Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Special Delivery?
I swear Myself is not making this up: Man packs himself in a crate gets shipped as cargo from NY to Dallas
DALLAS (AP) -- Charles D. McKinley had himself shipped from New York to Dallas in an airline cargo crate, startling his parents - and a deliveryman - when he broke out of the box outside their home.


In a rambling jailhouse interview, McKinley told KXAS-TV in Dallas that he made the trip because he was homesick and a friend thought he could save money by flying as cargo. McKinley said he took no food or water on the 15-hour journey, just a cell phone, which did not work.

"I'm sitting there thinking, `Oh God, I don't know why I'm doing this,'" he said. "I'm sitting there thinking like any minute somebody will notice that there's somebody sitting inside this crate. ... No one did."Authorities said they did not know whether McKinley had any toilet facilities. But the stowaway told the TV station that got out of the crate during flights once or twice and walked around.

His box was carried in the pressurized, heated cabins, but could just as easily have been placed in the lower, unpressurized holds, said Richard G. Phillips, chief executive of Pilot Air Freight.
Now the fact that he was able to do this at all should raise a huge red flag, Myself is talking about a glaring, 20X30 foot, waving, bright red one. This is going to cause the FAA to have conniption fits as well as cargo carriers. And it should. Air cargo is a known weak spot, security needs to be tightened and now we have in living color an example of how, if one were an evil-doer, said evil-doer could have taken over the cargo plane and used to, well, evil-do. Thank you John Ashcroft. The irony of all this is that he could have booked a first-class flight for what it cost to ship himself. What a maroon!

Monday, September 08, 2003

Music Wars: Scene 19
in which the RIAA fires its Death Star

The RIAA filed 261 subpeonas today in an effort to scare the music rebels into oblivion:
NEW YORK -- Sharing pirated music over the Internet just got a lot more hazardous.

The music industry unleashed a long-planned legal blitz intended to stanch the rampant piracy that has caused music sales to crater during the past four years.

The five major record companies, grouped under the banner of the Recording Industry Association of America (news - web sites), filed 261 lawsuits against individuals it says have illegally used file-sharing software to distribute vast troves of copyrighted music online, where it can be accessed and downloaded for free by music consumers.

The association characterized its actions as a "first wave" of what could ultimately be thousands of copyright-infringement lawsuits against individuals who have distributed on average more than 1,000 music files each to other users. It also said it wouldn't sue those individuals who agree to voluntarily identify themselves and pledge to stop illegally sharing music over the Internet.

"We hope that today's actions will convince doubters that we are serious about protecting our rights," said RIAA President Cary Sherman.
Now there have been various criticism of the RIAA and the music industry in general, ranging from over-commercialism/over-promotion, most of it sucks anyway, the RIAA is obsolete, or at least their paradigm is, and others. It is more ecomincal to have one artist sell 1 million copies from 1 CD that an artist sell 2 million from 5 CDs, but Myself sees this strategy of suing the indivivual as better than creating new laws to give the music industry special rights when it comes to intellectual property,i.e., the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or forcing ISP's to police its users, or even be the stool pigeon. The Empire is hoping that this will scare away most users. They are wrong. They will succeed in scaring of some, no doubt, but there will always be music swapping going on. The P2P programs will evolve, and pay for play sites will grow, already there are at least a dozen in the works. P2P is used not only to swap the latest hits (which is what all the fuss is about, really) but those more obscure hits of days gone by (not so much a concern of the RIAA) yet is also a valuable commodity to the user. So watch out RIAA the rebels will be making a sneak attack on your death star and drop a bomb down your exhaust vent.