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I Neglected to Tell The Internet


Hello fearless reader!

I neglected to update this site to inform you that I have undertaken a new endeavor. I can be seen, heard and contacted over at http://www.HereAreWords.com/ which is an excellent and more professional (polished) experience replete with audio.

Thanks for randomly searching for things and visiting my site.

Sincerely,

Mr. Sarcasm

Words with Pictures: Simian Film Acronym Soup


It all could have been avoided.

A pregnancy test could have prevented everything.

Words with Pictures: iTunes Hog


This is not what I would call a “feature”.

Here’s to iTunes 11 and memory leak, bug squashing.

Spotify Likes to Sell Me Things


Shphotifeye

Thankfully, it isn’t this bad yet.

Lets be serious, ads are everywhere. Outlets need to make some money by way of selling ad space and airtime. Spotify goes just a step beyond normal mechanisms for serving ads and makes some pretty interesting choices about utilizing their data effectively.

I’ve gone through many pains to actively avoid adverts: I physically mute my speakers, refrain from clicking on ads and avoid “featured artists”. At one point I was even so bold as to PHYSICALLY TEAR PAGES OUT MAGAZINES  so that I could get straight to the content. Whether or not I truly benefitted from this practice is doubtful and I never really went back to reread those old issues but it felt immensely empowering to tear something apart. Even while browsing the web across all of my browsers I have installed anti-tracking and ad destroying plug-ins so that I can browse with just that much more peace of mind.

As a service, Spotify really does it right, I have no qualms with what they provide and I don’t begrudge them offering their free tier while not blasting the user with ads. With banners, using the shotgun approach for advertising music in general is fine as Spotify is a music service. Once you bring in other properties like cars, booze,  and sex, brands tend to get a little finicky as to who or what they are affiliated. While listening to Peaches Impeach My Bush, I doubt very much Walmart wants me to see an ad for them. On the business side and as a money-making entity I’m sure ad revenue is really where they look to generate profits and it would behoove them to use their data to leverage a more effective way to sell to individuals.

Spotify has access to millions of listeners habits as well as deep Facebook integration (like button) and one would think they would be better able to anticipate (sell) targeted advertising. My assumption goes thusly: advertisers dictate with money that a small collection of ads are used everywhere and eschew the opportunity to spend a small amount more crafting demographic specific media that is more likely to prove profitable when targeting those users directly. Um, why? Aside from giving me something to laugh at and then respond to, in an age of Big Data can companies afford to continue broad swath media buys at the expense of being nimble and more tactical?

I am partly to blame. I could shell out my 5 bucks forgoing the whole process of Spotify desperately generating revenue through serving me as much advertising as possible. Never have I been too keen on a subscription model for music, essentially what the 5 dollar stipend would become, because I prefer to have total control over my music.  Customized radio stations (because terrestrial radio sucks) do appeal to me because I can expose myself to new stuff legally and with no risk to my wallet. As far as mobility and taking Spotify on the road, I listen to a boatload of podcasts and trapping myself in a car for an hour-long commute is an efficient way to burn through them. My iPod stores pertinent music that I might need and if  I do randomly want a song, I am pretty sure I can make an unaided decision.

*Ads I’ve received:

*Audio and visual

Leftovers are Just as Good


This is an article I wrote for a blog (currently out of use) belonging to a friend of mine, so I have appropriated it for my blog.

I don’t promise to be a practitioner of any organized religion. Hell, even the Church of Sin won’t have me because I won’t pay the dues and I have a deep dislike of wearing a hat. So when the traditional games come to town of Judaism, Taoism, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses etc, I just tune them out. Those ideals simply do not occupy the same reality as I do. That being said, when something comes along that bucks the trend merely to piss other people off, I tend to take notice.
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster does just that. It is a reactionary piece to established religion and those establishments forcing themselves into the lives of people who just don’t want to hear it. Created in response to the Kansas State Board of Education forcing creationism onto those who are too bewildered by evolutionism, CFSM (abbreviated henceforth because I’m lazy) is the insistence that if you make concessions for one thing, you have to make concessions for everything no matter how ridiculous. This is sublime if only to spin an impressive yarn, larger than life or even creation, that encompasses some of my favorite things.

