Tuesday, February 27, 2007
it's a fun ad. but of course i'd think that; i did basically the same thing in 2001 for the opening track of the animals within animals double-cd mono a mono (recently reissued as a free mp3 download). this track was also included on boom selection's never mind the bootlegs compilation, making it one of my most popular/well-known compositions.
of course, it could be a coincidence. after all, the bran flakes had done something pretty similar on their cd hey won't somebody come and play a couple years before i did (though i never heard their track until long after i made mine). in fact, the idea has been done so much that jon nelson put together an entire hour-long episode of his excellent radio program, some assembly required, of "hello" tracks and similar works.
still, it's a good idea. so is it just one of those ideas that's so good (or, perhaps, so banal, so glaringly obvious) that lots of people come up with it? or are there some fans of AWIA and the bran flakes in the apple marketing department? ¶
Monday, February 26, 2007
so i can only imagine what it must be like to be held in terre haute's new CMU for b-list terror suspects. the washington post explains:
The Justice Department has quietly opened a new prison unit in Indiana that houses a hodgepodge of second-tier terrorism inmates, most of them Arab Muslims, whose ability to communicate with the outside world has been tightly restricted.
At the Communications Management Unit, or CMU, in Terre Haute, Ind., all telephone calls and mail are monitored, the number of phone calls limited and visits are restricted to a total of four hours per month, according to special rules enforced by the Justice Department's U.S. Bureau of Prisons. All inmate conversations must be conducted in English unless otherwise negotiated.
The unit appears to be a less restrictive version of the "supermax" facility in Florence, Colo., which holds some of the United States' most notorious terrorists, including al-Qaeda operative Zacarias Moussaoui and Unabomber Theodore J. Kaczynski.
Defense lawyers and prisoner advocates complain that the unit's communication restrictions are unduly harsh for inmates not considered high security risks. They also say that the ethnic makeup of the CMU's population may indicate racial profiling. "If they really believed these people are serious terrorists, they wouldn't be in this unit," said David Fathi, staff counsel for the National Prison Project at the American Civil Liberties Union. "They'd be in Colorado with [Atlanta Olympics bomber] Eric Rudolph and the Unabomber and the rest of the people that the Bureau of Prisons thinks are serious threats."
According to prison records, current residents at Terre Haute include five members of the so-called Lackawanna Six, a group of Yemeni natives from Upstate New York who attended an al-Qaeda training camp. The unit also houses Randall Royer, a defendant prosecuted as part of the "Virginia jihad" case in Alexandria, and Enaam M. Arnaout, an Islamic charity director who pleaded guilty to diverting money to Islamic military groups in Bosnia and Chechnya.
The only non-Muslim inmates are an unidentified Colombian militant and Zvonko Busic, 61, former leader of a Croatian extremist group that hijacked a jetliner and set off a bomb that killed a police officer in 1976, according to prison records and defense lawyers.
justice officials naturally claim that it's just a coincidence that everyone in the CMU is a terrorist, and all but one are muslims. they say that eventually the CMU will also house "sex offenders who attempt to communicate with victims and others who have abused mail or phone privileges."
officials also claim that being shipped to the CMU is not a "punitive measure", and thus "authorities do not have to provide hearings and other procedures that are required when punishments are to be administered." ¶
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
States that imposed identification requirements on voters reduced turnout at the polls in the 2004 presidential election by about 3 percent, and by two to three times as much for minorities, new research suggests.
The study, prepared by scholars at Rutgers and Ohio State Universities for the federal Election Assistance Commission, supports concerns among voting-rights advocates that blacks and Hispanics could be disproportionately affected by ID requirements. But federal officials say more research is needed to draw firmer conclusions about the effects on future elections.
Tim Vercellotti, a professor at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University who helped conduct the study, said that in the states where voters were required to sign their names or present identifying documents like utility bills, blacks were 5.7 percent less likely to vote than in states where voters simply had to say their names.
Dr. Vercellotti said Hispanics appeared to be 10 percent less likely to vote under those requirements, while the combined rate for people of all races was 2.7 percent.
