two managers and cashier in the store maybe change things?
Hoven saw a manager run into a storeroom, his first tip that something was wrong, followed by a gunman running down the aisle.
"The first thing I tried to do was dial 911 but I couldn't get it done," Hoven said. "Within seconds he was over the counter. And I'm looking at the wrong end of a 9-millimeter (gun). He was holding it gangster-style" - sideways.
The robber jumped over the counter and was within a few feet of Hoven, in front of a cinder block wall. So Hoven decided to pull his gun and fired three to four shots. The gunman then tried to fire back but his gun didn't work for some reason, causing the robbers to flee the store.
"I was reacting out of fear, and the adrenaline was taking over. ... You could have probably taken my pulse from my breath because my heart was beating that much," he said.
Hoven claims he doesn't know of any specific Walgreens policy that bars employees from lawfully carrying a concealed weapon at work. He says he was surprised to be fired, and had only expected a reprimand and a transfer.
"I have more grief over what I got from Walgreens than what I had to do to save my life ... and save my co-workers," he said.
*Thanks for the tip, Stephen!
Walgreens fires armed worker [Herald Palladium]

Biggest Difference Between Men and Women

Posted about 21 hours ago by 1_thumb clementine to ReflectionOf.Me

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Two great tennis players Rafael Nadal and Steffi Graf. Check their responses when some one asked them "Will you marry me?" during match.

Embedded media -- click here to see it.


Posted about 21 hours ago by 1_thumb clementine to ReflectionOf.Me

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Michigan Chevrolet Dealers’ Volt Inventories May Replenish Faster Than Expected; Production Triples

Posted about 20 hours ago by Mi_auto_times_thumb MI Auto Times to MI Auto Times

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The Chevrolet Volt is in high demand and dealers like local Michigan Chevrolet dealers may be able to reach demand at a better pace as General Motors announced production of the hybrid will be increasing.
DETROIT, M.I. – Michigan Chevrolet dealers may be receiving many inquiries about the Chevrolet Volt. With such a high demand for the efficient plug-in hybrid, General Motors believes the time to increase production to meet this demand is now. With the ability to reach more than 500 mpg, Michigan Chevrolet dealers are not surprised how quickly the demand has increased since its release in Nov. 2010.
[Rewind: Michigan Chevrolet Dealers Celebrate 547 MPGs; No, That’s Not a Typo]
As announced last week to reporters, CEO Dan Akerson says General Motors will be increasing its production of the Chevrolet Volts to 16,000 units. This new amount of 16,000 Chevrolet Volts is a result of the 2,500 jobs that are to be added to GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant this summer.
With this increase of production, the Detroit-Hamtramck plant will at least triple the number of extended-range electric vehicles that are produced each month. This means Michigan Chevrolet dealers and others across the U.S. may be able to meet demand at a more even level for the customers looking to save money or simply add a more efficient vehicle to their lifestyle.
Although the Detroit-Hamtramck plant will be shut down for the entire month of June for equipment updates, it has been estimated that the plant will have built 3,300 Volts this year. With the Cadillac DTS and Buick Lucerne sedans being taken out of production, General Motors plans to build 60,000 Volts at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant next year with 45,000 of those staying in the U.S. borders. This increase will be possible with about 1,100 workers per shift with three shifts available.
Michigan GMC dealers may have heard Akerson also stated that production of 25,000 Volts may be possible this year as the company has a goal of 100,000 per year in the future.
MI Auto Times covers all Michigan automotive news all the time, featuring newly released vehicle recall information, relevant Michigan automaker news, vehicle ratings and comparisons, and everything else auto-related Michigan and world readers need to know.
Got a hot tip? Send your news tips to news@miautotimes.com or connect with us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/MichiganAutoTimes.
[Source(s): The Detroit Free Press]

Cable Company Asks For Cable Boxes From Alabama Tornado Victims Before Reconsidering

Posted about 19 hours ago by Unknown35 joelpomales to joelpomales's posterous

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Disney's Anthony Accardo: The Tech Community Owes Content Creators A Living

Posted about 18 hours ago by Unknown35 joelpomales to joelpomales's posterous

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via Techdirt by Tim Cushing on 5/23/11

