More people screwing up the Internet

More people screwing up the Internet

If any of you aren't familiar with guitar tablature, it's essentially digital sheet music. It's usually represented by 6 lines of dashes "-" which make up the 6 strings of a guitar with numbers denoting which fret should be played at which time. Here is an example.


The piece that I selected for my example is the opening line of Johannes Brahms’s Wiegenlied: Op. 49, No. 4. (More commonly known as Brahms Lullaby.) The reason that I selected this piece is because it is still generally available on the internet because it was published in 1868 and is therefore public domain.

Generally speaking, tablature or guitar chords to popular songs have been readily available on the internet for sometime now. My entire endeavor to learn how to play guitar so far has come from guitar tablature on the internet. But now, the people over at the National Music Publisher's Association (NMPA) want to stop people from being able to create and publish guitar tablature on the internet. They have served a "take down" letter to telling them that they have violated copyright laws and that they will be sued if they keep displaying guitar tablature. So, until this legal dispute is settled, one of the biggest sites for guitar tablature is unavailable to average people out there who want to learn how to play their favorite songs by their favorite artists.

Is it just me or is the music industry really reaching here? First, you have the Napster issue. Now you have them working on tab sites. As Jerry Holkins (a.k.a. Tycho Brahe from Penny Arcade) put it when describing one of the music companies:

"They imagine that their industry is not, as you might have thought previously, merely a conduit for a specific type of product. Rather, they believe that their industry is the avatar of music itself"

It is exactly this kind of thought process that provides the impetus for associations to ruin great things for millions of people.

What actually bothers me the most is that this isn't like Napster. At least with file sharing, there was the process of someone having to actually go pay for this crap, put it in their computer, transfer the data from one medium to another, and then make it available for you to listen to. With guitar tablature, what happens is that some talented (usually) person listens repeatedly to a particular song with guitar in hand and writes down the lyrics and attempts to mimic what they hear. Guitar tablature is the creation of the people who go through this process of listening and writing, not just some jackass with a CD-R/W drive and the entire Metallica collection.

I believe that the reason why this association is doing this is because they say that it cuts into their profits. Having been a musician since I was 12, I appreciate printed sheet music. It's nice. It's usually easy to read. It's generally very accurate. But it's also expensive as hell and not everything that you want is available. Also, it takes them quite a while to get out current songs.

You never heard horse merchants trying to get cars banned when they were invented. They simply realized that they were outclassed and that horses were going to be a niche market. The same thing needs to happen with music publishing.

What I suggest is that each and everyone of you got to the NMPA website's "Contact Us" page found here, and send them a message telling them what you think about their preventing the free expression of artistic talent simply so that they can make more money.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 3:27 PM 0 comments  

Yahoo! Mail Pics.

If you have gone to Yahoo! Mail in the past six months, then you've seen those insipid pictures that Yahoo! put up to advertise their picture mail feature. Everytime I see them, I have to make fun of them. So, here are some of the pics and the things that come to my mind when I see them. Feel free to add your own comments.

______Yahoo Picture_________

Ernst Stavro Blofeld's kid sister.

It's official, this is the gayest man alive.

This girl is training to be a muslim.

This woman gives a piggy bank

Legal Notice: All images are the property of their respective owners. Yahoo does not endorse this site, it probably doesn't even like it or acknowledge it's existence. So, since I put up this here legal notice, please don't sue me. Thanks.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 1:28 PM 0 comments  

I hope that this is a gag.

While surfing on the net I found this. Good Lord in heaven I hope that it's a joke. If not, then someone went to a lot of trouble to make a convincing website.

According to the website and their Urban Legends reference pages, this product is a gag, simply because you can't buy anything off of the site.

I know it's a weak comparisson, but what about the video game trailer websites? You can view screenshots and trailer videos, but you can't buy the game. Same thing with Genpets? Maybe.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 1:08 PM 0 comments  

You look like you got beat with this!!

This is a picture of one of the combo sets from where I work. I actually bought myself a Zebco Genesis 30 combo set. I'm going camping in June and wanted to go bass fishing as well. Among other lures, I'm going to be using a white 1/8 oz painted jig head with a white spinner tail. I'll post pictures of anything that I catch.

