Digital Culture Media

P2P research right here at Carolina…

From BoingBoing, a story about an economics professor here at UNC that’s come to the conclusion that (*gasp, shock*) illegal downloading of music doesn’t actually affect album sales.

A quote from the paper: “Even in the most pessimistic specification, five thousand downloads are needed to displace a single album sale…high selling albums actually benefit from file sharing. ”

Allow me to translate the gist of the paper to non-academic speak for those not at a University:

“Screw you, RIAA, you bunch of money grubbing litigious jerkwads.”

Media The Living Dead

Yet more zombie stuff

I swear I think I’m going to have to change the title of this blog to “Bring Out Your Dead” given all the zombie posts. But this one was too funny not to include.

I give you: SHAUN OF THE DEAD!

Digital Culture Media The Living Dead

And speaking of zombies…

According to BoingBoing and the Internet Archive the copyright on the original Night of the Living Dead has expired, and the whole freaking movie is available for download.

Now my question is: how can this POSSIBLY be in the public domain? It was made in 1968. Did the copyright owner release it? Anyone have any idea?

Digital Culture Media The Living Dead

In honor of Dawn of the Dead

Well, it’s a huge crime that I haven’t gotten to see the movie yet, being the horror AND zombie fan that I am. For those that also have yet to see the shuffling horrors of a good zombie film lately, here’s some Zombie Pinups to keep you entertained.

Media Personal

This is poignant: SHUT UP!

Got a chance to see Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind this weekend, and the movie itself is brilliant. Absolutely wonderful…Kaufman writes such good scripts, and Winslet and Carrey are just perfect. I just gotta say, Kate Winslet is stunning, even in a severely damaged character.


Random person behind me at the Carolina: That moment in the movie…you know, the one that wasn’t funny? The poignant one? Next time that comes around in a film, SHUT UP! Thanks.

Digital Culture Media Personal

180 190 192 Dead, 1200 1247 Injured in Madrid

Madrid, we love you. MADRID, Spain (CNN) — A massive, coordinated terror strike on Madrid’s commuter train system killed at least 173 people and wounded over 600 at the height of the city’s rush hour, Spain’s interior minister says. Full story here from CNN.

The government is blaming ETA, but they haven’t officially taken credit yet. Here’s a link to El Pais ran through Google translator.

edit: here’s a link to the special edition of El Pais in PDF for today, covering the tragedy.

edit:El Pais is now reporting that blaming ETA may be premature, since they discovered tapes in Arabic along with detonators in the area of one of the explosions.

edit:ETA is officially denying involvement in the bombing.

edit:And now, a branch of Al Qaeda is claiming responsibility. Thanks a lot, War on Terrorism.

For everyone we know with friends or family in Madrid, I hope that they are ok.


Mars = water

In an exciting press release (at least as exciting as scientific press releases go), NASA announced today that it is nearly certain that at one point Mars had significant amounts of water.

And water, as we know, equals life. Nearly every aquatic environment on earth has some life…extremophiles abound, dealing with heat, pressure, and pH as needed to continue living in terrifically difficult conditions. I think that everyone believes that we’ll find evidence of life at some point.


The Matrix…

So…saw Matrix Revolutions yesterday, and I’m now amusing myself with attempting to figure out if it was either

A. Brilliant and well done, with a complex, coherent plot
B. Sophomorish and overblown, with intensional vagueness overlaying plot holes that one could drive a truck through.

I’d appreciate any thoughts on this from those that have seen it.

Also, since they set the whole Matrix up as a system of opposites/opposing forces, help me fill in some of the blanks here:

Neo = Smith
The Architect = The Oracle
Seraph = The Merovingian
Trinity = ?????
Morpheus = ???? (possibly both of them are opposite the “twins” from Reloaded)
The Source = ??????
Pati = ??????


Digital Culture Gaming Legal Issues Media

Penny arcade vs Strawberry Shortcake

Here we have a bizarre case. One of my favorite online comics, Penny Arcade, was served a cease and desist from American Greetings, the owners of the characters in the Strawberry Shortcake family of products most of us probably remember from our youth. The problem in question is this comic (also here as PNG), which parodies a game creator called America McGee, whose specialty is taking children’s stories (Alice in Wonderland, Oz) and taking them gothic. Clearly, American Greetings didn’t think it was funny.

Discussion on Slashdot.

Sad state of intellectual property in the US continues. PA can’t afford to fight this, so they just have to roll over.

Or, they make a strip like this.