Click for ‘pasghettification!

Explain the Reason Why We are Expected to Pay $30 for a Movie in the Middle of a Recession


3D movies are garbage.

Yeah, I said it. Three dimensional entertainment is a gimmick and fills no consumer-based need. While I am at home, I do not need to wear two different sets of glasses to: A) Look stupid. B) Shame myself to bed. I don’t need to see three-dee cuts of Hoarders, True Life: I Hate You/Myself/the Sun/Music, and Star Trek: Voyager. No value is added and no information is gained. Aside from the novelty of seeing a Klingon ship ‘jump’ off of the screen (and how a fictional spacecraft would jump is beyond me) I receive no benefit to my experience. I am not more entertained by spending $1,000 per entry to a movie so that I may embarrass myself in front of equally idiotic looking strangers. What I take away from a ‘3D-improved’ (I SO copyright that term, oh and 3D + for good measure) film or show is that I paid good money I don’t have to receive a headache.

To reiterate, in the context of a consumer world, 3D has no bearing. Applying 3D to the broad swath of ‘entertainment’ falls down to one of two industries: movies/broadcast television and video games. If one is to apply this technology to video games, an experience can be marginally improved. My belief is that video games are participatory and therefore can benefit in the slightest of ways where films are a passive medium which only rely on a participants mental and emotional involvement to be successful.

Please recycle your 3D glasses here!

What Has Me Terrified Today?


Stop me if you’ve heard this one… I hope we have all, more-or-less, come to the conclusion that Digital Rights Management (DRM, naturally) is ineffectual and annoying. The people for whom DRM targets are MORE THAN CAPABLE of circumventing it in almost every, if not every, instance. People who are conducting themselves reasonably and honestly are instead punished and forced to play by the rules of the software company, Hollywood or the music labels.

To cite the example of iTunes, open standards worth rather fucking well. When iTunes first open it’s music store it had a marginally generous DRM scheme, you could play a track on an authorized device such as an iPod or computer and make up to 7 copies of a track. Great. The only defect was that this could be broken with iTunes itself, a person could simply burn the whole album on a CD, rip it back into iTunes and -boom- it was automagically DRM free. When iTunes eschewed DRM and simultaneously increased the quality of their tracks the world did not come to an abrupt end. Nor did iTunes stop making money thereby feeding the music labels and their artists (we all know that artists don’t make money off of album sales anyhow, they make it from CONCERTS).

Now, take the idea of DRM-less media and throw that into an erupting volcano.

It burns so good!

What’s Wrong with Transformers?


My problem with Michael Bay and his vision for Transformers comes down to one franchise destroying problem: I am interested in a story about Transformers, not about humans.

Now, this is not to say that I do not care about human PROBLEMS, problems that can be solved with big ass mechs charging around and spraying laser-gun fire. If a human falls down and skins their knees, I want to see them pout. If a robot picks someone up and uses him/her to wipe its ass, I want to see them soiled to no end, dripping with oil.

However, I do not care about the establishment of a single human individuals wants, dreams, hopes, desires (esp. in his first Transformer film) because his story is simply boring. Taking the premise of getting LaBeouf a car and then using that as a means of temporarily involving him in War-formers (TM), great. Aside from that, his character can be the first to die while inside Bumble Bee when he transforms, thereby eviscerating his lumpy, both-hands-in-tact, not-crazy-faked-n’-baked body. END OF HIS STORY.

Click to Transform!

Good Evening


It is hard to introduce ones self in such an informal medium. You, dear reader, know nothing about me nor will you ever care to broaden your understanding of my character. And I will never know anything about you because we don’t travel in the same circles and you can operate without name nor obligation to country.

It’s not that I don’t write because I’m not good at it, I just don’t have anything terribly smart or insightful to share with a world that has more accumulated wit and intelligence. However, knowledge by committee doesn’t make it more apt. Specifically, because it would take so long to get there given that verbal altercations didn’t jam up the cogs. This too, would necessitate a pointed attack on my poor grammar and inability to construct a complete and meaningful thought.

Stay serious.