Anthony Accardo, a senior research analyst (or "Imagineer") for the Disney Corporation, recently posted an article in response to another HBR writer's earlier post arguing that Big Content is stifling innovation. With wording that eerily echoes U2 manager Paul McGuinness' handout plea of a few weeks ago, Accardo posits that the stifling of creativity is actually due to recalcitrant techies and their unwillingness to craft a better world for content producers. There's a whole lot of suppositions in Accardo's 800-word piece, most of which range from "wrong" to "laughable." Accardo leads in to his point-by-point dismantling with this presumptuous sentence:
"While I agree that content owners need to be much more open to embracing technology and innovation, I can't help but point out some fundamental issues emanating from the tech community and 'copyleft' that obfuscate the real issues of copyright, digital monetization, and technology."
Well, now that one side of the argument has been marginalized as "obfuscation," we can go on to have a balanced discussion. Issue #1? Patents vs. copyright. And the techies are on the wrong side of this as well:
"A bias toward respecting the rights of patents over copyright exists in tech culture, and copyleft has sprung out of this."
Really? As a proud member of what I assume is the "copyleft" movement (i.e., anyone who isn't a member of Big Content?), I think I can safely say that we have as little respect for overzealous patent holders as we do for overzealous copyright holders.
Next, Accardo goes after our "bias":
"One feels a little like Jon Stewart watching Fox News when reading a public statement by Lawrence Lessig or a post on Torrentfreak.com. The villain, Big Content, is always trying to take away our freedom and privacy by preventing us from enjoying Lady Gaga's newest album."
I'm going to let that one ride (inlcuding the assumption that we equate freedom and privacy with Lady Gaga) because he tops it two sentences later:
"Big Content uses its limited power and influence to look out for the little guy's rights as well."
As an employee of the Disney corporation, I'm amazed he could type this with a straight face, much less allow it to be published unaltered. Even the most maximalist of copyright holders would have trouble with that sentence.
"Limited power?"
If being able to leverage the US government to alter other nations' copyright laws is "limited," I'd really hate to see what damage Big Content would do if they were bumped up to "adequate." Is having the power to shut down entire domain name servers too "limiting?" How about warrantless searches?
"Look out for the little guy?"
Since when? Since being shamed into coughing up a fractional percentage of the Limewire settlement? Did we get it all wrong and the midnight move from "artist" to "work for hire" actually make things better for your average musician, freeing them from the massive responsibility of owning their own recordings? Is opaque accounting a fringe benefit for artists under contract?
Honestly, Accardo should have ended it there. He can't possibly top that obtuse declaration. What he does instead is lay the blame for Big Content's failures at the feet of actual innovators:
"Imagine if the tech giants used their powers of innovation to better detect and control online copyright infringement rather than the bare minimum steps companies such as Google take - omitting an app from the Android market or omitting a few search terms? If they helped take the head out of the bell curve of piracy with some creative innovation, we'd be seeing licenses thrown around to the Googles and the Spotifys of the world."
Yeah! Imagine if! Imagine if the tech companies went ahead and did all your work for you! The only thing they've given you so far is every tool imaginable to create, promote and sell your digital product.
You use their innovations daily and yet you still have the audacity to blame them for not stopping piracy. Tech knows piracy can't be stopped and has moved on. It's only the holdouts from Big Content that are still thinking they can cut every head off with enough legislative pressure and the hell with the First and Fourth Amendments. Those are inefficiencies from a bygone age. Big Content has too many inefficiencies of its own to worry about.
And as for your precious "licenses"? Who wants 'em? Do you think these tech companies are dying for the chance to pay ever-increasing fees and get double or triple-dipped for every audio or video stream?
If you're finding tech leery of helping you, perhaps it's because you never stop taking. You want them to police the internet for you (along with the ISPs), push your products, crawl your news, find you new revenue streams and create new formats. And in exchange they'll get thrown under the legislative/judicial bus every chance you get. No wonder the techs have turned their back on you. They've already seen how you've treated your own content creators for decades and now have to attempt to innovate while warily watching you blunder around in search of a soft target.
The innovators of the world owe you nothing.
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New Bill Pushes For Warrants To Access Cloud Data

Posted about 2 hours ago by Unknown35 joelpomales to joelpomales's posterous

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Analyst: Box Office Shows Customers Are Tired Of 3D, High Ticket Prices

Posted about 1 hour ago by Unknown35 joelpomales to joelpomales's posterous

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