Friday, June 30, 2006

Why Net Neutrality Won't Win

I want the web to stay neutral, but my skepticism has everything to do with the one word politicans and shareholders care about: pipeline. Let's look at oil first. Obviously there are other energy alternatives: biodiesel, hydrogen, veggie oil, gorgonzola cheese, etc. But oil is a more stable market; moreover, gas guzzlers are faster than electric cars.

Similarly, AT&T and Comcast seem like stable investments. Investors are skeptical, however, about yet another bubble full of eager start-ups. With a web that crushes start-ups, more reliable investments open up, leading to a safer market - for shareholders. So the net neutrality debate inevitably hinges on Wall Street versus Main Street. Shareholders versus entrepeneurs. Investors versus inventors.



Thursday, June 29, 2006

Billboard Revolution

Gnarles Barkley has a top five single and a top ten album in Billboard.

Yes, those who haven't already downloaded St. Elsewhere are buying it. See RIAA? Told you if you put out good records they will come.

Oh and The Raconteurs' "Steady As She Goes" is #2 on the modern rock charts.

2006 could be to hipster rock what 1966 was to hippie rock (with Revolver, Blonde on Blonde and Aftermath).
This calls for a celebration (puts down monocle, picks up glass, ends uneccesary stage direction). Here's a video of Gnarles at Coachella and of Jack White's new video. Cheers!

courtesy of SaLi00

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Patton Oswalt Immune to Image-Scanning Attack Robots of the Future

I searched Patton Oswalt on Google. At the top of the search results are the image results. Each image, left to right, looks less like the King of Geek Chic. The third picture is one of David Eggers.

Is this supposed to represent the evolution of Patton Oswalt from a comic genius to a publishing mogul? Or has Oswalt succesfully Googlebombed image searches of him so droids of the future stray off the inevitable warpath of destroying dissident comics and unwittingly machine gun boho hipster novelists?

If the latter is true, I suspect the Google library project will get tangled in a PR nightmare.

UPDATE: Dave Eggers pick is down. Best get you some book learning, Patty!

War of teh Words

In this corner, we have Kevin Kelly of Wired Magazine, writing an article about Google's plan to make the content of five major research libraries available online, thus creating a 21st century library of Alexandria.

In this corner, John Updike, preserving books from extinction and contemptously mocking the dense verbiage of cyberspace in one haughty, apoplectic paragraph:

In imagining a huge, virtually infinite wordstream accessed by search engines and populated by teeming, promiscuous word snippets stripped of credited authorship, are we not depriving the written word of its old-fashioned function of, through such inventions as the written alphabet and the printing press, communication from one person to another — of, in short, accountability and intimacy? Yes, there is a ton of information on the Web, but much of it is egregiously inaccurate, unedited, unattributed and juvenile. The electronic marvels that abound around us serve, surprisingly, to inflame what is most informally and noncritically human about us — our computer screens stare back at us with a kind of giant, instant "Aw, shucks," disarming in its modesty, disquieting in its diffidence.

Updike is such a master of letters, he can convince me to accept the most tenuous sophistry as if it were the Word itself. In a foreword to a (now out-of-print) Writer's Digest guide on short story writing, Updike had beef with another medium: radio. Hippies cranked up their radios and had no appreciation for short stories, which were too quiet.

So does the Moses of Suburbia have a persecution complex or is his crusade against iBook-toting hipsters justified? And what about Mr. Kelly? Will this Google project really be the library of Alexandria or has Google bitten off more than it can chew?

Aw, shucks. I don't know. Here's some video of a dog eating liverwurst.

(courtesy of buka92)

Death to books! Bwa ha ha!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Doing the Analysis So You Don't Have To

Maybe I'm being a little overanalytical, but in his Fabuloso Friday segment (where viewers write the show) Ze Frank adds three viewer comments about Amanda (Amanda Congdon from RocketBoom).

Now we all know he doesn't have to add every fabuloso sports racer comment.

So why does he add a comment saying "I think you should marry Amanda?"

I'm thinking he wants to show Amanda that everyone thinks they should go out.

Well I think they should go out.

Uh, vlogger celebrity gossip sucks.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Crazy Big in US Too

"Crazy," a hit for Gnarles Barkley in the UK, made its top ten debut this week.

Pro: Teeny boppers drop that r&b garbage for some real soul music

Con: Meatheads and bimbos say grating things like "Who knew Charles Barkley could sing?"

