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Show Notes

Full Dysclosure

Canada:

Can this onion ring get more fans than Stephen Harper? Yes, yes it can.

CRTC makes a rare acknowledgment of rural Canada.

Content-makers in B.C. get two tax breaks.

James Cameroon — wait, Cameron — hints at Avatar 2: Electric Bugaloo.

Canada pwns US&A in digital music sales.

Martha and the Muffins are back and we don’t care.

Nelly Furtado scores a role in skating musical that nobody asked for.

The World:

Facebook to offer webmail?

Details from secret ACTA meetings start to trickle out.

Obama BELIEVES in Net Neturality – YES WE MIGHT!

Begun, the eBook price wars have…

Australian Courts take ISPs off the hook for digital transgressions.

Mobile Mash-up:

Rogers courts Olympic visitors with cheap SIM cards.

DAVE’s not here, man — try Mobilicity.

Satellite Radio coming to a BlackBerry near you.

Nokia’s Symbian mobile OS goes open-source.

Websites of the Week:

Anth – The Public Domain Manifesto.

Andrew – ACTA: END THE SECRECY (Facebook group)

Music:

FIRST RATE PEOPLE – “Dress So Fine”

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Show Notes

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Little Trouble in Big China for Google?

Canadian in Haiti rubble texts Ottawa for help.

Bostonians arrested for recording police arrests.

Municipalities however, want to record everything you’re doing.

Some additional reasons to hate ACTA.

OiNK torrent founder is not guilty of piracy in London.

Rush to evolve past recording full albums.

Movies

So much for piracy in Canada as box office record set in 2009.

And we don’t always agree with the critics’ picks.

Ghostbusters 3 in the works and I feel liked I’ve been slimed.

James Cameron branded as Anti-American.

Coke threatens Concordia for showing Human Rights documentary.

Are the Twilight films racist and should we care?

Websites of the Week

Andrew – Protest Proroguing with Facebook

Anthony – Go retroland and become awash in nostalgia.

Music

Bell Orchestre – “Stripes” thanks to the band and our friends at Arts & Crafts Records

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Find out why Anth is calling in from Phoenix, AZ.

Our 2009 end of the year review where Mike and Anth dyscuss things not limited to:

Good movies, bad movies, movies that brought in the bucks, new television shows, fond farewell shows, copyright consultations, ACTA, net neutrality, all things Microsoft, Apple and Google, some Facebook and Twitter thrown in for good measure.

PLUS

Websites of the Year

Mike: Hootsuite for keeping his tweets on time and scheduled.

Anth: IsoHunt for surviving a torrent of scrutiny and keeping up the good fight.

PLUS

A quick accounting of all the things that dystroyed pop culture this year.

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Show Notes

Full Dysclosure

Is MS-Win7 really just OSX?

Could there be a MS Ducati 7 theme in your future?

Are Canadian networks taking localtvmatters too far?

The Global Broadband Phenomena says P2P is dying off.

Has Twitter become the new TV development tool?

Movies

Anth goes to see 2012.

Here’s a low-cost movie marketing PR campaign: Bit Torrent!

Will Calgary become a new Hollywood North… West… Central?

Websites of the Week

Mike – gets possessive with apostrophe.me

Jason – plays the Hollywood stock market with hsx.com

Anth – jolts our creativity with Brainstormer

Music

Thanks to paperbagrecords.com for letting us share Little GirlsYouth Tunes from the latest CD Concepts.

Play

Thanks to Jason Whyte from efilmcritic.com, Andrew Currie from andrewcurrie.ca, and Jason Finnerty for coming back for a second week in a row… yay Mike, we didn’t scare him away!

Show Notes

Full Dysclosure

How much does Canada REALLY love the internet?

Are there some unforeseen dangers with new Twitter Lists?

Does Facebook really care for your input on their TOS?

Is Steve Jobs trying to become the next Rupert Murdoch of publishing?

How did Family Guy scare off Microsoft?

Would you get your computer serviced at Wal-Mart?

Who kept Globalive out of Canada? Are Canadian telcos too big?

Movies

Canadian films trend well at the box office.

November film releases coming to a screen near you.

Websites

Andrew – asiansploitation.com – Toronto Pan-Asian sketch comedy troupe.

Jason – viralblog.com – Figure out if something supposedly “viral” is worth your time.

Mike – howitshouldhaveended.com – Animated reimaginings of blockbuster film endings.

Anthony – rendeznew.com – Pick 2, 3, or 4 geographic spots and find a suitable meetup place in the middle.

Music

Edmonton’s The Public Library – “No Reason to Send Letters”

(via lovehatethings)

I don’t think it’s uncommon for many teenagers to grow up thinking that a job in a music or video store as being somewhat cool. You get to surround yourself with pop culture all day, every day, and (at least when I was growing up) had the ability to exercise that music snobbery so effectively portrayed by the clerks in High Fidelity or Empire Records.

