Sunday, September 17, 2006


Move Along, Nothing To See Here...

As anyone knows, the RIAA and MPAA, in their efforts to control how we get our media entertainment, have been trying to impliment a DRM tactic known as the infamous Broadcast Flag. With it, they control how you watch your movies, TV shows, and listen to music (with a seperate DRM tactic, really).

Well, they're trying to take the PR blitz to their customers, and are employing a "Hey, Look Over Here" strategy to try and sweet talk all of us. Take this letter to the Witchita Eagle from Dan Glickman, CEO of the MPAA (Link -- via Fark):
It is important to note that without the broadcast flag, program producers are likely to move their programming from local broadcast stations over to subscription channels -- where content protections are stronger -- jeopardizing the access of free, over-the-air television upon which many Kansans rely.
Now, how stupid do you really think we are? The "threat" of content providers running amok and charging for everything their way is somewhat plausable, but highly unlikely, given the consumer's free will. The networks would face sharp criticism from paying customers if they started getting out of hand with their pricing and DRM schemes, most likely all different and incompatable.

So, robbing Peter to pay Paul, the asshat tries to paint the RIAA/MPAA scheme as the savior, "protecting the consumer" and their recording devices from the evil forces of the individual providers:
The film industry continues to invest heavy resources to determine consumers' attitudes and demands surrounding the way they view their entertainment. It is our goal to ensure that we exceed these demands while protecting the creators behind this entertainment.
MmmmmKay. But the last part is the real kicker:
These efforts will inject economic stability into the digital marketplace and continue to further its growth as we move deeper into the age of hyper-technology.
Yep, "we'll make up for the losses we take by wasting billions on complete crap by charging you crazy prices and controlling your viewing options, and call it an 'economic booster shot.' All we're really doing is making our own paychecks fatter when we (as is most often the case) fuck up."

And that's not the half. When you think about it, what are the RIAA and MPAA? Originally, they were formed by the major industry players to determine standards in formats and guidlines to prevent a complete mess. The members of these groups represented (and still represent) people from each of the major players. In effect, it's a self-governing industry babysitter.

The problem is, we live in the Bush/Clinton/Bush era, marred by the rapid and near-total consolidation of corporate entites. What was once defined by the break-up of Ma Bell and AT&T is now defined by the totally opposite effect. People now think Monopoly is just a board game by Parker Brothers.

This consolidation has resulted in a select few executives making the decisions for the many smaller division companies, allowing that same few to control quite a chunk of it's particular industry. You now have about four major corporations controlling the vast majority of media we pine for.

And these four companies control the standards and governing board. If they want to restrict things and jack up the bottom line, they can, and they can do it their own, custom, in-house way. It wouldn't be many companies and many standards. No, it'd be a select few companies and one standard that only they control.

It's the same threat they're describing, only inverted. The "lesser of two evils" is just as evil as the greater.

Something to think about this Sunday morning, isn't it...


The Four Tops

Fark had a bit of a trend over the last 36 hours, posting a bunch of Top Lists (mostly 10s). If it's chic to do it on Fark, we might as well filter them out of the queue for all of you. As always, the Fark users have inserted their own tops, so besure to check out the threads...

First up, the Top 10 "Most Beautiful Cars" (Link -- Thread)

Then comes it's worthy successor, the Top 9 "Ugliest Cars" (Link -- Thread)

Thirdly, there's the Top 10 "Highly Pretentious Musical Instruments" (Link -- Thread)

And finally, the Top 10 "Most Notorious Poisons" (Link -- Thread)

I'm reminded of the last words of Socrates, who said... "I drank WHAT?!?"


Resuming Transmission

Sorry about that. The week surrounding 9/11 has always been busy for me for the last five years, given my history with the fire service. That and other concerns arose during the entire week, and they had to be dealt with muy pronto.

