I wonder why soundcloud.com doesn’t allow artists to sell original music content there? iTunes is a pain in the ass for artists to get access to so soundcloud could be making lots of money from artists that don’t have record labels to get them access to the iTunes store. Apple has a more precarious platform than it realizes and by collecting customers in space the store doesn’t cover soundcloud could also set itself up for acquisition. It also surprises me that websites like bandcamp.com don’t expand into further band promo material.
Ballooning movie revenues are due to two things: vastly broadening overseas markets in Asia and Russia and Imax tickets which cost twice the price of regular movie tickets. (Cruise through the top grossing movies of 2013 on boxofficemojo.com, all of tops are imax and made more money overseas than in the US) It’s hard to do something equivalent to imax with music. FLAC files have a very limited audience because iTunes won’t play them and sound gear that is good enough to hear the quality difference is still too high end to be accessible to most consumers (perhaps intentionally but to those companies own detriment).
One good marketing move for artists to make more money is to bundle their music with higher priced goods. For instance, there’s a new album and it’s free if you get this shirt for $25. I’m not sure this would work but if bandcamp or soundcloud got on board with something like that I think they could double or triple revenues. If I were a rapper I would make a customized vapor pen line.
I’ve Got Whooping Cough. Thanks a Lot, Jenny McCarthy.
…..The problem is that it is not an individual choice; it is a choice that acutely affects the rest of us. Vaccinations work by creating something called herd immunity: When most of a population is immunized against a disease, it protects even those in it who are not vaccinated, either because they are pregnant or babies or old or sick. For herd immunity to work, 95 percent of the population needs to be immunized. But the anti-vaccinators have done a good job undermining it. In 2010, for example, only 91 percent of California kindergarteners were up to date on their shots. Unsurprisingly, California had a massive pertussis outbreak.
It would be an understatement to say that pertussis and other formerly conquered childhood diseases like measles and mumps are making a resurgence. Pertussis, specifically, has come roaring back. From 2011 to 2012, reported pertussis incidences rose more than threefold in 21 states. (And that’s just reported cases. Since we’re not primed to be on the look-out for it, many people may simply not realize they have it.) In 2012, the CDC said that the number of pertussis cases was higher than at any point in 50 years. That year, Washington state declared an epidemic; this year, Texas did, too. Washington, D.C. has also seen a dramatic increase. This fall, Cincinnati reporteda 283 percent increase in pertussis. It’s even gotten to the point that pertussis has become a minor celebrity cause: NASCAR hero Jeff Gordon and Sarah Michelle Gellarare now encouraging people to get vaccinated.
How responsible are these non-vaccinating parents for my pertussis? Very. A studyrecently published in the journal Pediatrics indicated that outbreaks of these antediluvian diseases clustered where parents filed non-medical exemptions—that is, where parents decided not to vaccinate their kids because of their personal beliefs. The study found that areas with high concentrations of conscientious objectors were 2.5 times more likely to have an outbreak of pertussis.
If Toyota wants the Prius to go big, they need to make one that Rappers will rap about. Unfortunately, I think that’s true of basically all products.
In other news, I am hopelessly enchanted with this Mike Will Made It song.
Sara Hussein, 32, says it’s time to claim the right to drive. ”Think back in history — Rosa Parks was the only person who sat down on the bus, wasn’t she? And then it started to happen gradually,” Hussein says. “It does have to start with the few brave people who are willing to risk whatever there is to risk.” Hussein’s mother, Aziza al-Yousef, who is in her 50s and teaches computer science at King Saud University, is a key organizer of the drive-in. Activists set Saturday as a date for a national road rally, but also encouraged women to just get behind the wheel any time.
::: Saudi Women Go For A Spin in Latest Challenge to Driving Ban :::
1. It fills me with happiness that Rosa Parks’ legacy is filtering out to defeat tyranny in countries far away. That is absolutely what I love to think about when I consider my country.
2. I’m reading this book Dirty Wars by Jeremy Scahill which is about “the deterioration of American legal standards and a profound concern about the effects of killing of thousands of people, many of them children and others who died for having the bad luck to be near a US target.” In all the ways that I am inspired by women in Saudi Arabia who have held the dreams of Rosa Parks in their hearts I am horrified by the way my government has routinely tortured people in Egypt. I do not like to think about that.