"Do people not even go to vote because they don't want to hassle with the requirements, or is this occurring at the polling place, when they're told they can't vote without further ID?" Dr. Vercellotti asked. "If we can answer this question, then policymakers can develop procedures and voter awareness campaigns to mitigate it."
advocates of indiana's new voter id law have long insisted that this doesn't happen (or, more abstractly, that there's "no evidence" that it happens). it should be interesting to see whether they acknowledge this study, or whether it gets any play in indiana. ¶
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
here's a taste:
Later that night, a reporter for the local Fox TV station, Stacey Elgin, delivered a report on the raid from the darkened street in front of the studio. She announced that the owners of the studio, known professionally as DJ Drama and DJ Don Cannon, were arrested for making "illegal CDs." The report cut to an interview with Matthew Kilgo, an official with the Recording Industry Association of America, who was involved in the raid. The R.I.A.A., a trade and lobbying group that represents the major American record labels, works closely with the Department of Justice and local police departments to crack down on illegal downloading and music piracy, which most record-company executives see as a dire threat to their business.
Kilgo works in the R.I.A.A.'s Atlanta office, and in the weeks before the raid, the local police chief said, R.I.A.A. investigators helped the police collect evidence and conduct surveillance at the studio. Kilgo consulted with the R.I.A.A.'s national headquarters in advance of the raid, and after the raid, a team of men wearing R.I.A.A. jackets was responsible for boxing the CDs and carting them to a warehouse for examination.
If anyone involved with the raid knew that the men they had arrested were two of the most famous D.J.'s in the country, they didn't let on while the cameras were rolling. For local law enforcement, the raid on Drama and Cannon's studio was no different from a raid they executed in October on an Atlanta factory where a team of illegal immigrants was found making thousands of copies of popular DVDs and CDs to sell on the street. Along with the bootlegged CDs, the police found weapons and a stash of drugs in the factory. (The Fox report on the DJ Drama raid included a shot of a grave-looking police officer saying, "In this case we didn't find drugs or weapons, but it's not uncommon for us to find other contraband.")
But Drama and Cannon's studio was not a bootlegging plant; it was a place where successful new hip-hop CDs were regularly produced and distributed. Drama and Cannon are part of a well-regarded D.J. collective called the Aphilliates. Although their business almost certainly violated federal copyright law, as well as a Georgia state law that requires CDs to be labeled with the name and address of the producers, they were not simply stealing from the major labels; they were part of an alternative distribution system that the mainstream record industry uses to promote and market hip-hop artists. Drama and Cannon have in recent years been paid by the same companies that paid Kilgo to help arrest them.¶
Sunday, February 18, 2007
the star's rishawn biddle thinks of himself as the "Sensible Libertarian", a role he sometimes plays pretty well—for example, i happen to think he's spot-on about the controversy surrounding pea-shake houses (black-owned illegal gambling operations). but other times, he gets a little too "in character". recently, he's written a series of posts belittling gay activists, insisting repeatedly that he's "on their side" politically, yet because they are just so shrill and whiny, they risk losing the support of Sensible Folks like him. what's particularly annoying about these screeds (other than the wrong-headedness of his arguments) is that he has developed a habit of commenting on other bloggers' posts without linking to them or even naming who wrote them. this reduces his posts to a sort of "inside baseball" which is practically indecipherable if you haven't already read the blogs in question.
in the other corner is gary welsh. like rishawn, gary is highly intelligent and capable of coming up with compelling arguments. also like rishawn, gary can be quite obstinate when he turns out to be wrong. and also like rishawn, gary is a nontraditional conservative. (rishawn claims to be "libertarian", which these days generally means "i'm conservative, but too embarrassed by the religious right to call myself 'republican'." gary is a gay republican, who repeatedly voices his disgust at the religious right, but still thinks it might be possible to save the GOP.)
as a gay man, gary is understandably opposed to SJR-7, the proposed amendment to the indiana constitution that would not only ban gay marriage but would prevent "incidents of marriage" from being granted to "unmarried couples" (which includes unmarried straight couples as well, and would strip away many existing rights that gay and unmarried straight couples currently enjoy, no matter what the amendment's supporters say). rishawn claims to also be opposed to the amendment, yet he seems to spend more time whining about the tactics of gay activists than explaining why the amendment is so atrocious. and he has repeatedly called out gary (perhaps more than anyone else), even while refusing to link to gary's blog or even mention gary by name.