But, I promise, that's all the silence you'll hear from me for quite a while. Time to get right back on the task of bringing you the best, most important, and fun news on the net. The memories have been appeased for the year, and it's back to the grind of dealing with this strange, mixed-up world...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Behold The Power Of Cheese

Your host for Blog Prophyts, The Lost Prophyt! Come on! How many other people will go out of their way to take over a movie theater marquee just for a stupid profile picture? Not many, I'm sure...

At any rate, I thought you all might find this nifty. I sure did. BP friend Jester also had his done this way. Many many thanks to Kim Knowles at the Rowland Theater in Philipsburg, PA (an AWESOME historical landmark still in operation, by the way) for letting us have at it!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Woman To RIAA: Suck It

In the continuing war on its customers, the RIAA is demanding a woman turn over her hard drive so they can examine it and determine whether or not she was downloading their crap illegally. Here's the trick: The woman is telling the RIAA where to get off the bus, and has petitioned the court to allow a non-biased, third-party computer forensics firm to do just that, since she's adamant about having never downloaded a damn thing. Brilliant! (Link -- via Fark)

Look, let's face it. The RIAA pretty much amounts to a bunch of Nazis. Declaring war on its customers is most likely the single most asinine thing any company (or, in this case, group of companies) has ever done.

It's not our fault that they want to push crap like Jessica Simpson on us, or sell us CDs with maybe two good songs on them for a whopping $16 a pop. That's their own stupidity. And they still haven't gotten the notion that there are much better business models, especially here in the information age. Instead, they want to clamp down on people's fair use rights, building anti-copying measures into technological devices and suing the pants off of regular folks who are sick and tired of their crap.

Wake up and smell the coffee, Music Nazis: The old ways are dead, or dying. It's time to live in the now, and turning your customers into criminals is no way to move forward...

Monday, September 04, 2006


Crikey: Croc Hunter Steve Irwin Dies

You know, when he was alive, he was just too goofy for words. But now, its not so goofy at all. Steve Irwin, known to millions around the world as The Crocodile Hunter, has died. He was 44.

The crazy Ausie, known for his catchphrase "Crikey!" and doing insane stunts with dangerous wildlife, was stung by a stingray while filming a documentary off of Batt reef, near Port Douglas. He was pronounced dead at the scene. (Link -- via Fark)

Blog Prophyts would like to extend its condolences to Mr. Irwin's family, and to all his fans around the world. Somehow, watching the Discovery Channel just won't be the same anymore without hearing his voice telling us about this wallabe or that extremely poisonous snake. He was most certainly a one-of-a-kind chap, and his contributions to the promotion of both Austrailia and Wildlife Understanding will be sorely missed...


Get Well Corporal!

It's never fun when a friend or colleague is in an accident, and this is most certainly no exception. BP contributor Corporal Kickyourass, an RCMP officer, was hit by a car last week while attending to a traffic stop. Thankfully, he's alive and well, though sporting "interesting bruises" from a hood ornament.

Stop over to Curbed Enthusiasm and leave him some get well wishes, as well as read about his insights into the whole ordeal. As someone who has been hit by a car himself (when I was 11), I can sympathize with his plight, and I can tell you that the recovery process is a singular experience. While one would hope to get the "good drugs," he seems to be doing alright on his own with a bottle (or more) of Canadian Club.

BP wishes the Corporal a speedy recovery, and we hope to see him back up to 100% very, very soon! (Link)


Happy Labor Day From Blog Prophyts

For our American readers, we wish you a happy and safe Labor Day! If you're going to be getting plowed, make sure you do so with a Designated Driver handy. After all, we have few readers as it is, and we most certainly don't want to lose any of you. Or anyone else, for that matter.

Happy Labor Day from all of us here at BP!

