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42” of high def

Movies are number 2 on my list of endorphin and seritonin generators. I have around 500 DVD’s and have been watching them on a 19” flat screen monitor through my computer. I got lucky the other day and won some money on a lottery ticket. I will be able to get quite a bit of remodeling done at the casa. In between drywall and concrete, I have decided to give myself a present.

I am getting a 42” Vizio LCD Flat Panel TV. Oh yeah, the pick of the litter in price performance. There has been a certain amount of lust for a flat panel around here, as given a choice, I will sit on my ass and watch movies for 12 hours at a stretch. Blogging will light…

Spin of the Week

The latest proclaimation from the Social Media is Public Relations cheerleading Squad is this gem from Brian Solis of PR 2.0.
Conversational Marketing Versus Market Conversations

The much discussed and highly revered Cluetrain Manifesto is proving to be more relevant than ever. As Social Media becomes more pervasive in marketing, it’s imperative that we become gatekeepers to prevent opportunistic marketers from bankrupting the conversation economy.
Emphasis mine

Intellectual Bankruptcy at its finest. Gushing on the one hand about anti marketing, yet making a desperate plea as the one true source of selfless direction for marketing.
Opportunistic Marketers? Are there marketers that aren’t?
Social Media is about removing barriers to conversation, not rearranging the deck chairs as the ship begins to sink.

Sex Movies and Drywall

In order of preference of personal activities, Sex, Movies, and Drywall are the top three categories of endorphin and seritonin generation in my universe.
Online activity is a close fourth. Having been hacked and sidelined for a number of months with the resulting madness, I have been remodeling again, as my primary revenue generation.
This month is a Walk In Closet Project

In case you were wondering where I have been….

Weekend Notes

Posts of Note

So What? by Shelley Powers
Master slave relationship by Adriana Lukas
Quechup – Rat Bastard Disease of the Internet by Ken Camp
Maybe they should call it ButtBook by Doc Searls

Sites of Note

Humorozo
Insider Chatter by Donna Bogatin
Josh Sommers Photos

Social Network Bill of Rights

The herd begins to wake the fuck up……
Recent calls for a social network bill of rights is interesting as some folks are beginning to see the light. Some folks need walled gardens and content silos, cause the internet is a scary dangerous place. You are welcome to them. I will not be joining you.
Social Network Content Plantations Need you a hell of a lot more than you need them.

This is not limited to Facebook. MSN Livespaces, My Space, Ning, Flikr, You Tube, and every other ‘Social Network’

Here is the problem in a nutshell. Everyone of these Social Network Content Plantations has you enter into a Contract. It’s the Terms and Conditions Page. That you didn’t read the fine print or understand it, makes no difference. This is basic Contract Law 101. You will not even get a place on a docket to fight this in court. This has not even touched the license that you granted them for your little corner of cyberspace.

Copyright in one hand, shit in the other.
Here is a hint. bring toilet paper.
In the US, Copyright is conferred upon publication. Being an author or other creative with your copyright and 3 bucks may get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Ownership means nothing in any countable monetary terms. Copyright gives the author a Limited Time Monopoly to capitalize upon their creation before it becomes part of the Public Domain. That is the other part of the Copyright deal that the entertainment industry keeps pushing back. Don’t get me started on the obscenity of current copy terms in the US.

Production, distribution and sales of copies is what makes money. Depending upon your creation, text, images, sound or video, determines the next step in making money. Self Publishing, which has its attractions or a deal with a publisher. With most publishers, licensing is negotiated. There is give and take in these deals, which are contracts and without understanding them, will have you keeping your day job or dying broke. With the Internet, a keyboard, mouse, and a website you are now a publisher.

