Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Great comic!

The RIAA Sucks

Warning: Long, ranting post ahead.

I quite enjoy listening to Internet Radio at work, and Pandora is my favorite. However, today I pop on to Pandora, and what do I find? This:
A Day of Silence

Hi, it's Tim from Pandora,

I'm sorry to say that today Pandora, along with most Internet radio sites, is going off the air in observance of a Day Of Silence. We are doing this to bring to your attention a disastrous turn of events that threatens the existence of Pandora and all of internet radio. We need your help.

Ignoring all rationality and responding only to the lobbying of the RIAA, an arbitration committee in Washington DC has drastically increased the licensing fees Internet radio sites must pay to stream songs. Pandora's fees will triple, and are retroactive for eighteen months! Left unchanged by Congress, every day will be like today as internet radio sites start shutting down and the music dies.

A bill called the "Internet Radio Equality Act" has already been introduced in both the Senate (S. 1353) and House of Representatives (H.R. 2060) to fix the problem and save Internet radio--and Pandora--from obliteration.

I'd like to ask you to call your Congressional representatives today and ask them to become co-sponsors of the bill. It will only take a few minutes and you can find your Congresspersons and their phone numbers by entering your zip code here.

Your opinion matters to your representatives - so please take just a minute to call.

Visit www.savenetradio.org to continue following the fight to Save Internet Radio.

As always, and now more than ever, thank you for your support.

-Tim Westergren
(Pandora founder)

Is anyone else really sick of the RIAA and its pitiful attempts to triumph over piracy? Here's what I'd like to say to the RIAA: I don't understand how you haven't yet realized that your methods to counter piracy aren't working. Treating people as guilty until proven innocent just makes them angry and more inclined to circumvent all your attempts. Try treating them with respect and you might actually meet with some success. Tripling internet radio fees and making them retroactive for 18 months? Are you guys out of your minds?! Surely that is not the answer. You are losing money to piracy, I realize this, but gouging internet radio providers to make up for it is a big mistake. They are actually trying to go about providing this service in a legitimate, legal manner, and you punish them for it? In what way does that make any sense? Satellite radio pays a flat percentage of their revenue, why should it be any different for Internet radio? Why should they pay per song, which would be far more expensive.

The RIAA really needs to get its act together. Anyone have better suggestions for them? Maybe since they are already loosing oodles of money to piracy, why not try selling CDs and songs for less? Maybe then people will be more inclined to buy them. Or maybe a Netflix for CDs? Then you could borrow a CD, listen to it on replay until you were sick of it, return it, and get a new one. All for a monthly fee. Or maybe just enjoy the flat percentage of the Internet Radio revenue, just as they get a percentage of satellite radio revenue?

Clearly, I don't have the answers, but it's also blatantly obvious that the RIAA doesn't either.

For more information on the new fees and the proposed Internet Equality Act, click here, here, and here (amen! to the last one, which states: "these services [internet radio] are just beginning to offer the music industry a real alternative to the declining broadcast radio business in terms of exposing listeners to the record companies' products. It looks like the music industry remains unable to overcome its inability to understand and deal effectively with technology.")

Monday, June 18, 2007

Slip'n'Slide @ your Library

Attention Case Alumni (i.e. about half my regular readers - it just occurred to me how many of you are Case grads!)

There's a great Google video of some students having fun with a Slip'n'Slide at the Kelvin Smith Library. There seems to be a great deal about the setup, so if you want to just skip to the part where they are slipping and sliding in the library, jump to about 13:30 of the 18 or so minute long clip.

And please, please comment if you ever had the opportunity to participate in something similar. :)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Stop the Insanity!

People are ridiculous. If you don't like parts of the summer reading programs your library is offering, don't allow your kids to attend them. Sure, make sure your "children [are] being taught the right things", but quit trying to raise everyone else's children. Besides, based on this list of possible ideas for the nationwide summer reading program, I'd say only a fraction of it could be seen as objectionable anyway. Do you really need to threaten to picket over that?

Besides, huge objections over tarot cards and horoscope readings? What teen (or actually, pre-teen - I would argue kids find out about this stuff much earlier) doesn't mess with a Ouija board, try to put their friends into trances, pretend to read tarot cards, or stare into a mirror to summon Bloody Mary at some point? I was raised by pretty strict Presbyterian parents, and I managed to do 3 of the 4 things in the previous sentence (those Ouija boards, they are elusive), and more that I can't remember, all by 3rd grade! So even children in religious families experiment with that stuff. What you should be more concerned about is whether or not you've done a good job raising your teens to know the difference between nonsense and reality.

I completely agree with Media Specialist Christina Connell when she says the library is “sending the wrong message to teens, who will feel that they are not important enough to fight for, and to the church groups, who will only be empowered to launch further crusades against books.”

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Poor Powerpoint Presentations

Stephen Abram links to this video of a comedian detailing "How NOT to Make a Powerpoint." It's hysterical and yet there is all too much truth in what he says.

The Closing of a College

Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, will close in July 2008 with the intent of reopening in 2012. Antioch is one of my institution's fellow OPAL (Ohio Private Academic Libraries) members. They had already cut library staff (and other staff on campus) but now it seems all library staff and others will be without jobs in a year. Here's hoping they all find employment elsewhere before the year is out.

Read more about it in the Columbus Dispatch and The Chronicle of Higher Education.