3. Back to the subject at hand, ceteris paribus women are actually much better drivers than men. The medical term for this is “testosterone poisoning” but here’s a more thorough explanation from esurance:
Gender and driving stats
Gender is one of many factors your insurer takes into account when calculating your premium. But why is it a factor? In addition to the fact that women drive less than men, accident and DUI statistics consistently reflect that male drivers, on the whole, take more driving risks than their female counterparts. And insurance companies price policies, in part, by predicting risk.
There are 3 main categories that suggest women are safer drivers than men: accidents, speeding, and DUI convictions.
Women are less likely than men to get into a car accident, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which means insurers are less likely to have to pay claims for their female customers. And because men are about 10 percent less likely to wear a seat belt, they arguably face a greater risk of serious injury that results in higher medical expenses.
Since driving records are a major pricing factor, a safe-driving history typically translates into lower rates (for both genders).
Speeding tickets by gender
Speeding tickets indicate risky driving and a higher possibility of causing accidents, so having several on your driving record can lead to higher premiums. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported that in fatal accidents, speeding was more likely to be a factor for men (24 percent) than for women (15 percent).
DUIs by gender
DUIs and other impaired driving convictions strongly affect your insurance premiums. The FBI reported that 716,398 men were arrested for DUIs compared to 221,778 women in 2010. California’s Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs estimated that premiums can increase by as much as $2,700 after a DUI conviction.
The type of car you drive also affects your car insurance rate, and men may be more likely to choose models that are pricier to insure. Insurers consider the safety ratings and claim history of the makes and models you drive, so the safer the car has been historically, the less you can expect to pay to insure it.
::: Women Pay Less For Insurance :::
I love the NPR Planet Money podcast. It’s amazing. I was listening to a fascinating episode from last year about a DEA project which set up a fake bank to monitor the flow of illegal money laundering around the world. It’s a great story. Truly a fascinating plan by brilliant people. The thing that’s strange about it is that at the end, they arrested over 100 people and not a single one of them was a ringleader. It’s crazy, this DEA agent admits that the whole brilliant project had almost no impact on the drug trade or laundering efforts. I was kind of blown away not just by the futility of the whole thing but by the utter lack of self awareness of said futility by the agents.
Speaking of which, the Silk Road is back up. Interesting comments by Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the following statement on the launch of the Silk Road 2.0:
“This new website – launched barely a month after Federal agents shut down the original Silk Road — underscores the inescapable reality that technology is dynamic and ever-evolving and that government policy needs to adapt accordingly. Rather than play ‘whack-a-mole’ with the latest website, currency, or other method criminals are using in an effort to evade the law, we need to develop thoughtful, nimble and sensible federal policies that protect the public without stifling innovation and economic growth. Our committee intends to have that conversation – among others – at our hearing this month on virtual currency.”
:::: official :::::
Here’s some music that’s been getting stuck in my head 190mb >>>>>>>>>
+ NSA Documents Decoded – This is an amazing piece of journalism by the Guardian. This is as if you are actually reading something in a browser instead of just words on a screen. Very cool. Also a good roundup of everything that’s happened with Snowden >>>>>>>>
+ UTA Flight 772 was a scheduled flight operating from Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo to Paris CDG airport in France. Mind Blown >>>>>>>>>
+ Stupid Hilarity Meme: Overly Suave IT Guy >>>>>>>>>
As per my rule, I’ve decided to start watching breaking bad now that it’s over and I can have closure without worrying about someone else’s schedule. As far as I can tell the whole show is a condemnation of the healthcare system in the United States.
This is a pretty good collection of breaking bad memes and art.
I added a new article to the “homepage” of recommended articles. >> The floating island >>>
AtlanticCities nailing the SF Housing Issue>>>
But the city did not allow its housing supply to keep up with demand. San Francisco was down-zoned (that is, the density of housing or permitted expansion of construction was reduced) to protect the “character” that people loved. It created the most byzantine planning process of any major city in the country. Many outspoken citizens did—and continue to do—everything possible to fight new high-density development or, as they saw it, protecting the city from undesirable change.
Unfortunately, it worked: the city was largely “protected” from change. But in so doing, we put out fire with gasoline. Over the past two decades, San Francisco has produced an average of 1,500 new housing units per year. Compare this with Seattle (another 19th century industrial city that now has a tech economy), which has produced about 3,000 units per year over the same time period (and remember it’s starting from a smaller overall population base). While Seattle decided to embrace infill development as a way to save open space at the edge of its region and put more people in neighborhoods where they could walk, San Francisco decided to push regional population growth somewhere else.
