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Show Notes

Welcome Jason Finnerty @brandscaping of www.thetelecomblog.com, www.brandscaping.ca and www.windows7help.org and Andrew Currie @acurrie whose aggregated work can be found at www.andrewcurrie.ca

Full Dysclosure

Windows 7 rolls out and usurps memories of Vista

Apple rolls out a whack of new products to usurp memories of Windows 7

Google rolls out a bunch of new services to usurp memories of Apple hardware

Bing and Google each strike deals with Facebook and Twitter

Is Mozilla’s Raindrop the Wave Killer before Wave even becomes something worth killing?

If Hulu will never get to Canada, do we care that the US has to pay for it?

49th Perpendicular

Net Neutrality discussions north and south of the 49th parallel

Mobile Mashup

The new Droid phone… is this finally the winner for Android?

Is Nokia’s Maemo phone a strong alternative?

Symbian exec rips Android.

Websites of the Week

Jason – knowyourmeme.com – stay hip without staying current.

Anthony – www.atdhe.net – live streaming of sports… unless it gets DMCA’ed

Mike – measy.com – helps you find the perfect gadget

Music

Ox from weewerk records with the title track Burnout from their upcoming November release

(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?

(Note from Mike:  I normally don’t delve into political discussion of this nature, but I feel that the situation in BC has gotten to the point where it is BEYOND dysfunction.  I’d like to say this type of rant won’t happen again, but it probably will.)

Dear Premier Campbell,

It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we, the taxpayers of British Columbia, must cancel the agreement you made with yourself and other MLAs and inform you that your 29% pay increase will no longer be binding.

In these tough economic times where the public is seeing an annual 6% increase in MSP costs, the need to raise taxes via the HST (garnering a nice bonus from the Federal government) and the massive cuts to arts funding, we feel that those who we pay to make these clearly sound decisions also need to contribute.

We plan to put the 29% that was being given to the MLAs into a fund known as “General Revenue.”  Don’t worry – we’re not sure what that means, either.

Sincerely yours,
The Taxpayers of British Columbia

P.S.  The word “sincerely” is defined as “in a genuine way.”  We only mention this because we are certain you don’t know the meaning of the word.

facefeedWith news today that Facebook has fed on Friendfeed, I suppose the only question left to ask is will everyone FINALLY hear about Friendfeed now? At least I’m sure the cable news will report it… if they can tie it to Twitter.

Our hope: that the new amalgamation will be called Facefeed, because Facebook has essentially become the junkfood of social networking anyway (I would say MySpace, but they’ve dropped to the dollar store canned food of the genre). And since we love nothing better than to FEED OUR FACE, I propose we all bow down to our new Lord of Timesuck: FACEFEED!

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Show Notes
Full Dysclosure
Share The Land
Movies
Wheel Of Pop
Websites Of The Week
Musical Selection

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Show Notes
Full Dysclosure

Share The Land

Movies

Websites of the Week

  • Vintage Looks – Retro furniture is just a click away…
  • Twitrdoo – The paradoxical productivity solution…

Music

Let us know what you think about the new website design and drop a comment about anything on the podcast.

As the second funniest person involved with DyscultureD, I tend to find the second-tier stories that further augment our argument that pop culture phenomena can often be dysfunctional.  With that in mind, I’d like to introduce a little segment I’ve named in homage to the great Walter Cronkite: And That’s The Way It – WHAT?

This week, researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Centre in New York discovered that Brilliant Blue G can help mend spinal injuries.  A revolutionary breakthrough, indeed.  However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Brilliant Blue G is also the food dye that is used in making Blue M&Ms.

Oh, and one of the side effects is that when injected with the compound, the skin of the patient turns temporarily blue.

Well, at least with a healthy spine one can run away from Gargamel should he mistake them for a giant Smurf.

The following is a guest post by MCM.

Copyright sucks.

You heard me, it sucks.  It’s the biggest scam of the modern era, wasting billions of dollars and even more time, all debating stuff that can’t be solved.  When historians look back on us, they’re going to say to themselves: “Wow, this makes the angels-on-the-pin debate look substantive.”

What’s wrong with copyright?  It’s fundamentally incapable of doing what people think it can do.  We’ve got arguments like “information wants to be free” and “creators are starving”, neither of which is true.  People latch on to those ideas because they’re solid ground, but they’re utter nonsense.  You can’t prove that information wants anything any more than you can prove the emotional state of a rock.  Here, let me demonstrate: the flower right next to you wants a McFlurry.  Better get on that.

We don’t need to rework copyright, we need to fix society to make copyright obsolete.  Kicking puppies is illegal, but not many people do it to begin with.  There are social norms that we all appreciate as fundamental, and we try and stay on the good side of them.  So how did copyright go so wrong?

Products, that’s where.  Long ago, you stopped paying for music in any meaningful way.  You paid for records, cassettes, CDs.  We place inherent value in these physical objects, the carriers of our culture, and over time, we came to value a New Release movie at a certain price, and a song at another.  I’m not buying a movie, I’m buying a disc with a movie on it.  I couldn’t care less how much work went into the art itself, as long as it’s priced competitively.

So when you remove the physical object like the internet has done, the natural reaction of society is to think “It’s great I don’t have to pay for all that plastic!” and assume they should be getting their movies for next to nothing.  They’ve lost their sense of morality in this area, because it’s been obscured for so long.  It’s like they’ve been living in a world where puppies are wrapped in foam balls, so it’s fine to kick them… but all of a sudden, the foam is taken away.  I kick a puppy every day on the way to work… why should I stop just because things have changed?  Puppy-kicking is a fundamental part of my life.

Deep beneath the surface, I think most of us realize there are people making the things we read, watch and listen to.  Whether it’s a one-on-one relationship or they’re part of a giant team of artists working on a massive project, we’re at least vaguely aware they exist.  And we don’t want to kick them.  We appreciate them.  Well, maybe not Michael Bay.

Copyright is a legal concept that is trying to tell us we need to imagine there’s still a ball around the puppy, and that it’s important to step around it even though it’s invisible.  Some of us are doing that, and some of us are refusing, but in the end, we’re all obsessing over the legitimacy of the concept, and completely ignoring the poor puppies inside.

Copyright is a massive waste of time.  We need to take care of our artists (by whatever means necessary), and stop obsessing about an abstract concept that has very little relevance to the world as it exists today.  There are so many better things we could be doing.  Like buying ice cream for plants.

MCM is the author of The Pig and the Box, Fission Chips, and The Vector, all of which are Creative Commons-licensed.  He would like a McFlurry too, thanks.