Saturday, September 02, 2006


AT&T Hack Just The Beginning

The AT&T Store hack, which we reported on earlier this week, was only the opening salvo in what appears to be a much larger phishing operation. While the order data they stole didn't contain the customers' SSNs and birthdates, they sent out e-mails, complete with legitimate order and credit card numbers, going after what they didn't get from the initial hack. Scary. Glad I'm not an AT&T Customer anymore... (Link -- via Slashdot)


So You Want To Be An Airport Security Person

Is it a bomb? The TSA can't seem to be able to tell these days. They won't let you bring a bottle of lemonade onto a flight, but they will let a guy with an active vibrator in his pants on, with the vibrator still running! Well, it was only a matter of time before an enterprising prankster launches a site like BombOrNot, a HotOrNot style site where you get to decide whether objects like cell phones, kittens, and even ice cream, are possible explosive impliments. (Link -- via BoingBoing)

Friday, September 01, 2006


Three Years Too Late

In a case of the Internet beating out the Mainstream Media, the Globe and Mail is reporting on something we all discovered back in 2003: Google for "failure" and see what comes up first. (Link -- via Fark)

Nice of you to notice. Morons...


Just In Case You Didn't Notice

Which you probably didn't, because this story has been kept quiet. Not by some government conspiracy either, though given the circumstances, that might just be the case. Brace yourselves, this could come as a shock to you:

The United States (specifically Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming) has several large oil shale deposits situated under the Rocky Mountains which stand to produce over two trillion barrels of oil! When you break it down, it works out to about two million barrels per acre. (Link -- via Fark)

Yes, that's greater than all of the countries in the Middle East combined, whom we rely on so heavily to keep us on the road. Turns out that, back in 1930, the government declared this reserve off limits, mostly because extracting the crude from oil shale was so expensive, so they tagged it for a "rainy day." Well, I'd say that $3.00 a gallon is a pretty good downpour (though prices have dropped slightly below that recently).

At the extraction rate of two million barrels a day, it would take roughly 2740 years to deplete this reserve. Of course, with everyone driving around in those absurd SUVs, you can probably drop that down to about 30 years. At any rate, this might be the excuse we need to finally ignore the Middle East, just like they seem to want us to...


Surprise: People Starting To Doubt "Terror" War

It looks like the public is starting to come around about the flaming failure that is the "War on Terror." A new poll suggests that folks are not as confident about this hopeless campaign as they once were. (Link -- via Fark)

Let's look at some hardcore facts:

Terrorism has been around for thousands of years, and it doesn't show any signs of going away. The chances of any one targeted effort eradicating the tactic are none to none.

Five years after 9/11, we still don't have Osama's head on a pike, and probably never will. He stands more of a chance of dying from his kidney problems than being captured at this point.

We've spent over $450 Billion on the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, with no clearcut results in sight anytime soon. We've also spent $250 Billion on "Homeland Security," and all we've got to show for it is more hassles at the airport.

If you add up Afghanistan and Iraq, we've lost over 2,800 soldiers' lives. Couple that with the lack of results, and the cost in human lives doesn't look to encouraging.

In the end, it all hardly seems worth it...


The Octowrong

Chuck Norris, star of countless kick flicks as well as "Walker, Texas Ranger," has thrown his support behind public schools teaching the Bible as an elective study course. Um, OK, Chuck. The course teaches more along the lines of the Bible's impact on world history, rather than it's assumed status as a historical document. I suppose that's OK, as long as they don't go teaching it as cold hard fact. (Link -- via Fark)

Talk about tap dancing on a land mine. Since the course is centered around the historical impact of the world's all-time bestselling book (no, not "Harry Potter"), it doesn't really constitute endorsement of a particular religion. But that's a line I'm sure not even Johnny Cash would want to walk, and I know that I certainly wouldn't, either. IMHO, it's just a slick way to get around Seperation of Church and State. Even if you don't teach the Bible as historical fact, the kids are still reading - and being influenced by - the so-called "good book."

Look. I firmly believe that the Bible is a good story with a lot of moral truths and ways we should pattern our lives. I've never disputed that. But isn't there a way to take those ideas and present them in a secular light? Do we really have to go on believing in it unwaveringly? And, do we really need to teach it over, say, Islam or Jewish faith, or any other religion with a core book to follow? And, does the course present the negative aspects of the religion's impact, such as the Crusades or the Spanish Inquisition?

It just seems a little shakey to me...

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