in lieu of radio ...

a somewhat random collection of pages and thoughts started sept 16 2001. now that i'm not on the radio 6 hours every day, blogger allows all of us to harangue...

Thursday, February 28, 2002

Quoted in an excellent Alexander Cockburn piece (Daniel Pearl: Should His editors have Sent Him There?) , the wife of Daniel Pearl:

"Revenge would be easy, but it is far more valuable in my opinion to address this problem of terrorism with enough honesty to question our own responsibility as nations and as individuals for the rise of terrorism. My own courage arises from two facts. One is that throughout this ordeal I have been surrounded by people of amazing value. This helps me trust that humanism ultimately will prevail.

"My other hope now -- in my seventh month of pregnancy -- is that I will be able to tell our son that his father carried the flag to end terrorism, raising an unprecedented demand among people from all countries not for revenge but for the values we all share: love, compassion, friendship and citizenship far transcending the so-called clash of civilizations."

(Note at least one misprint/omission in the Fisk discussion)

Wednesday, February 27, 2002

Outkast wins Grammy for Best rap Album. Well deserved.

NARAS (and Grammy) prez Mike Greene uses the Grammy stage to rip the file traders a new one. His hectoring lecture mentions 3 students who are asked to downlaod as much as they can over two days. Cut to a shot of these poor saps, one waves sheepishly, one smiles bravely and one shakes his head and hangs it in shame. Also talks about how file trading means that artists dont get paid. Mikey never mentions the many ways in which the industry consistently poses the question: "Why exactly do we need the music industry?"

Slashdot has a good article ("from the tiny violin dept."!) about the RIAA announcing thst they finally have the figures they have been hoping for - a decline in CD sales. As usual, fine skeptical discussion from the Slashdotters follows the artice. Link : RIAA Almost Down To Pre-Napster Revenues

Yes, it seems you can get fired for what you write on your weblog. Heather got fired. Luckily, she can write and is quite funny about it.

Righteous Reg. on Valenti's ridiculous Wash. Post letter. "... ridiculously expensive cartoons that no one over the age of fifteen really wants to watch..." Link MPAA's Valenti pushes for copy-control PCs

Monday, February 25, 2002


Tom Turnipseed (always one of my favourite names) pulls many strands together in a look at the potential for the coming axis of influence...Bush Mimics Reagan and the Corporate Stranglehold on U.S. Media Tightens (CP)

More response about the Dan Pearl question asked below:
Subject: Re: Care to speculate?

Your correspondents were right about most of it but... I think that the Western press has an inflated view of their immunity from harm in dangerous situations. "Oh, I'm just an impartial journalist" seems to be their innoculation and they just don't get that there are many people out there who simply don't give a flying who they are or what they do. Much less for whom they work!

Yes, it'd be nice to think that if something like that happened to any of them the world would kick up a fuss. But isn't it a little like what the Russians claim happened in Salt Lake? I mean, if it were an Angolan reporter (not that Angola particularly cares, at this moment, about what's going on in Pakistan) would such a hue and cry and gnashing of teeth have occured? But because it was an AMERICAN reporter, etc.... It also lends credence to the theory that Jews control the world media (we do, but that's supposed to be our secret and you goyim aren't supposed to know!)

Sunday, February 24, 2002

This email sent to journalists reading the blog:

Subject: care to comment or speculate?
on the relative amounts of press and media time devoted to the various
(10?) journalist killings since Sept 11th? the din over dan pearl is
deafening right now. perhaps because he was held captive? or because they
videotaped it?


To: "Mark Zip"
Subject: Re: care to comment or speculate?
you have to wonder a bit about a paper that sends a jewish journalist with
no urdu and little experience in conflict zones to get the scoop on the
murky world of islamic fundamentalism in pakistan....

To: "Mark Zip"
Subject: Re: care to comment or speculate?
Send an American, Jewish, Wall Street Journal reporter to go do the inside scoop on Islamic fundamentalism in Karachi (population: 12 million; number of foreigners: around 20) and you are asking for trouble. Certainly didn't get what he deserved. Certainly didn't get the unexpected either!!! Dumb fucks all round. Don't quote me by name on that. The amount of coverage? To be honest, I'd like to think someone would kick up a fuss if I went walkabout (on that Australian theme). Might have to think about it for a bit ...