it was always easy to see what this spat was really about. gary, as a gay man, is fighting for his rights, for his livelihood and the lives of many others like him. that's admirable. for rishawn, this feud with the lgbt community has always been about last year's election and the things that were said during that time.
longtime readers will recall that gary got a little out of hand during the election season. in his zeal to oust julia carson from congress, gary went off the deep end on more than one occasion, spewing all sorts of ridiculousness. once upon a time, rishawn seemed to be a big fan of gary's, but rishawn got burned last october, when gary flat-out called him a liar. (the issue was the much-talked-about police report about candidate dickerson's domestic battery arrest. gary insisted, despite all the facts, that julia carson had personally given the report to the star ed board. rishawn, who should know because he's a member of the ed board, repeatedly pointed out that this did not happen, but gary stood by his claim... and for some reason still does.)
gary has mostly recovered his sanity since then (though he has yet to correct or apologize for the many outlandish things he said during the election season), and his blog is almost as good now as it was, say, last spring, before all this nonsense got started. but rishawn remembers being called a liar, and he still holds a grudge.
early this morning, rishawn finally admitted as much in the comments at AI:
Your animus with me goes back to last year's Julia Carson-Eric Dickerson Congressional race, when I criticized your unreasonable rhetoric and called you on the carpet for perpetrating an urban legend that Carson handed a copy of Dickerson's arrest record to this paper. It didn't happen and you were told that by yours truly -- who happened to be at the editorial board meeting in which Carson leveled those allegations -- and was confirmed by the editorial page editor of this paper.
You refused to correct your statement. As a result, I regard you in a territory reserved for two other notable commentattors in town whose lack of class, dearth of civility and unwillingness to deal reasonably: You don't get named whenever cited on Expresso.
of course, in that dispute, rishawn was right. in this one, he's dead wrong. but because gary went too far last fall, he has—perhaps permanently—damaged his reputation in rishawn's eyes. and rishawn isn't just taking it out on gary: he's taking it out on the whole lgbt community. it's a shame.
incidentally, i also want to point out this line: "I regard you in a territory reserved for two other notable commentattors [...] You don't get named whenever cited on Expresso." like a petulant child, rishawn decides to punish those critics he dislikes by talking about them without using their names. rather than just ignore them, as he probably should do if they were really as uncivil and unreasonable as he claims, he passive-aggressively keeps talking smack about them on his blog. of course, the entity most harmed by this is expresso, which is rendered almost unreadable by all the unexplained references to "certain bloggers".
but the real question is, who are the other two "comentattors" that rishawn refuses to ever call by name? i'm pretty sure one of them is steph mineart. but who's the third? i suppose wilson allen is a candidate, but judging from this i'm pretty sure he's actually talking about tdw's jen wagner. ¶
Saturday, February 17, 2007
but blogger was willing to let me wait no longer, and forced me to switch. unlike some, the conversion seemed pretty smooth and was over within minutes. (though i haven't tested all twentysomething blogs for problems.) so that's cool.
at some point i'll start experimenting with the new features, so you might notice some minor (or even not-so-minor) layout changes in the coming weeks. but i'm also fairly busy with editing work, house-cleaning, and finishing up parts is parts, among other things... ¶
Thursday, February 15, 2007
a year ago i played around with databending PNG files and i accidentally stumbled across this great effect, with weird color blocks that smear all over the place. but PNG is one of the most difficult formats to bend without breaking, and i wasn't able to get very far with it.
i've learned a lot about databending images over the past year, and decided to try again, this time with a hex editor, and figure out how to create this look. i haven't entirely gotten the hang of it yet, and need to practice more, but as you can see, i did eventually find a way to create this kind of glitch again. it's tricky, but i think it's worth it.
also, i was wrong in that cat-bending post last year: databent PNGs will open in photoshop. (in fact, my current method for generating this effect involves glitching the file so it's unreadable in photoshop, and then adding a second glitch that makes it readable again... like i said, it's tricky.) perhaps PNGs are just so fragile that editing them in audio software in any way damages them too much to photoshop (but not too much for MSpaint), but hex editing can be gentle enough to bend them without breaking.¶
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
mono a mono is 2 hours and 21 minutes of mayhem: text manipulation, noise, databending, and everything in between. learn the "truth" about parasites, mating rituals, arachnophobia, the internet, & the sanctity of turkey leftovers.
