News Analyses and Other Fun Stuff

First this article from the BBC news site. It’s about Google’s efforts to scan every book and make it available (in limited parts) on their search engine. Lots of people are pissed off. Google started doing it for works out of copyright and nobody really objected, and nobody should. That’s public domain. Then they decided they’d do it on out-of-print books that still had valid copyright. This affected me personally, but more on that later. There was a class action lawsuit which, oddly, was settled and gave people affected a chance to opt out (I did). What’s the big deal? Let me put it in a way you can understand. Let’s say your boy/girlfriend takes naked pictures of you. Now, they post them online saying “you never said I couldn’t” — that is a negative option choice and those are always, without exception, bad. Sort of like those sweepstakes where if you don’t check the little hidden box, they sell your name to everyone. The bottom line is Google was out of line and a lot of people are mightily pissed. The worrisome part is Google doesn’t understand why people are mad. From my perspective, I wrote The Gem of Zephyrr, and I still own the copyright* so what gives Google the right to distribute my work without my permission.

The next article, also from BBC, is of interest to my aviation buddies. As you know, I’m a fan of Boeing and a huge critic of Airbus. For years Boeing has complained the marketplace competition is unfair and that EU governments (mostly France) are illegally using public money to help subsidise a private company. This isn’t like our current “stimulus” (don’t start me) packages given to the car dealers. This is more like “hey, here’s $50 million go and lower your prices and steal orders from Boeing” — in our country that’s illegal. The EU actually ruled in Boeing’s favour. There’s a counterclaim from Airbus against Boeing that, from my understanding, mostly affects sales of freighters and military aircraft. Knowing the military, I suppose anything’s possible, but I am glad that the EU ruled properly on this. Airbus has a horrific safety record. Skip everything else: deaths per passenger mile and number of crashes per planes produced. Look at those numbers. I tried to find the article from a few years back on this (before all those A320/A330 crashed) but couldn’t. I’ll post a URL if I find it.

Now on to Johnny B’s blog which has this post: “make a list of 50 bands or artists I’ve seen live. The instructions are simple. You have to do it from memory, ordering them as they pop into your head. Some of the fun of this is seeing the random list.” I haven’t seen 50 bands live, I don’t think, but here we go. As soon as I click “post” I’ll remember more.

  1. Elton John
  2. Billy Joel
  3. Trans-Siberian Orchestra
  4. Tina Turner
  5. Red Priest
  6. Barry Manilow
  7. Otis Day & The Knights
  8. Los Lobos
  9. Simon & Garfunkel
  10. Neil Diamond
  11. Van Halen
  12. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
  13. Crosby. Stills. Nash (with and without Young)
  14. Neil Young **
  15. Eddie Vedder (with part of Pearl Jam) **
  16. Neil Young (with and without Crazy Horse) **
  17. Eddie Brickel & The New Bohemians **
  18. Bruce Springsteen (with and without the E-Street Band)
  19. Willie Nelson (with Waylon Jennings and Leon Redbone)
  20. Queen (w/ Paul Rodgers)
  21. Eagles
  22. Melissa Etheridge
  23. Joe Cocker
  24. Lionel Ritchie
  25. The Overtures
  26. Alexandra Burke
  27. U2
  28. James Taylor
  29. Jimmy Buffet
  30. Elvis Costello **
  31. Steve Miller **
  32. Sammy Hagar **
  33. Pearl Jam **
  34. Nonpoint
  35. John Charles
  36. Steve Winwood
  37. Paul McCartney
  38. Phil Collins
  39. Rolling Stones
  40. Rod Stewart
  41. Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band

(I am sad to report that many of my concert tickets are faded and illegible. Items 38+ were gleaned from my ticket stub collection that I could still read. Thermal Ticketbastard stock fades over time as I have learned to my great sorrow.)

My friend Jason emailed me in response to yesterday’s post and said: That’s all B.S.  I know, and more importantly YOU KNOW that the Apple I popped fully formed from the left topmost ribs of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak and that Al Gore invented the internet as we know it today. 😉

He adds also anyway you entirely left off the whole story of the extreme importance of the Sunset High Computer Club, Mr. Vila, and the Atari 800. Does anyone really want to hear this?

Erin also corrects my previous post when I said the Internet was born in 1989. It was conceived of in 1989 but born in 1990. Her words: The web did not appear until December 1990, and that was only in its most rudimentary form. Tim Berners-Lee wrote a proposal to create what became the web in March 1989, but it was shelved by CERN. He presented it again in May 1990 and was granted approval to work on it.

Tomorrow I am going to BMW to fight with the shits at South Motors who didn’t fix half the crap they were supposed to fix. Do not buy a BMW and if you must don’t buy it at South Motors. They just don’t care about their customers.

* You can read it for free on my website but it’s very meh and not my best writing.

** Parts of the Bridge School concerts — I went to 4 and 6

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