Railing against Google buses, fancy restaurants or new condos—the visible signs of gentrification—will do nothing to stop San Francisco from becoming more expensive. These are not causes of the rising rents; they are symptoms. The root cause is that many people have chosen to live in San Francisco, and we are now all competing with one another to bid up the rents. As long as this remains a desirable place to live in a region that is producing a lot of jobs — while at the same time we fail to produce enough housing to accommodate the demand — then housing prices will continue to rise.
Always keep an eye on your stuff and never leave it behind at a stage. Just because you’re at a festy, that doesn’t mean human nature will change. Also, when leaving the stage, get in the habit of picking up at least 1 piece of trash on your way out. Furthermore, if you kick/step on a piece of trash, pick that up also. Leave no trace does not mean leave it up to the cleaning crew. We all need to do our part.
I got this from facebook somewhere. I think it was on a thread where this insane woman was complaining about the music going all night at symbiosis gathering. Symbiosis was one of the better parties I’ve been to in the last couple years. It was even written up in rolling stone >>>>.
I think everyone who is paying attention knows about the Silk Road bust already. Ars Technica has the best coverage of the event that I’ve seen. This article is really worth reading >>>>>
+ My opinion is that given a choice between a drug market marked by violence and mayhem vs a drug market that has almost no violence at all, the FBI should have arrested DPR on murder charges and chosen to leave Silk Road operational. It is worth noting that the third choice, no drug market doesn’t exist and is not a choice. So to me, the choice with fewer dead people seems like a no brainer. I value human life more than the arbitrary moral judgement that someone choosing to alter their own brain chemistry is somehow inherently a crime. Most people agree and the laws are slowly changing.
+ I am tentatively dubious about the detective work used to catch Altoid (dpr’s alternative screenname). He used the screenname altoid on a website called stack overflow and then used his real email address (rossulrich@gmail) before quickly changing it to something else. This was something like three years ago. The FBI says it subpoenaed stackoverflow and they presented the records. So there are two possibilities here:
1. Stackoverflow structures it’s database so that they keep every email forever. If you enter one email and then change it, that email is kept in another area. This is not unlikely!
2. It strikes me that email fields in databases are just written over when they are changed. I’m certainly not a database engineer. Especially not a database engineer at a website devoted to programming. However, the NSA is purportedly caching everything that happens on the internet, sharing that information illegally with other police organizations and then coaching them on how to lie about it. It just seem that could be a possibility is all. Now, on the other hand, working and responsive emails are very, very valuable. It could make sense to save them. Also, it seems like the people at stack overflow would probably say something if they thought the FBI was lying about the case. Or maybe not, if they were under legal threats of some sort. Say national security letters or something of the like. I’d say that option one is most likely the case. However, two is not unreasonable. It disappoints me that it’s even a remote possibility
IN OTHER DRUG NEWS >>>
Even with a new batch of purported cases of Krokodil being used in the U.S., federal authorities say they are skeptical that the nightmare drug that originated in Russia has reached American soil.
Fears that the drug — which is made by cooking codeine with various toxic chemicals, including lighter fluid, gasoline and industrial cleaners — could make its way to the United States have mounted since 2011, when a Drug Enforcement Administration official told FoxNews.com it was on the agency’s radar overseas. But even with a Joliet, Ill., drug treatment physician going public this week with word that he’s seen as many as four users of the drug, the DEA is not ready to recognize it as an immediate threat.
“We, the DEA, are not seeing cases of it,” agency spokeswoman Dawn Dearden told FoxNews.com. “Nothing’s been turned into any of our labs. As far as the DEA is concerned, we have not seen any cases.”
::: DEA dubious :::
I basically lean toward full drug legalization even for horrible, horrible drugs that people shouldn’t do like crack and heroin. Practically speaking, I don’t think anyone would do Krokodil if they could just get pure, consistent heroin cheaply and easily. More importantly, the evidence indicates that fewer people would do heroin if treatment programs were accessible. Prison is obviously not the place to cure someone of any drug addiction.
There is a word I’m having trouble thinking of which is specifically for the kind of people who stubbornly keep believing things after ample evidence emerges to indicate their belief is false. What’s the word? It’s kind of like when someone spends years making decisions on an ideological basis that is consistently undermined by clearly visible data, so much data that someone finally wins a nobel prize for disproving it? fuck, I just can’t think of that word. Anyway, I can think of a couple words to describe efficient market hypothesis: fucking wack.