Let me take a moment and explain what you are giving away to the Social Network Content Plantation.

a worldwide, fully sub-licensable, fully paid-up and royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable license to use, reproduce, modify, distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, and create derivative works

Lets take a moment to look at what that means.
Worldwide-
covers the entire globe on and offline,

fully sub-licensable –
They now have the ability to license your work to anybody else under any compensation terms they can negotiate. You will not see a dime nor can you complain. Why? see the next term….

fully paid-up and royalty-free,
Just in case you didn’t understand the term above, no money has changed hands but this falls under the ‘other valuable considerations’ or ‘in kind’ boilerplate of contracts, and royalties are what normally would be your profit per copy, under even the most draconian contact with a publisher, But You Gave It Away.

perpetual, Forever.

irrevocable Impossible to retract or revoke: license to use, reproduce, modify, distribute, publicly display, publicly perform,
in short,they have owned your work and can do anything they choose, and you have absolutely no, repeat no, recourse for any use of your material in whatever form, in any venue, at any time, forever.

create derivative works
They can take something from user 1 and something from user 2, and make it a derivative work , which is now copyrightable in its own right, to which you cannot protest, sue, cry, whine, or otherwise express any objection.

But you still have your copyright!! your copyright and 3 bucks may get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

Let’s recap. They gave you a username and password and a small place on their site for you to upload things for other people to see. For this grand gesture on their part, ’cause they said that they were your friend, you gave them the right to sell space on your space to any advertiser with a checkbook.

If your ass doesn’t hurt yet, read on.

You GAVE them a worldwide, fully sub-licensable, fully paid-up and royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable license to use, reproduce, modify, distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, and create derivative works

Now if this is your idea of a good time or seems fair, Please Send Me All Your Money!!!

Here is what you should be thinking about if you want to play the social network game.

In exchange for my uploading materials to your site, you will receive a Limited, fully revocable, License to Display my materials on your network in the Original, forms as delivered to you, with full attribution to me as the author/copyright holder, for the duration of our engagement, being the period of time that we are entered into this arrangement, evidenced by my use of the username/password you have provided and the space on your network you have made available to me.

All others rights are Reserved including, but not limited to, reproduction, modification, distribution outside of the aforementioned space, subsidary public display, public performance, and or derivative works in any format, online or offline.

This is just a rough draft of an agreement which is more equitable especially in terms of the reality that they will be placing advertisements around your stuff and you are looking for fame and glory rather than a revenue sharing arrangement. This allows them to continue to grow and it also covers your butt.

Social Network Content Plantations Need you a hell of a lot more than you need them.

Server Room Follies

Once in a while comes an image so powerful…..
mickdows.jpg
Windows Server 2003 running on Disney.

A Bill of Rights for Users of the Social Web – The Sharecropper’s Revolt

The Sharecroppers are Revolting!!

The ‘Social Web’ appear to be the sharecroppers who belong to Social Networks, like FaceBook.

In the latest thrilling episode of the internet’s version of We the People, comes the Bill of Rights for Users of the Social Web.

We publicly assert that all users of the social web are entitled to certain fundamental rights, specifically:

  • Ownership of their own personal information, including:
    • their own profile data
    • the list of people they are connected to
    • the activity stream of content they create;
  • Control of whether and how such personal information is shared with others; and
  • Freedom to grant persistent access to their personal information to trusted external sites.

Sites supporting these rights shall:

  • Allow their users to syndicate their own profile data, their friends list, and the data that’s shared with them via the service, using a persistent URL or API token and open data formats;
  • Allow their users to syndicate their own stream of activity outside the site;
  • Allow their users to link from their profile pages to external identifiers in a public way; and
  • Allow their users to discover who else they know is also on their site, using the same external identifiers made available for lookup within the service.

Noble Words,

Stirring Ideals,

Doomed to Failure.

Time for a Reality Check….

“Ownership of their own personal information”

You gave up Ownership as soon as you signed up. Or did you miss this part? From the FaceBook Terms and Conditions which is Publically Accessible

Registration Data; Account Security

In consideration of your use of the Site, you agree to (a) provide accurate, current and complete information about you as may be prompted by any registration forms on the Site (“Registration Data”); (b) maintain the security of your password and identification; (c) maintain and promptly update the Registration Data, and any other information you provide to Company, to keep it accurate, current and complete; and (d) be fully responsible for all use of your account and for any actions that take place using your account.

