2016-06-30

Of Interest: Apple Patents Camera Disabling Tech


Yeah... its for copyright issues at concerts and movies... right...

Read more about this at the following sites:

For example, an infrared emitter can be located in areas where picture or video capture is prohibited, and the emitter can generate infrared signals with encoded data that includes commands to disable the recording functions of devices. An electronic device can then receive the infrared signals, decode the data and temporarily disable the device’s recording function based on the command.


So that might be OK … assuming the technology is only used at concerts and doesn’t extend to, like, disabling phone cameras during instances of police brutality and/or sociopolitical/religious unrest. If my concert experience has to suck in order to see and hopefully prevent the next Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, or Walter Scott from being killed in the future, then so be it.



2016-06-19

Random: They Got A Pepper Bar (Quiznos)


This commercial literally just popped into my head... Good (though creepy) advertising though if it's still rattling around in the old noggin...






Music: A Skin Too Few - Happy Birthday Nick Drake


On what would have been Nick Drake's 68th birthday I thought I would share a documentary on him filmed in the year 2000, "A Skin Too Few - The Days of Nick Drake" and his three albums in hopes that some new people would discover and enjoy his music.


Here are some quoted from his sister Gabrielle in the documentary that I found to be of note:

"He saw more, and that is expressed in his songs and almost nowhere else, and he became... I think he became more silent as he saw more."


"I always say that Nick was born with a skin too few, but I think it's actually perhaps better summed up by a poem that my mother (Molly Drake) wrote and it's a poem called "The Shell."

Living grows round us like a skin
To shut away the outer desolation
For if we clearly mark the furthest deep
We should be dead long years before the grave
But turning around within the homely shell
Of worry, discontent, and narrow joy
We grow and flourish
And rarely see the outside dark
That would confound our eyes

Some break the shell.

I think that there are those
Who push their fingers through
The brittle walls
And make a hole
And through this cruel slit
Stare out across the cinders of the world
With naked eyes
They look both out and in
Knowing themselves
And too much else beside"


"I don't really know for sure whether Nick wanted to take his life.  I think my feeling is that what happened was that he had all these pills, t sertainky wasn't premeditated.  That he just tipped them out into his hand threw them into his mouth and swallowed them and thought what the hell... Either I die or I live and things will be changed, something different will happen."


"Of course the only thing that makes sense of his death, is his fame that is now coming about.  I think above all it's not his fame it's more the fact that a lot of young people have found his music such a help and that I think would have pleased him so very very much.  He once said to my mother, 'If only I could feel that my music had ever done anything to help one single person that would have made it worth it.'"

And if anyone else is feeling that life is too much to bear please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-8255 for help.

2016-06-14

Music: Rhapsody In Peace (Service Re-branding As Napster)



I've been using Rhapsody since the beginning, way back in the winter of 2001 when it was the first ever legit music streaming service. I remember working at the East Madison Best Buy (good old store 059) and we got the software in on CD, I can't remember for sure but I think that we had to pay for the software too and the subscription was $14.99/month.  It took one week of shifts where we had the software installed on the computers at work and were instructed to show it to the customers and I was hooked on this new format of music myself!  I bought the disc and took it home and ever since then I have been a paying subscriber to Rhapsody.  It's funny to think about that time seeing what the music industry has evolved into, I still have the stand-alone software installed on my desktop and laptop machines but for the most part I use the app on my iPhone or iPad and my wife uses the same apps under the same subscription for $1 less than my stand-alone subscription cost me when Rhapsody first hit the market.


It looks like Rhapsody's market share is 1/10th that of Spotify but all 3.5 million users (up 45% last year) are paying members.  I've done a number of trial subscriptions over the years:


  1. The first legal version of Napster (eventually bought out by Rhapsody)
  2. Spotify
  3. Beats Audio
Though not Apple Music or Tidal and while some had gimmicks that were attractive none really did it better than Rhapsody.  Sometimes it might take a week longer to get a new release on Rhapsody; The longest I've had to wait was for Kanye's Life of Pablo, that is if I don't count Taylor Swift's 1989 still waiting for that one...  But I would say that when it comes to depth and breadth of selection Rhapsody is the best.  There have been many times where other friends have been looking for an obscure song only to find that the particular track is not included on the album on Spotify etc... That is rarely an issue with Rhapsody.  Audio quality maxes out at 320kbps but my ears can't tell a difference sorry Jigga.

It looks as if Rhapsody has been running their service as Napster internationally (maybe since the acquisition of the brand) and want to unify under one front.  For me though it seems backwards that they have chosen to lose the brand name that started it all but we'll see what happens for them in the long run.  I hope the name change serves them well and as long as the service doesn't change I'll stick with them but it is truly the end of an era...