if you don't have the cds, you haven't heard the whole thing!
much of this album has been circulating the p2p networks for years. you might have even downloaded a version purporting to be "complete". don't be fooled: these versions are not complete!
if you look at the album's back cover, you'll notice gaps in the numbering. that's because the proper album contained a bunch of mini-tracks and samples (15 on disc one, 13 on disc two) in between the longer tracks to improve musical flow. these tracks (most under a minute in length) were never given proper titles, and to my knowledge have never been available anywhere online... until today!
if you were not one of the privileged few who acquired an actual cdr copy of mono a mono (or, if you were one of the cursed few who received copies only for them to be lost, or destroyed by huge cracks in the center of the discs caused by packaging problems [yes, this really happened!]), this download is for you! ¶
fast forward to yesterday, when i bought a copy of the latest venetian snares cd, hospitality. i popped that bad boy into the cd player and was greeted with house music, most assuredly not produced by vsnares. (turns out the music is the house mixes 1996-2006 by bah samba.) i was only able to find one site online that mentions the misprint, so this item could be pretty rare as well.
i don't want to repeat my dispepsi mistake. so what do i do? hang on to the cd and get a new copy? (should i buy another from luna, where i got this one? and if i do and that copy is also a misprint, should i keep that one too?) immediately put it up on ebay? hang onto it for awhile and then put it on ebay? i have no interest in ever listening to the music on the disc, but if it's "valuable" then i'd be a fool to let it go... ¶
if the significance is lost on you, here's a refresher. shortly before last year's election, i discovered that hailstone was a freeper and campaign volunteer for eric dickerson. because hailstone was (and remains) one of the most foul, hateful right-wing trolls on the indiana blogosphere, i took it upon myself to scour through his blog and link to some of the most insane posts.
alas, the day after the election, hailstone deleted his blog, rendering all my links useless, but i figured that was a small price to pay in order to be rid of the guy. unfortunately, not long after that, he started blogging again. then last month, hailstone/jezierski drew even more attention to himself by posting a "reward" for dirt on "that TDW bitch", proclaiming that tdw jen "needs to go down and go down hard".
surprisingly, before announcing his bid for the council, hailstone/jezierski didn't delete his blog or even purge it of his most ridiculous comments. his pre-november posts are still lost to the ether, but all the post-election stuff still seems to be there. so in honor of his candidacy, i figured it was once again time to start going through his blog archives and locate some of the nuttier material:
here he rails against "the socialist advocates of wealth redistribution"
here he muses that "one must be truly insane to be a Democrat."
here he rejoices over a texas execution
here he describes why he didn't want to donate $3 of his income taxes to the presidential campaign fund: "I thought of that $3 and the very idea of that seemingly paltry sum possibly going to Hillary, I could not click "NO" fast enough."
hailstone is still angry about vietnam draft-dodgers
amazingly, the reward post is still up!
here he posts a video of mike ditka railing against "Barack Hussein Osama, and those who are apologists for the terrorists and those who call themselves Americans but continually call this a bad country."
here he speculates on why college costs so much: "Maybe some of these overpaid draft-dodging far left wingnut tenured professors are the problem? No can't do that they are the ones indoctrinating the youth into voting for whackjobs like Nancy Pelosi and Dennis "the Menace" Kucinich."
hailstone is pathologically obsessed with wilson allen
oops! hailstone forgot about martin luther king day, but not because he's a racist like those democrats!
here he basically compares state rep david orentlicher to hitler, demanding, in big bold all-caps letters so you know he really means it, "THE ANTI-FREEDOM LIBERALS MUST BE STOPPED!!"
hailstone on bayh: "Sounds like he can't make up his mind whether to pander to the far left like a good little 'Rat and piss off the moderates back home, or be the phony moderate he was when he was Governor here and not gain the interest of the left wingnuts that dominate the modern 'Rat party."
here he posts a photo of some car in san francisco as proof that all liberals are hypocrites. (personally, i discern a difference between abortion and killing already-born children in an unjust war, but to hailstone they are the same.)
hailstone got very excited when saddam was executed
hailstone routinely says vile things about julia carson (D,IN-7), like "I wonder if someone will get the food for Julia or will she eat straight from the serving trays?"