Proprietary Rights in Site Content; Limited License

All content on the Site and available through the Service, including but not limited to designs, text, graphics, pictures, video, information, applications, software, music, sound and other files, and their selection and arrangement (the “Site Content”), are the proprietary property of the Company, its users or its licensors with all rights reserved. No Site Content may be modified, copied, distributed, framed, reproduced, republished, downloaded, displayed, posted, transmitted, or sold in any form or by any means, in whole or in part, without the Company’s prior written permission, except that the foregoing does not apply to your own User Content (as defined below) that you legally post on the Site. Provided that you are eligible for use of the Site, you are granted a limited license to access and use the Site and the Site Content and to download or print a copy of any portion of the Site Content to which you have properly gained access solely for your personal, non-commercial use, provided that you keep all copyright or other proprietary notices intact. Except for your own User Content, you may not upload or republish Site Content on any Internet, Intranet or Extranet site or incorporate the information in any other database or compilation, and any other use of the Site Content is strictly prohibited. Such license is subject to these Terms of Use and does not include use of any data mining, robots or similar data gathering or extraction methods. Any use of the Site or the Site Content other than as specifically authorized herein, without the prior written permission of Company, is strictly prohibited and will terminate the license granted herein. Such unauthorized use may also violate applicable laws including without limitation copyright and trademark laws and applicable communications regulations and statutes. Unless explicitly stated herein, nothing in these Terms of Use shall be construed as conferring any license to intellectual property rights, whether by estoppel, implication or otherwise. This license is revocable at any time without notice and with or without cause.

Social Networks are virtual rooms filled with user generated content masquerading as a peoples place. They place ads around your stuff, and deliver eyeballs to advertisers in the electronic version of valpack coupons and junk mail. When you step back you may realize that your ‘network’ consists of folks who are clones of yourself, delivered to advertisers, whose sole purpose is to sell your stuff. It is an electronic roach motel. So boys and girls, you get to work for Facebook for nothing, getting all your equipment from Facebook, doing only those things the plantation owner allows, and at the end of the day, not even sharing in the wealth.

“Control of whether and how such personal information is shared with others; and Freedom to grant persistent access to their personal information to trusted external sites.”

I’ll Bet you Missed this Part too.

When you post User Content to the Site, you authorize and direct us to make such copies thereof as we deem necessary in order to facilitate the posting and storage of the User Content on the Site. By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing. You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content.

“Freedom to grant persistent access to their personal information to trusted external sites.”

Third Party Websites and Content

The Site contains (or you may be sent through the Site or the Service) links to other web sites (“Third Party Sites”) as well as articles, photographs, text, graphics, pictures, designs, music, sound, video, information, applications, software and other content or items belonging to or originating from third parties (the “Third Party Applications, Software or Content”). Such Third Party Sites and Third Party Applications, Software or Content are not investigated, monitored or checked for accuracy, appropriateness, or completeness by us, and we are not responsible for any Third Party Sites accessed through the Site or any Third Party Applications, Software or Content posted on, available through or installed from the Site, including without limitation the content, accuracy, offensiveness, opinions, reliability, privacy practices or other policies of or contained in the Third Party Sites or the Third Party Applications, Software or Content. Inclusion of, linking to or permitting the use or installation of any Third Party Site or any Third Party Applications, Software or Content does not imply approval or endorsement thereof by us. If you decide to leave the Site and access the Third Party Sites or to use or install any Third Party Applications, Software or Content, you do so at your own risk and you should be aware that our terms and policies no longer govern. You should review the applicable terms and policies, including privacy and data gathering practices, of any site to which you navigate from the Site or relating to any applications you use or install from the site.