Found Coolness: The Cable Guy Turns 20

20 years ago today, Jim Carrey blew up his image with The Cable Guy

But even the biggest stars have a few misses between hits, and Carrey’s first one arrived in the summer of 1996, when he headlined a deranged knee-slapper about a possessive leech of a man and the poor sap he latches onto. The Cable Guy, released on this day 20 years ago, was no flop: Though it made less than Carrey’s previous starring vehicles, the film still doubled its $47 million budget after foreign ticket sales were tallied. And the reviews were mixed, not across-the-board toxic. Somehow, though, The Cable Guy took on the reputation of a flop—an industry punchline, lambasted for years afterward, its title synonymous with bad Hollywood judgment. How did a modestly successful summer comedy become Carrey’s Ishtar, his Hudson Hawk?



2016-06-13

Meanwhile Back In Wisconsin: Poverty Reaches Highest Level in 30 Years

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Poverty across Wisconsin reaches highest level in 30 years

I wonder how the Wisconsin population who tripled-down on Scott Walker felt reading this article?

The Applied Population Laboratory analysis found:

■ Poverty went up significantly in 31 of 72 Wisconsin counties, including 11 of the 15 most populous counties, during the most recent five-year span. Estimates show about 738,000 Wisconsin residents were living in poverty during the 2010-'14 period, compared to 605,000 in the 2005-'09 time frame.

■ Nearly one in five Wisconsin children was living in poverty during the 2010-'14 time frame — 239,000 children in all, or 18.5% of all children. That's up dramatically from 14.6% in 2005-'09, and represents another 50,000 children.

Only 10 states had faster rates of increase in child poverty than Wisconsin.

■ Twenty-five of Wisconsin's 72 counties had a significant increase in child poverty. No county had a significant decrease. The highest childhood poverty county remains Menominee, which went up from 35.1% to 44.8% of residents under age 18 living in poverty.

Milwaukee County, the state's largest urban center, went from 26.4% to 33% child poverty and is now tied for second highest with Sawyer County in northern Wisconsin, where Hayward is located.

Other Wisconsin counties with child poverty rates above the national average (21.9%) for 2010-'14 included: Kenosha, Rock, Vilas, Forest, Adams, Clark, Vernon, Monroe, Burnett, Ashland, Rusk and Jackson.

■ Racial disparities in poverty are bigger here than in the U.S. as a whole, and are growing faster. The poverty gap between African-Americans and whites grew 4 percentage points in Wisconsin, while the national average did not grow, Jones said.

Wisconsin's poverty rate was 39% for blacks and 28% for Latinos, compared with 11% for whites — significantly wider gaps than in the rest of the country. Nationally, the analysis reported the gap between blacks and whites was 16 percentage points, and for Latinos and whites, 13 percentage points.

■ Significant changes in poverty occurred among adults at every level of educational achievement in Wisconsin.

For those with less than a high school education, poverty rose from 20.5% to 24.5%. The impact was mitigated by a decrease in total population with low educational attainment, which dropped from 380,000 to 337,000.

For those with a high school education, poverty rose from 8.9% to 11%. It increased from 6.6% to 8.9% among those with some college. Poverty also touched those with bachelor's degrees or more, rising from 3% in 2005-'09 to 3.6% in 2010-'14.

■ Poverty cut across various levels of employment in Wisconsin.

Among the unemployed, poverty increased from 27% to 31.6%. The number of unemployed adults grew by about 35,000 people between the five-year periods ending in 2009 and 2014.

Increases were also seen among the working poor. Among employed adults, poverty rose from 6% to 7%. It increased among those employed full-time from 2% to 2.4%.

UW-Madison's Applied Population Lab is housed in the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

UW-Madison's Institute for Research on Poverty each year produces a single-year census data comparison called the Wisconsin Poverty Report. That report is due later this spring.

2016-06-09

Current Events: Rising Sea-water Temps Causing British Warships To Break Down

HMS Daring (D32) on operations with USS Enterprise in 2010 (source Wikipedia)

CNN: Britain's Royal Navy Warships Are Breaking Down Because Sea Is Too Hot


Rising sea-water temperatures (now 90 degrees Fahrenheit in The Gulf) are causing British warships to break down. Maybe the right will start taking global warming seriously now?

2016-06-08

Of Interest: Can Bill Be Hillary's VP?

Source: Everything-PR

After the California Primary has killed all hopes (save an FBI indictment) for Bernie Sanders being the Democratic Presidential nominee attention will now be turning to Hillary's VP pick.  Elizabeth Warren is a popular name being batted around, some even said Bernie (highly unlikely).  I don't think that Hillary will pick Warren she would steal too much of her thunder.  Then I got to thinking what do the Clinton's like more than anything?  POWER!  What could be better than one Clinton? TWO Clintons!  But can it be done?  Apparently I'm not the only one who has thought of this and people were thinking of it prior to her presumptive nomination as well as this Washington Post article from September 18th 2015 shows:

Bill Clinton for Vice President?

Per the article the answer is clear as mud and the answer depends on how you (or more likely the courts) interpret different portions of The Constitution:

The Twelfth Amendment: “[N]o person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.”

The Twenty-Second Amendment: “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice ….”

Article II, § 1, cl. 4: “No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.”

I don't think that the article ever really answers the question and to follow the legal logic as it bounces between the 12th and 22nd amendment surely involves some dizzying intellect somewhat like this...