hailstone really hates new orleans
considering that hailstone was a devoted dickerson supporter/volunteer, it's hilarious that he would call john conyers "a slick used car salesman that'll say anything to get elected" (or have such a grudge against payton wells)
hailstone's (presumably meant to be humorous) attempt to translate nancy pelosi comes off more like that far side cartoon about what dogs hear
...and this is just a taste. believe me, there's more craziness there at his blog, not to mention all the certifiable things he has said in comments over at advance indiana or other blogs. he has a podcast, too! i'm sure it's a goldmine of insane ranting, but i can't bring myself to listen to it right now.
anyway, that's his personal blog. you might wonder whether his official candidate blog is toned down. and it is... he toned it down all the way to eleven. on his campaign blog, he drops the name-calling but keeps the rhetoric. he no longer calls council president monroe grey "sweet pea", but candidate jezierski still makes comments like "I did notice that CCC President Monroe Gray had to leave early. Was it drawing time at the ticket house?"
i don't see how anyone could take mike jezierski seriously as a candidate, considering his record. he's a joke. ¶
Saturday, February 10, 2007
The head of Cartoon Network resigned Friday after the network's guerilla marketing scheme for one of its shows went bad last week and led to a bomb scare in Boston - a fiasco that cost its parent company $2 million.
In a letter to employees, Jim Samples, the general manager and executive vice president of the network, wrote: "I deeply regret the negative publicity and expense caused to our company as a result of this campaign. As general manager of Cartoon Network, I feel compelled to step down, effective immediately, in recognition of the gravity of the situation that occurred under my watch."
while the media narrative remains that this was a "marketing scheme... gone bad", this shows a fundamental ignorance of the whole point of guerilla marketing.
the idea behind guerilla marketing is that our society is so saturated with traditional advertising that marketers have begun adopting the methods of street art/graffiti and other unconventional techniques in order to break through all the chatter. in this sense, the athf campaign was the most successful guerilla marketing campaign of all time!
just think about it: for days, the news cycle was completely dominated by news about aqua teen hunger force... less than two months before the athf movie comes out. countless millions of people who would never have heard of the aqua teens now know the name of the show, if not basic information about it. while older, out-of-touch authority figures were freaking out on tv, the show's target demographic got the joke and flooded the blogosphere with posts supporting the show and laughing at the media's (and particularly the city of boston's) alarmist reaction.
Turner Broadcasting System and Interference Inc. agreed to pay $2 million to make amends for last Wednesday's bomb scare in Boston, the Massachusetts attorney general said Monday. TBS is the parent of the Cartoon Network, which initiated the marketing scheme. CNN, CNNMoney.com and TBS are all owned by Time Warner Inc. (Charts), the world's largest media company.
$2 million is chump change in terms of marketing dollars. (a single super-bowl commercial costs more.) turner got way more than $2 million worth of marketing value out of this campaign. that kind of media attention and name recognition is practically priceless: you simply can't buy it with any amount of money spent in traditional marketing channels. and, i repeat because it's so important, the athf movie comes out next month! no guerilla marketer, in their wildest dreams, could ever imagine a campaign as successful as this one.
i'm left wondering whether there could be something else going on, whether there could be internal politics involved, and whether management had been looking for a reason to sack samples for some time. because he certainly didn't do anything wrong here, and this campaign absolutely didn't hurt the company or its reputation (quite the contrary, in marketing terms). so either the management at turner doesn't really understand what happened with the athf campaign (which would be pathetic), or the idea that samples was fired over the campaign is just a cover story and he really resigned for some other reason.¶
Thursday, February 08, 2007
the AWIA myspace page features two brand-new mp3s from our upcoming release, parts is parts: a noisy ditty titled "you want really annoying crap" and a more subdued cutup called "a man has needs". stop on by and give 'em a listen... and while you're there, add us as your friend.