Post your favorite bass lures in the comments section.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 12:42 PM 0 comments  

National "Bese Mi Culo" Day

I don't know about your part of the world, but here in Austin, TX we are experiencing what I like to call "National 'Bese Mi Culo' Day." For those who don't speak Spanish, that means "National 'Kiss My Ass' Day." I'm pretty sure that the actual name for it is something like "Dia de la Revolucion del Trabajador" or some shit like that. The idea of this is that every Mexican worker isn't going to go to work or spend money at the pinche gringo shops for one whole day to "close down" cities and show us gringos how much we need immigrant workers. Also, according to one site (that I refuse to link to), the protest is to show support for the illegal immigrants.

Personally, I think that this is going to backfire. What's going to happen is that every Mexican who doesn't go into work on Monday is going to go back to work on Tuesday and find that some other Mexican has his job.

Besides being as insipid and offensive as Dia de la Raza, this protest is in support of ILLEGAL immigrants. This isn't about the thousands of people who go through the appropriate legal channels to obtain their citizenship. This is about showing support for the people who jump fences and hide in the back of trucks or do any number of other activities, including waiting 9 months, then jumping a border to pop out a baby on American soil.

So, since they are exercising their right to peaceably assemble, I suggest that you exercise your right to laugh at them and point out that their jobs are going to be gone.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 12:23 AM 1 comments  

Tasers work...

According to the medical examiner, a person who has to go through decades of education before they are allowed to hold that position, ruled that the death of Michael Clark was the result of sickle cell anemia that was exacerbated by Clark's use of PCP and cocaine. All of this was reported by KEYE news and The Austin Chronicle.

However, according to Clark's mom this a coverup by the Austin Police Department because "he didn't have no sickle cell." Yes, you who are barely able to string together an intelligent sentence, know more than the medical examiner. Forgive me for being skeptical about your prognosis.

The facts are that Michael Clark was high. He didn't follow legally issued orders from the police to submit to arrest. He bit one officer and injured another. It took nine officers on scene to subdue Clark. The officers had to use Tasers to do this. Tasers work.

Had Clark not been high on PCP and Cocaine at the time of his arrest, he may not have been as aggressive and resistant towards the police officers. He also, probably, would not have been in an argument with the woman that required the police to be called out.

The major complaint from some groups like the Texas ACLU is that most of the people "who died while or after Austin police officers used force on them were minorities". 13 out of 14 according to the above site. However, this data is from 1998. Austin P.D. hasn't had the Taser since 1998. That is a recent addition to the equipment carried by A.P.D. officers. APD acquired the Tasers sometime before 2004, because in Mach of 2004, according to an article, they acquired 730 X26 model Tasers. So, this tells us that not all of the 13 minority death after police use of force were the result of Taser use. The score: Bastardisms 1 Texas ACLU 0. Secondly, anyone who has lloked at criminal justice statistics for America in the past 3 decades or so has seen that minorities, particularly Blacks, are represented more than Whites. That means that more of the deaths are going to come from minorities because it s more likey that that a minority will be in the criminal justice system. Update: Bastardisms 2 Texas ACLU 0.

The Texas ACLU blog goes on to quote an Austin American Statesman article that printed the following exceprt from the A.P.D. Taser use protocol:

According to the department's policy, officers are allowed to use Tasers to control a dangerous or violent person when deadly force doesn't appear to be necessary, if attempts to subdue someone by other tactics haven't worked or if it is unsafe for officers to approach the person.

Only one officer is allowed to use a Taser on a person unless it is obvious that it did not work, according to the policy. Officers also must warn a person that they are going to use a Taser, unless the warning would jeopardize the officers.
The author of the article then goes on to assert that "Tasers aren't toys, and they're more dangerous than an officer's nightstick (when both are used according to training)." Of course I don't have the reserch study where the author gathered this data (mainly because they didn't cite a source) but I do know that the Taser rarely, if at all, produces lasting, long-term damage to the recipient, like a nightstick would. Ex: bruises, contusions, cranial damage, broken bones, trachial damage, etc. if used in various ways. If the author is suggesting that police officers physically abuse the violent suspects with their nightsticks rather than using a Taser, then by all means let them step up and recieve the first beating. Final Score: Bastardisms 3 Texas ACLU 0.

I, personally, if given the choice would prefer the Taser. But, then again, I don't forsee myself ever needing to make that choice. I have a simple plan that will ensure that you never have to have the Taser used on you: Don't break the Law!!

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:04 PM 2 comments