And for a period of time, I had the opportunity to work in a video store when I was around 18 years old and going to university. While I enjoyed the job immensely, and planned on staying there for a period of time, I never thought that Patrick Swayze would cost me my job.

In as much as the part-time staff at a video store is made up of students trying to make supplemental education money, and the full-time staff (save the occasional owner/operator) is someone who is there as a way station, the average employee really lives by the basic tenet of: do as little as you can while still pulling in the minimum wage salary that’s keeping you out of a fast food kitchen. From this general rule comes a couple of key realities: 1) anyone who shows any initiative whatsoever is a likely candidate for assistant manager, and 2) 15 to 18 year-old guys only show initiative for one thing, and it’s not organizing a VHS inventory “fun day”.

And so it came to pass that I was working in a video where the two “adult” managers had decided that the two “assistant” managers would be teenage girls. Now, let it be clear that I never coveted the job or begrudged the young women forced to oversee the occasional evening shift of the general ne’er-do-wells. I was quite happy slumming at the register, restocking the shelves or feasting on a slice of greasy pizza for dinner on the picnic table out back.

The one thing that did absolutely drive me insane however, was that both of the assistant manager were absolutely in LOVE with all things Dirty Dancing. When they worked the film played non-stop, sometimes for eight hours a shift. Maybe Bill Medley had the time of his life recording soundtrack fodder for the trite piece of cinematic drivel that was Dirty Dancing. But I wanted to sharpen a pencil and jam it in my ear after the third hour. I worked there for a year and the film never changed. Dirty Dancing from shift beginning to shift end whenever the young women were “managing”. If enough of us ganged up and whined enough, we could arrange the occasional showing of Adventures in Babysitting when they went off on break… not much better I know, but a far cry from Swayze and Baby.

I soon learned that Swayze was the real culprit. For soon after the onslaught began Patrick Swayze pictures and posters started going up in the break room and magazines with his picture were left conspicuously under the register. I, through a complete lack of tactless honesty, had let it be known of my distaste for the film and everything to do with it. I could, therefore, never get away with destroying the store’s dozens of copies or mangling the posters.

I would have to assert my revenge in another way.

You’re probably wondering, at this point, how Swayze actually cost my job.

There was an unwritten rule in the store that once someone put a tape in, it would be allowed to finish. The tape choice was also decided by store rank. While I never was around long enough to hold such a position, the only time I had say over which tape was in the machine was 8:30am Sunday morning. The overnight guy was cashing out and I manned the front counter alone for half an hour before the “assistant managers” came in to help with the ongoing build of the post-church crowd that crescendoed around noon. One of those mornings I scoured the store, not only for something that I could live with, and was rated PG or lower, but something that disgust and revolt any of the Dirty Devotees.

I settled on a concert film. I settled on Pink Floyd at Pompeii.

For six glorious months of Sunday mornings I cranked the volume to eleven and freaked out many a church-goer and their children to the demonic strains of One Of These Days I’m Going To Cut You Into Little Pieces and Careful With That Axe Eugene. The psychedelic volcanoes exploding over the Italian ruins were enough send many a customer away from whichever section was nearby. I have to give credit to my assistant managers as they clearly hated my weekly selection, but respected the unwritten law. Although I knew I was in for three straight showings of DD when Floyd was done, Pompeii gave me a sense of poetic justice.

And we all were quite willing to grin and bear it until one Sunday morning the “adult” manager came in early and saw David Gilmour playing an acoustic guitar while a dog howled accompaniment in a studio clip. Said manager decreed that Pink Floyd at Pompeii was not an appropriate film to be shown at nine o’clock on a Sunday morning.

I calmly retorted that “Dirty Dancing was not an appropriate film to be shown to anyone with an I.Q. above 50, yet I was forced to watch it three times a shift.”

He replied, “No one’s making you watch it. You should be working anyway.”

I tried to argue that my productivity suffered at having to be lulled into a soma-like trance by the horrible sappy music and hackneyed storyline.

He stammered that I should really consider if I truly wanted to be a proud family member of the store’s staff.

Turns out… “no”.

If it wasn’t for Patrick Swayze’s hunky good looks to all the teenage girls, I could’ve been king of the video store… not the most impressive title for sure, but how many kings do you know?

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Show Notes

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Interview

  • Eileen Rivera (@bigepaz) and Lynn Fu (@lynnfu) of The Bite Club podcast talking all things Twilight, True Blood, and fangy.

Website of the Week

Music

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Anthony does a rare shot of flying solo for 45 minutes without a seatbelt or flotation device.