i had attempted to upload a mellancamp cutup titled "jack and databend", only to find that myspace had rejected the song due to copyright concerns! apparently whatever software myspace uses to prevent people from uploading copyrighted music scanned the track and was able to recognize the source material of the samples! so i guess if you want to hear "jack and databend", you'll just have to wait a couple months until parts is parts is released in early spring 2007. sucks to be you.¶
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
i'm a CC-minded fellow, so it doesn't bother me when people appropriate images i've created. (though that doesn't mean i appreciate people just linking to my shiz; if you're going to jack my designs, at least upload them to your own server.) this is hardly the first time my images—or even this particular image—have turned up on other sites, though it might be the most popular site to have posted an image i made. so it was kind of flattering to see it there, though the fact that DIOYY (or whoever they got it from) cropped it specifically to remove the attribution to AWIA is a little annoying.
but this got me wondering... if the design is so popular, why do i still have two boxes of unsold shirts laying around, three years after they first came out? by this point, i don't care about recouping my investment; i just want to get rid of the damn things, as they're taking up precious space in my living room. (i also feel similarly about the many copies of my true data 12" i have left.) i need to do something to get rid of these shirts, even if it means selling them at just above cost. (which would be about $5 each.)
update: hmm... according to this, DIOYY actually recorded a mix titled recycle your record collection and used this as the cover art! i think they're just confused, though. that's not really the title of the mix.
and here is someone trying to sell bootleg shirts on cafepress. it's listed for $20. considering i can't sell mine for $8, i have a feeling they're not generating too many sales.¶
Sunday, February 04, 2007
for years, it seemed like naptown sports teams had some weird curse: the pacers and the colts were among the best teams at their respective sports, but could never translate that to a championship win. those days are over. the pacers might not be as good as they were when reggie was still on the team, but the colts are number one, baby! ¶
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Vampire Diaries was released Friday on DVD by Glass Ceiling Studios. Muncie film director Christopher Gregory said he shot the entire X-rated film on the grounds of the Kitselman Center, home to Ball State University's Virginia Ball Center for Creative Inquiry.
Gregory said he recruited about five Ball State students as part of Vampire Diaries' cast. The film's plotline follows Dracula's daughter as she makes an appearance in the 21st century as a 23-year-old college student exploring her sexuality.
When scouting for a local place to film, Gregory said he contacted Virginia Ball Center director Joe Trimmer and received permission to film inside the Kitselman Center in August 2004, according to the location agreement signed by both Trimmer and Gregory.
Trimmer, however, was unaware the film would be pornographic.
naturally, ball state and the city are upset. personally, i don't see how this is any more humiliating than taking a bunch of washed-up celebs like erik estrada, putting them in cop uniforms, and then airing the show up against american idol where it's sure to fail. but then again, i'm comfortable with the idea that humans reproduce sexually. ¶
Highways, bridges and a section of the Charles River were shut down and bomb squads were sent in before authorities declared the devices were harmless.
what is up with boston? people in the other nine cities didn't seem to care, if they noticed. but boston goes into a frenzy. why boston? and why today, if the things have been up for weeks?
city officials must've felt pretty f'n stupid when they realized they'd sent out the bomb squad to blow up a bunch of ads for a stoner cartoon. so they decided to have their revenge:
Peter Berdovsky, 27, of Arlington, was arrested on one felony charge of placing a hoax device and one charge of disorderly conduct, state Attorney General Martha Coakley said later Wednesday. He had been hired to place the devices, she said.
"placing a hoax device"? that's utterly ridiculous. they were trying to market a tv show, not create a bomb scare. you're seriously telling me that this looks like a bomb?
Authorities are investigating whether Turner and any other companies should be criminally charged, Coakley said. It wasn't immediately clear Wednesday who might have hired Berdovsky.
"We're not going to let this go without looking at the further roots of how this happened to cause the panic in this city," Coakley said at a news conference.
Those conducting the campaign should have known the devices could cause panic because they were placed in sensitive areas, she said. Turner did not notify officials of the publicity campaign until around 5 p.m., nearly four hours after the first calls came in about the devices, she and others said.
but then why didn't they cause a panic for two weeks? sounds like someone in boston got their feelings hurt overreacting to a silly marketing campaign and decided that someone needed to be punished.
the AP story is also notable for concluding with this unintelligible passage:
The cartoon also includes two trouble-making, 1980s-graphic-like characters called "mooninites," named Ignignokt and Err - who were pictured on the suspicious devices. They are known for making the obscene hand gesture depicted on the devices.
first off, if you didn't already know what the mooninites look like, would "1980s-graphic-like" give you any idea? and second, how horrible is that final sentence? ¶