Saturday, February 23, 2002

Surprise, surprise: "These ventures look bad, smell bad and sound bad," she wrote. Napster judge denounces recording industry (Reg. UK) (pity the news was only released at the very end of the week)

Here we go again. European Union shows it still doesnt get it (to use a depreciated term). Move to Ban Net 'Hate Speech' Draws Praise, Concern (thanks to L and M for the link)

Friday, February 22, 2002

From Feb 19th Barry W. Lynn, who is president of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and testified against Ashcroft during his confirmation hearings, said that "at a minimum, it seems to increase the perception that [Ashcroft] cannot separate his religious agenda from his public office." Ashcroft Invokes Religion In U.S. War on Terrorism (Wash. Post - thanks to S for the link)

Little noted new royaly rules look set to leave only the biggest of the big standing. Startling numbers from the front. (taken from a discussion list for copyright lawyers) Now how do you make money doing internet radio? (thanks to E for the link)

Thursday, February 21, 2002

Coming to a US media market near you, even less variety. Court Throws Out FCC Ban, Paving Way for Cable-Broadcast TV Mergers Link: Limits on Media Ownership Voided (Wash. Post) OR Court Slaps Down FCC Restrictions (Yahoo / AP) OR Court Orders FCC to Revisit Broadcast Limits (Yahoo / reuters) And the FCC sounds really gung-ho about defending it, don't they? Defending broadcast rules hard-FCC chief (Yahoo / Reuters)

I was gonna do a full site for the PoopList, but now i've gone and lost the bloody thing! Until i find it, here is the Village Voice equivalent. Link: Pazz and Jop 2001

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

(Dunno if we're behind the curve on this one or not, don't really care though. It's funny) Link: The reason they invented Photoshop (thanks to S. for the link)

An intriguing way to combat spam. Shift the financial burden to the folks who make the spam enabling software... Link:

AHA! I knew it wasn't my concious "fault"! NYT has more about dopaine and rewards. ... they found that the brain systems that detect and evaluate such rewards generally operate outside of conscious awareness. In navigating the world and deciding what is rewarding, humans are closer to zombies than sentient beings much of the time. Link: Hijacking the Brain Circuits With a Nickel Slot Machine (NYT. Free reg. req.)

Monday, February 18, 2002

Rather good parody site. Have a look before the GOP has it taken down. EnronOwnsThe

Clear, concise NYT on artist still getting ripped off by labels. Link:Record Labels' Answer to Napster Still Has Artists Feeling Bypassed (NYT. Free reg. req.)

In some other situation, this headline might actually be intriguing, rather than merely gruesome. Link: Labor Pains in Kabul Lead to Fatal Burst of Gunfire (AP / Common Dreams)

Cult of the Dead Cow has finally released "Peek-A-Booty" (terrible name), which they have been promising for a coupla years. Here is the "About" page. If you know someone who is accessing the net from a country which censors it, this might be a way for them to get on for real. Focus of the distributed peer-to-peer network at the moment is to provide access to alternative news and Human Rights pages censored by certain countries, but it can be used to look at anything, of course.

Sunday, February 17, 2002

(tried to post this lot yesterday, saturday, but blooger swallowed it all!)

Naom! He is such a showboat! Istanbul court drops charges after US author flies in to challenge prosecution over pro-Kurdish essay Link: Chomsky wins case for Turkish publisher (Guardian UK)

Wow! Judge grants States access to Windows source (Reg. UK) also Judge orders Microsoft to reveal code (Reuters / Yahoo)

I'm not a gamer, and some of the FPS games are astounding, but haven't we been down this road before? Georgia lawmakers have submitted a bill that would make it a criminal offense to sell violent games to minors Link: Violent game sales to minors a misdemeanor? (Gamespot)

Friday, February 15, 2002

The way George W. Bush tells it, former Enron chairman Kenneth Lay has simply been a run-of-the-mill political "supporter." But letters exchanged by the two men paint a far cozier picture of Dubya's relationship with the disgraced businessman. The Smoking Gun obtained the Bush-Lay correspondence this afternoon and has posted the material at: Kenny Lay / Dubya Letters

Links not available: 1.) excellent Jon Stewart profile in New Yorker of February 11 2.) good think piece on Stewart and Martin Short/Jiminy Glick on

All his life he had dreamed of being a pilot. But when he was accused of training the September 11 suicide pilots, Lotfi Raissi's dream turned into a nightmare. After spending five months in a high-security jail, on Tuesday he was released on bail. Freed (Guardian UK) (and just today there were a few reports in the USA. Have the mainstream US press government really played this down so much...?)

