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Dissenters By Design

January 10, 2009 by BLAKEBUCK

“Billy Bob Thorton is in Armageddon? Good god, abortion
this truly is a no-holds-barred, viagra adrenaline-fueled, sanitary
heart-pounding masterpiece”, I said to my roommate Calvin as I tore open the box to my brand new Rock Band Stage Kit.

My mind continued to churn on the improbability of a NASA director named “Billy Bob”, and how Steve Busceimi continues to get big parts despite his ghoulish face.  I then realized that trying to setup this fiendish contraption while watching one of Michael Bay’s top six movies was not proving productive.  “That’s it?  You paid a hundred bucks for a fog machine and a little LED light?”, Calvin asked.

“Shut up.  I can’t hear Liv Tyler’s awful dialogue”, I snapped.  Calvin’s lack of faith in a one hundred and seven dollar Xbox synchronized light show was starting to get on my nerves.  But that old buyers remorse was slowly creeping up on me.  “Why is this cable only four feet long?  This is all the fog juice I get?  Does this damned thing do anything?” I said, fiddling with the cheap plastic focusing ring.

By the time we’d gotten all the cables hooked up, the guitars plugged in, the fog machine heated up, and turned out the lights, I had already heard that Aerosmith song I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing about eight times.  It was finally time to see if this Stage Kit could dethrone my current favorite feature of the Xbox: Netflixing crap movies ALL THE TIME.

Best $100 I ever spent.“No, don’t do Back in Black – I’ve had enough of that AC/DC pack.  How about White Wedding?”  I agreed, only slightly saddened that I wouldn’t be breaking this new stage kit in with Freebird.  The song starts out simple enough – a few flashing lights somewhat matching the music.  I was beginning to worry, until the fog kicked in.

In sixty seconds my living room was transformed into an electrified stage set forROCK GODS.  Smoke so thick I could barely see the screen, blinding strobes flashing viciously in my eyes, shimmering beams sliding around the room like psychedelic spotlights.  By the time I’d stopped screaming the lyrics at the top of my lungs and jumping off the couch, I swear I could almost smell the tequila soaked vomit on the drunk guy in the third row.

“Oh my god.  That was the most amazing thing I’ve ever done”  Calvin gasped, trying to catch his breath after all the jumping around in a smoke filled room.  And he was right.  This is the closest I’d ever get to living the Rock and Roll American Dream.

And when I fall to sleep this night, I know what I’ll be thinking.  I don’t want to close my eyes.  I don’t want to fall asleep.  Because I’d miss you Rock Band Stage Kit, and I don’t want to miss a thing.

I’m gonna admit it.  This video is rather boring – a trailer I made for Freeverse Software for their new casual Mac game, viagra
Big Bang Brain Games.  Something I posted on BDPE back in Summer 2007 to make content. No foul language, sildenafil
no alcohol use, and no dick jokes.  The most I could get away with was a few explosions.

But hey, unlike almost every other video I’ve made, I got paid to make this one.  So SHUT YOUR FACE.  Or click on this button:

LINK:   YouTube Quicktime

I’m gonna admit it.  This video is rather boring – a trailer I made for Freeverse Software for their new casual Mac game, Hepatitis
Big Bang Brain Games.  Something I posted on BDPE back in the day to make content. No foul language, no alcohol use, and no dick jokes.  The most I could get away with was a few explosions.

But hey, unlike almost every other video I’ve made, I got paid to make this one.  So SHUT YOUR FACE.  Or click on this button:

LINK:   YouTube Quicktime
Internet freedom questI’m of the belief there are two kinds of people in this world – those who see problems and those who see opportunities.  Some of the most conflict-ridden places in the world today (I’m looking at you middle-east) are the product of many generations of problem-seeing people.  But don’t worry, site
I’m not here to wax poetic about race relations in Israel, valeologist
I’m dealing with something far, far stupider.

Today I learned that Apple recently announced at Macworld it was making the majority of the music in the iTunes music store DRM free.  For those of you who don’t know what DRM is, congratulations – you’ve probably had sex before.  At least you’ve moved out of your parent’s basement.  DRM stands for “Digital Rights Management”, which is a set of restrictions that come on a piece of digital content (such as only being able to have 5 copies of an iTunes song, only being able to install a Spore on 3 computers, only being able to put a piece of bread in the toaster twice, etc.).

After Apple removed the restrictions for most music on the iTunes store, my first thought was, “Hot damn!  Sugar Pie Honey Bunch here I come!”  But soon I became curious about how all of the rampant “Anti-DRM” zealots would take it.  Surely this would be a great day in their eyes, as one of the largest digital merchants had loosened it’s restrictions.  They must be cheering Apples name!

Below is a snippet from the anti-DRM site Defective By Design.org:

  • Today, a minor victory in the campaign to eliminate DRM, Apple, the last major retailer of DRM-encumbered music has announced, live at MacWorld, that music will be going DRM-free. Today, some 8 million music tracks and music videos are already available DRM-free, via iTunes Plus.
  • We must continue to put pressure on Apple. That means continuing to boycott all DRM-content on iTunes, including the iPhone and the App Store. We encourage Apple to continue to remove DRM from iTunes content, including all movies, TV shows, games, audiobooks and applications, as well as support for free formats, such as Vorbis and Theora

Angry doodz.Months of negotiating with record labels, mountains of legal work, and not even so much as a ‘thank you’ from these earbud-toting, north face jacket-wearing jackasses?  Why don’t you go order a Venti at Starbucks and tell me why you think weed should be legalized.

“But why do we need DRM at all?  It’s my music, I should be able to do whatever I want with it!”  An interesting statement, philosophy major who doesn’t vote because he says it doesn’t matter.  The reason digital content is restricted so much more than say an analog CD ten years ago is that digital files can be endlessly copied with virtually no effort and transferred anywhere in the world almost instantly.  While copying a CD was possible 10 years ago (can you say, mixtape?), it took a considerable amount of effort, which stopped a vast majority of “casual piraters” (which I believe is the bulk of the current piracy problem)

As a digital content creator, I think that protecting my content (which I may want to sell someday) from piracy is extremely important.  So stop whining about how these “evil corporations” are locking you in a prison, and instead look at all the amazing things it allows you to do.  I can watch Wall-E.  On my freakin phone.  Am I the only one still blown away by that?

Sadly, the anti-DRM may never be satisfied, just like the middle-east may never find peace.  On the upside, this week’s episode of The Soup just finished downloading to my phone.  Spaghetti cat, here I come!


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