Friday, October 10, 2003

Music Wars Scene 23:
In which the founder of the rebellion returns from the dead
Look out iTunes, Napster is back. The creation of a college student, Shawn Fanning, who wrote the true killer app of the new millenium, started the Music Wars in 1999, by allowing any user on the internet to download MP3 music files, and let others download from their collection.
Napster (news - web sites), the file-swapping service that set music fans on their ears and sent the music industry into apoplectic fits, is resurrecting itself as a pay service two years after its free service collapsed under the weight of lawsuits.

Under its parent Roxio Inc. (NasdaqNM:ROXI - news), which bought the Napster assets out of bankruptcy in late 2002, Napster on Thursday introduced a test version of its new software that will sell individual songs for 99 cents each, albums for $9.95. or monthly "all-you-can-eat" subscriptions for $9.95.

Ironically, Napster sounded the opening salvo of the online music revolution in 1999 when it launched a free service that allowed users to download digital music from other users and in turn make their songs available to others.

The music industry has blamed such file-sharing services for its sharp decline in music sales over the last few years. Napster's relaunch is the latest example in a crowded field of online services aiming to convert an online community used to getting their music for free into paying customers.
The only problem with the pay services is that they don't have a big enough catalog, forget the obscure stuff, when you don't even have any Beatles tunes, your catalog sucks. Napster promises to deliver in this regard, we shall see. Of course the other big problem is that the free P2P Networks still exist and although usage has declined in the wake of the recent lawsuits, any pay for play service will be impacted by the free rebels. Myself sees the Music Wars as the beginning of the end for music on CD's. Much like the decline of vinyl, and casette tapes, the days of CD's are numbered. If Myself can get a device the size of a pack of cigarettes, or even smaller that can hold 30 plus songs of my choosing, never skips, can never get scratched, why would I want a much more bulky CD player that only holds 12 songs, some of which I may not even want, can't go jogging with, any can very easily get permanently ruined?

Thursday, October 09, 2003

I know this is wrong but...
It is also funny, there is a boardgame out there called "Ghettopoly", yes thats right Ghettopoly. picture here and article here there are, of course, some who are not amused:
...Black leaders are outraged over a new board game called "Ghettopoly" that has "playas" acting like pimps and game cards reading, "You got yo whole neighborhood addicted to crack. Collect $50."
Black clergymen say the game, the brainchild of a Pennsylvania man, should be banned, and have called for a boycott of Urban Outfitters unless the company stops selling Ghettopoly in its chain of clothing stores.
"If we are silent on this issue there is more of this type to come," the Rev. Robert P. Shine Sr., president of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia & Vicinity, said at a sidewalk rally Wednesday in front Urban Outfitters' corporate headquarters in Philadelphia.
Shine displayed the game board, with properties including Westside Liquor, Harlem, The Bronx, and Long Beach City, and squares labeled Smitty's XXX Peep Show, Weinstein's Gold and Platinum, and Tyron's Gun Shop.
Players draw "Hustle" and "Ghetto Stash" cards with directions like, "You're a little short on loot, so you decided to stick up a bank. Collect $75," and "Steal $$$ if you pass Let$ Roll."
Also coming soon are Hoodopoly, Hiphopopoly, Thugopoly, and Redneckopoly. The game even has its own website: Myself is pretty sure the people at Hasbro®, are none too pleased with this. But the article gives no mention of copyright violation. At any rate I can see why this could be deemed offensive, certainly non-PC, and Myself can respect that some people will be up in arms about something like this, perpetuating horrible sterotypes, racial oppression, and all that, but Myself does not think it falls under the category of "something that would make it a big deal". Besides you gotta love a game with pieces like Pimp, Hoe, 40 oz, Machine Gun, Marijuana Leaf, Basket Ball and Crack. I can hear parents around the country now: No Jimmy, its Sally's turn to be the pile of crack this time, you can be the 40 oz.
via Atrios

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

God's wrath?
Hurricane Isabel roared through Virginia Beach, Va., in September, inflicting serious property damage, despite public calls for prayer to keep it away by prominent resident Rev. Pat Robertson, whose Christian Broadcasting Network is headquartered there. (In 1998, Robertson condemned the city of Orlando, Fla., for sponsoring a Gay Days festival, and warned that the city could be torn up during the subsequent hurricane season, as God punishes those who promote homosexuality. Instead, the first hurricane of that season (Bonnie) made a direct hit on Virginia Beach.) [The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk), 9-16-03]
Heh Heh Heh.

Stupid criminals
William Penny was arrested in Greenwood, Ind., in August, putting a halt to his alleged identity-theft business. He was caught because, three times in a three-day period, he had aroused suspicion of several people in a neighborhood by approaching a certain ATM on foot, carrying a motorcycle helmet, donning the helmet as he neared the ATM's camera, making a withdrawal (with someone else's ID, allegedly), walking away, and then removing the helmet.[WISH-TV (Indianapolis), 8-5-03]