Quick Show Notes

Full Dysclosure

Movies

Website of the Week

Music

from lovehatethings.com

Having the first few minutes at home, in front of my desktop, since attending the Copyright Town Hall Inc. Lobbying Mixer this past Thursday at the palatial Royal York Hotel in Toronto’s Financial District, I have decided to construct a blog post/submission to the copyright website all in one. And far be it from me to do anything normally, I thought I would use my words to poke some holes in the common myths that revolve around relaxed copyright legislation.

Myth One: Copyright is responsible for Canadian Culture

I can’t believe that I actually heard one of the record execs in Toronto essentially say that strong copyright laws lead to better corporate abilities to promote Canadian culture around the world. Are we to believe that major label music is to be the hallmark of Canadian culture? Do I really want Nickelback and Avril Lavigne to be what people in Suriname, Guyana, or Guatemala think of my country’s culture? Culture existed far before companies figured out how to monetize physical media, and it will always exist, even far after the death of an antiquated copyright system.

Myth Two: Copyright is responsible for creativity

Beyond the suits echoing the following sentiment, I can’t believe that so many so-called “artists” tried to assert that strong copyright laws and the ability to monetize content was the reason for their creative output. To say that you cannot afford to create anymore if you can’t make a living from it means one of two things:

1) You’re not an artist, but a craftsperson doing nothing more creative than an assembly line worker cranking out product for money, thus, when the money dries up, so does your “ability”.

2) You actually believe that someone OWES you a living for doing something you proclaim to LOVE doing. I have written music, plays, essays, articles, poetry for all of my adult life because I enjoy creating. Let me repeat that – I ENJOY CREATING! I wish I could make as much money writing and playing music as I do in my day job, but I’ve accepted reality and not stopped creating. And before you think you’re better than me at writing or music just because your output is marketable to the mainstream, and a suit wants to rake 98% of your money, get your head out of your ass.

Myth Three: Copyright protects content creators from getting ripped off

Copyright ensures that music creators will get ripped off by record labels. Most artists go deep in the hole when recording and need to sell tens if not hundreds of thousands of copies of a CD to get out of the red with labels. Labels know how to monetize the physical media platforms (like CDs) very well. They have not figured out how to monetize digital distribution systems. The “old school” way demands greasing palms of everyone and anyone connected with the industry to get radio play. A Creative Commons approach to copyright for musicians ensures all reasonable protections and allows for everyone online to find new ways to use and promote music – what a concept, public promotion instead of A&R departments!

But now anyone can record in their basement, and anyone can distribute online. Anyone has the viral video lottery shot that’s probably even higher than catching big with a label. The record labels are surely being propped up by multi-conglomerate properties that form the axes of big media evil that swallow up all that threatens their dominance. There is no reason to think that band who can sell 2000 copies of a CD at $5 online would be any worse off financially than selling 20000 copies for a major label. The abusive Chris Brown sold tens of thousands of copies of one song because of its misappropriation in a YouTube wedding video. Record labels sell dreams of celebrity that are slimmer than becoming a professional athlete.

Myth Four: Harsh copyright punishments will deter P2P theft

Harsh copyright punishments will infuriate half the population who uses P2P for downloading copyrighted and legally-shared files.

To use an analogy, the Queen Elizabeth Way highway between Hamilton and Toronto has a posted speed limit of 100kph. When traffic is not bottlenecked, cars in the fast lane average 120kph without repercussion because EVERYONE in that lane does it. Doesn’t necessarily make it right, but if the speed limit went up to 120kph, I bet the real speed would jump to 140kph. Drivers feel that they can drive safely above 100kph and, when weighing the value of the speed to their destination above the relative inability of authorities to choose to enforce the law, they choose to continue breaking it. Downloaders access copyrighted files for free because they don’t feel they get value for the $15-20 they are forced to spend on a CD when they’ve only heard one song on the radio, television, YouTube, or Blip.fm.

Myth Five: ISP throttling of bandwidth is a logical way to deter pirating

Let me borrow another analogy. In Miami, 90% of all open sea drug smuggling occurs via speedboat although all speedboats used for smuggling only account for a minuscule fraction of all the speedboats in Miami. The US Coast Guard decides to band speedboats from all waters in Florida and only authorizes former speedboat users to travel in canoes.

Sounds ridiculous?

This is exactly the logic that ISPs are using when throttling an internet users traffic just because they use a Bit Torrent client. There is no sense in the idea that because pirates use Bit Torrent clients, that everyone who uses a Bit Torrent client must be a pirate. To allow ISPs to throttle on the basis on a type of software is unfair to consumers and, most often, not ever told to the customer.

And this analogy is especially ridiculous if you believe the ISPs are throttling to protect copyright. Their prime motivation is to save bandwidth for themselves so they can nickel and dime customers that are bound their CRTC-enforced monopolies.

That’s my two cents on copyright reform, which is probably more than a musical artist signed to a major label makes when I but a copy of their song on iTunes.