In a rare glimpse inside the Israeli military machine, John Kampfner and Dominic Allan join an elite commando squad in a night raid on a suspected Palestinian terrorist. Israel on the PR offensive also...Capture or Kill (Guardian UK) (and i wonder if we will get to see the report here in USA)

Increasingly, the government is demanding that bookstores reveal what books their customers have purchased. Salon:Big Brother is watching you read (thanks to L for the link)

Thursday, February 14, 2002

I am soooooooo there! Museum Explains Why Snot Exists (Wired / Reuters)

So, let's see, that must mean the 8 million are unsold and 1 million unheard and 1 million will be returned as defective, no? Shelves Hold 10 Million Copy-locked CDs (ZD Net)

Now here's a heartwarming story for Valentines day Kathleen Fent Read this Story ( aaaahhhh! to be the girlfriend of a geek....)

I was recently accused of being "a wild-eyed privacy zealot" (or something similar). So here is a different view. In a polarized environment where opinions on privacy are simplistically reduced to "for" or "ignore," David Brin's concept of "The Transparent Society" (the title of his 1998 book) is a nimble approach that appears more relevant by the day. Link: Interview: David Brin's Naked Truth About Privacy

DAMN! I never got to see him perform. DAMN, DAMN, DAMN! Waylon Jennings, a Star and Outlaw of Country Music, Is Dead at 64 (NYT free reg.req.). Washington Post report: Country Star Waylon Jennings Dies at 64 Atlanta Journal-Constitution has straight AP report (in the "Living" section!) and a rather cheesy poll too: Country great Waylon Jennings dead at 64 (also includes AP photo gallery) . His own site is and there you can post messages to Jessi Colter and the family.

Wednesday, February 13, 2002

Cue the sound of massed "i-told-you-so" 's around the world. Eating Healthy Can Make You Sick (Reuters/Wired)

Uh-Oh EU Approves Net Tax Rules (Even if you sell a European stuff in USA, from a USA server)

States who are continuing the anti-trust case don't believe MS' claim that they cannot provide a stripped down version of Windows. They want MS to release the source code so they can verify MS' claims . Show us Windows source, States ask judge

Is there a future for "Futurama"? If you wanna support it with Fox TV here is an online petition A Future For Futurama

Tuesday, February 12, 2002

Hey, did you hear the one about the asthmatic robber with the broken toy gun who locked his keys in the getaway car? There must be an easier way to make a living

Monday, February 11, 2002

Pretty good mainstream reporting on spam tracking. "Finding firms behind junk e-mail is harder than just deleting" Doohhh! Tracking spam to the source

Herbert on another huge study telling us what we already intuitively know about the death penalty. Repeat until people get it...The Fatal Flaws (NYT freee reg. req.)

Sunday, February 10, 2002

MS EULA lets them change you computer at will!!!! (at least that's the Chicken Little version...) Check the fine print Or perhaps the headline here should be "MS says "All your computers are belong to us"

"The advent of gourmet coffee contributed to a certain overexcitement and lack of questioning," Link: Did gourmet coffee cause dot-com bust? (Reuters,

Saturday, February 09, 2002

Perhaps Robert Cringley has a broadband solution for those of us in the sticks, perhaps... Bank Shot - Not Even a Mountain Can Get in the Way of Bob's Search for Faster Internet Service

Friday, February 08, 2002

bearing in mind the rant below, there has been at least one fine tv spot on the olympics; the latest in the budweiser "how'ya doi'n" series. nice.

is there something wrong with me? why do i get uptight and anxious when i tune in the olympic games opening ceremonies on telly? is it because i will have to shout at the president? because i have to roll my eyes at the costumes? the mis-pronunciation of the foreign countries names? the endless flag waving? is it the prospect of tinkling piano music over vaseline lensed featurettes about american (and a smattering of foreign) athletes who have overcome all the odds to participate? is it the prospect of shouting "show the fuckin' sports for chrissakes" every 5 minutes? the rather creepy feeling i get about all those mormons? ....

does this make me a bad person...?


Latest in a long line of "cotrolled substances" products gloryfying death. In particularly bad taste this time...Bin Laden Heroin Odds are that the product originated in Columbia though, not Afghanistan.