Seriously, you do not have a snowballs chance in hell in getting any current social network to enable any of these rights. You are certainly welcome to build your own social network from these principles, and I applaud the effort except for

‘Freedom to grant persistent access to their personal information to trusted external sites’.(because this smells like the same bullshit that the current plantation owners are using to enable them to collect money by selling the members to advertisers with checkbooks, plus there are no trusted sites, that do not daisy chain the third party get out of liability card)

You figure out some other way to pay for it, you will have a winner.

Bonus Links:

Donna Bogatin – Plaxo, Marc Canter Ignore Rights of Stubborn Social Web Silent Majority

Quechup The Clap of FaceBook

Well it didn’t take long for the first Socially Transmitted Disease to infect the sharecroppers on the FaceBook Plantation. Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease also know as the Clap. You get it from fucking around.

Quechup is the Clap of Social Networking. You get it from letting Quechup touch your address book.

Having to admit publically that you gave all your FaceBook ‘Friends’ the Clap has gotta hurt.

DVD Annoyances 3 – cheap slipcases

Weeds – Season One Mary Louise Parker is astounding.

If you never inhaled, this is probably not the show for you. If you did, this is funnier than hell.

This is one of the bastard paper plastic cases. It contains two dvd’s, that could have been slipped into a simple clamshell.

weedholder.jpg\
Cheap slipcase for this season seems to be a waste of time. Plus this edition is full screen rather than wide screen. Major suckage there. The blurb in the pocket on the left is an episode guide.
Weeds – Season One

DVD Annoyances 2 – Flip flop, double stack, open top and bottom sleeve package.

Back in the 90’s, when personal computing was starting to make inroads into our lives, software came on CD’s, in big boxes that you bought at the computer stores. For you youngins’ this was before online downloads, when having a 14.4 modems made you the geek of the week. Everyone of these products came in a cereal sized box that opened differently than every other one. They all had a jewel case holding the CD, and the box was more of an intelligence test than the contents were.

VCR Tapes on the other hand had a constant size and package. DVD’s have arrived to replace tapes, There was a brief interval with a crossbreed paper plastic case, but a stake was driven into it’s heart. The standard DVD package is a plastic clam-shell containing a circle holding your movie and maybe some weird blurb sheet. Straightforward, consistent packaging. Holds 1, 2 or 3 DVD’s. With the arrival of TV Series on DVD, we have been thrown under the bus again, by either the return from the dead zombie bad package designers, or their hell spawn possessed get.

The resurrection of bad package design

Multi DVD sets present challenges, between the desire to package them for the lowest possible cost of production, vs the desire to embellish the cases with information about the contents, maybe an ad for other series, and simple things like disc numbers.

Some of these folks are having a problem with the idea that this is one of the areas where the contents are much more important than the package. You had us at the cash register.

This has led to some interesting (in the sense of the chinese curse) formats and packages. (this is one of those places where recycled plastic could be very big in the holder) It has also led to the return of the paper/plastic halfbreed. The photos are by yours truly, so they may not have that vaseline glass, no blemish look, but I think you will get the idea. I also have a link to Amazon in case you want to get your own copies:) (yet another stab of becoming filthy rich online by selling stuff to get you offline.)

Here in no particular order are some series and the design choices made.


House, M.D. – Season Three is the third season on DVD.House stars Hugh Laurie as a diagnostician in a New Jersey regional hospital whe runs a department that takes on cases that the rest of the staff can’t solve.House is a cranky bastard whose bedside manner is nonexistent, has his own health issues, and his staff gets run through the wringer of his intelligence and dry wit. If you are looking for kittens, butterflies and rainbows, you will be sorely disappointed.It is one of the few highlights of commercial television in a desert of clone reality and what will you do for money shows.

Season Three comes on a Flip flop, double stack, open top and bottom sleeve package. house3holder.jpg

I hate double stacking. The chances for damage go up, and it is a PITA to juggle the discs when you are settling in for some serious viewing.
House, M.D. – Season Three Highly Recommended.