Redneck Music Video (No, K-Fed Hasn't Arrived)

My MySpace pal, a comic named Lucas Held, has a video about a redneck trying to break into Hollywood.

Watch and learn - this is how you break into the biz.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Pretentious Baby Boomer Wishes Hipsters Were Hippies

In this New York magazine article, a reporter - whom I'll call Wavy Gravy - laments that the counterculture is not as big now as it was during the Vietnam War.

Mr. Gravy neglects to mention two things:

a) there was no Patriot Act in the '60's

b) the counterculture which might be invisible offline is downright omnipresent online.
With sites like indymedia and netroots sites like MoveOn, there has been a stronger, more widespread reaction against the system.

But, in fairness, Wavy has a point. The counterculture, omnipresent as it is, loses its focus on the web and is too scattered. As opposed to the '60's, when all the dissenters gathered together and marched, anti-war advocates are now spread out to video gaming sites, art sites, political blogs, basketball message boards, to the point where this decentralization never leads to the impressive collective actions of the Age of Aquarius.

So maybe without net neutrality, we will get sucked out of the matrix, take the red pill, see the grim realities around us, unite together and do something awesome and articulate like this

(courtesy cjxxoox)

On second thought, I'll take the blue pill. KEEP THE WEB NEUTRAL!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Net Discrimination = Cable TV

Net neutrality is an issue that's close to my heart.

What will a two tier web be like? Cable TV. Cable TV gives you premium channnels that play movies. Verizon Web will have premium video on premium sites. The content provider might charge you for access and you will definitely have to pay to give your own videos premium delivery. Even then exclusive deals with, say, HBO, could act as speed bumps, if not outright dead ends to priority delivery for your videos.

Whereas education flourishes on the web, on TV it's relegated to the PBS/Discovery ghetto. Expect history on the web to focus exclusively on Hitler, like the History Channel does.

Just like cable TV, amateurs will have a voice. Public access lets amateurs develop TV shows, but the shows are regional with awful production. Unless you pay every regional broadband ISP, your web videos/podcasts will most likely be viewed locally - not globally - and will take forever to download.

In other words, the web losing network neutrality will be like the Playboy channel

(courtesy of Tiffanyholidayfans)

turning into the USA Network

(courtesy of Jeffkostello)

Monday, June 19, 2006

An Unlikely Meeting

On the glossy MySpace surface, it seems like the unlikely meeting is between Al Gore and Mos Def.

Get this video and more at

But that's not the weird meeting. Both of them have a wooden delivery. Oh! Ice cold!

The real odd couple is News Corporation - which owns MySpace and Fox News - and liberal politics.

This has been a long tradition with Fox. Shows like "The Simpsons" are as liberal as Gang of Four, but Fox News is a Republican killer app.

Fox is like 1930's Germany: great art, fascist politics.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


In a music scene infested with corpo-pop-junk like Nelly Farttaco and AFI, it's endearing to see Mario make some headway.

He has the #1 ringtone in the country.

To paraphrase Eric Stolz in Pulp Fiction, Nintendo is back in a big fucking way.

For those of you who prefer indie analog Mario, enjoy the sounds of Mario380.

Thumbs up indeed, hombre.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Prince is King

You might doubt Prince's coolness, but here's 5 reasons why he's the greatest.

1)His pan-ethnic musical style paved the way for Outkast.
2)His incorporation of New Wave style made him the first ethnic hipster.
3)He plays every instrument in the galaxy.
4)He dresses like the gayest man this side of the Halloween Parade, yet women find him sexy because he rides a motorcycle.
5) An award show is stale without Prince. Case in point: The Artist received a Webby Lifetime Achievement Award with the following five word speech: "Everything you think is true."

Though you cynics might think that was his cryptic way of coming out of the closet, I think it refers to our current draconian administration and a grim corporate infrastructure that increasingly steals bandwidth from hardworking web entrepeneurs.

via Boing Boing

PS: Thank Music4MyMind for this great video

Friday, June 09, 2006

Loser=Stand-Up Comic

Neil Strauss wrote a book called The Game.

In his commercial for a contest promoting the book, which gives guys tips on how to pick up ladies, he shows footage of himself from the past as a hapless loser. But not only is he a hopeless schlemiel - he's doing stand up comedy that no one laughs at. I guess a failed comic is the very lowest rung on the loser ladder. Maybe I should stick to being an unintentionally funny journalist.

Women are understandably turned off by unintentionally sad comics anytime of day.

via Gawker