More from our Afghan correspondent. First ringing turbans, then football, them restaurant reviews, now snow-survivor stories. The man can write it all. Link: Afghan avalanche survivors tell of frozen horror

The UK weighs in : The record industry's campaign to wrest consumers away from pirate internet music services has been a failure, with increasing numbers of technology-savvy fans turning their back on legitimate sales and downloading singles and albumsfree. Music firms losing digital piracy fight (Guardian UK)

Thursday, February 07, 2002

So, which sports are they using it on most? We want to know! Link: New Device: More Ads, Less Show (Wired)

Now what will the music industry come up with? 'Unrippable' Music CD? Impossible, Experts Say (Newsbytes)

Jon Katz has an interesting think piece on what is the "heart of the net" (or even if there is one). Good slashdotted/modded discussion as always. Heart of the Net (Slashdot)

Even more hard evidence for evolution. First Genetic Evidence Uncovered Of How Major Changes In Body Shapes Occurred During Early Animal Evolution. I wonder what John Ashcroft, Judge Pickering, Trent Lott and Dubya think...

Pickering is at the confirmation plate again. Herbert in fine rabid form: " affront
to black people from coast to coast." Link: A Judge's Past (NYT free reg. req.) Of course, with Trent Lott horse trading in Pickering's corner, he'll probably be confirmed eventually.

Now this is clever (and pretty damn funny too):

Wednesday, February 06, 2002

But we promise that your TV is not watching you watching it...honest. Link: Tivo: Super Britney Replays Ruled (Wired)

Alright, who has tape of Gene Simmons ans Terry on the Tuesday February 5th "Fresh Aire" show? I'd love to hear the whole thing, but i can pretty much hear it in my mind reading this: NPR JOCK SHOCK (NY Post) (btw, how many different ways does she pronounce her first name?)

A modest suggestion: $125 Billion That Could Help Pay for Defense Budget Increases

Decent overview of Arabic pop in USA (tagged to NYC concert) Arabic-Speaking Pop Stars Spread the Joy (NYTimes. Free reg. req.)

Wait, why does microgravity affect hard drives? And what is a "solid state hard drive? Just a ton of flash RAM? Hmmmm... Computer crash strikes space station

The answers to the Valentines Couples(?) Quiz are in! How did you do? Thanks to L for the link.

Tuesday, February 05, 2002

Pareles in NYT. Could Mariah Carey be a hero for those seeking the disntermediation of the music biz? Link: Spit Out by the Star-Making Machinery (Free reg. req.)

Monday, February 04, 2002

i tried to steel myself and watch the endless pre-game show (told myself that it was another way to "learn
about america") but i couldnt manage it. i felt my gorge rising every 3 minutes or so and had to tune
away to the soccer/rugby instead. mostly i spent the afternoon alternating between shouting at the telly
and pricing up CDs for sale! what a loser!

as for the U2 show i suppose that it was appropriate. pomp rock for a big moment. i just wonder where the synth lines were coming from during "Where the Streets Have No Name". i am, however, still amazed at how Bono can make these grand gestures without a hint of self deprecation while he's actually doing it. before and after he has a little, but not during.

it's a shame that Mariah prerecorded her anthem, as one of our correspondents said, it would have been interesting to see her break down live...

The Reg. says (as sarcastically as ever): MS declares programming moratorium - report

A brief review of online music services as they actually are: Link MusicNet, Pressplay fall short (ICE Magazine)

Sunday, February 03, 2002

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Yasir Arafat in NYT (also in The Guardian, UK) commentary: Firm, bland, nothing new. But these days it seems that that is remarkable . Link: The Palestinian Vision of Peace (NYUT, free reg. req.)

Saturday, February 02, 2002

An Iowa company is using new technology that provides cable TV programs and high-speed Internet access to homes in small towns over copper telephone wires. Maybe there's hope yet for those of us who live in the sticks... Cable TV option emerges in rural Iowa (Caveat: To receive the service, homes must be no farther than sixth-tenths of a mile from the neighborhood box. That's not very far.

"Well, what a surprise. George Bush came from the Texas big business community. He was encouraged, and funded to run for president, by the Texas big business community, because he was the kind of politician who might introduce policies favourable to Texas big business. If he had got to the White House and created an energy policy benefiting small start-up outfits in Maine, it really would be time for a congressional investigation as the president would have gone insane (forgetting the rules of electoral politics), or the small-business energy lobby had photos of him with a goat." (Mark Lawson, Guardian UK) Link: Of course Bush listens to his friends

Friday, February 01, 2002

Just in case you have some time to really waste on the net...: Are you a secret Googlewhacker?

A very quick check finds no other mention of this: Patel Queries labels' right to maintain pigopoly ...Judge Drops Napster Bombshell (Reg. UK) (Note beta-testing of new term, pigopoly)