29 January 2006

Sell indie music on iTunes

Hm...I believe I said something about this a few days ago, and Tunecore is a new site that hooks it up. You can distribute your music in iTunes and Rhapsody, with "many more coming soon!" You pay a one-time "delivery fee" of $0.99/service (i.e. iTunes Canada, Japan, U.K., Australia, or Rhapsody--iTunes U.S. is free) and then a storage fee of $7.98/year/album. You get paid per download, but there's a "legal issue" preventing them from listing how much you make--that's the one thing I'm not sure about. I'd want to at least have some idea of what I'd be making before I signed up (not that I have any music I need the world to hear, but you know...). You keep the rights to your songs, of course.
They also offer tools for creating album art, and are planning to offer merchandising options (i.e. t-shirt creation) in the near future. In short, they seem to do everything I've called for. The only question is how negotiable the contract is. Big artists, like the ones on MTV (/gag) will never have any reason to distribute music this way if they're making the same $/song as Cheese Head (R.I.P., no offense Michelle :)). Granted, they're likely to sell more if they're more popular, and should thus earn more money automatically, but at present there's too much greed in the industry for anyone to see that. In any case, check out the site if you're interested, because I'm sure I've left something out.
Oh, and though its mere presence on my blog implies this, I'll go ahead and say it: "I /certify the Awesomeness of this idea."

27 January 2006

More evidence for Turpin's Eighth Law of Awesome

The Eighth Law of Awesome states that when Lego and Star Wars are combined, in any medium, awesomeness will result. Previous examples of the 8th law are the Lego "Han Solo frozen in carbonite" model (see earlier post), the supremely cool game called, simply, "Lego Star Wars," and of course the dozens of Star Wars kits made by Lego. Here is yet another illustration.

26 January 2006

Country music sucks, but...

Ok, this isn't news at all, but it's new to me, and it illustrates a point I've been making for some time now. Garth Brooks signed an exclusive deal with Walmart to distribute his music. This means no RIAA involvement, because he has no contract with his old label. All artists should do this. Now, I don't expect Walmart, or any other major retail outlet, to be interested in exclusive deals with just any little garage band, but it shouldn't take much to get a deal with iTunes or Yahoo or somesuch. In fact, I think independent deals already exist with iTunes (someone who knows, leave me a comment).
Seriously, widespread distribution is the only function of a record label (that and stealing people's money) and that function is obsolete. I suppose they're also responsible for promoting bands, but the internet (myspace, etc.) makes that function obsolete, too. The RIAA knows this, and they're just trying to grab up as much as they can before artists figure it out, too. Unfortunately, our rights are getting jacked with in the meantime.
And you know, even if the recording industry had an actual purpose, which they don't, they'd still die because they're making the world HATE them. Google's mantra of "do no evil," for example, seems to be a much better business model than the **AA's "do excessive, government-sponsored evil." Heck, Google could be deceiving us all, gradually positioning themselves to take over the world while pacifying us with their nifty little innovations. At the very least, I know they're a company, which means they're only interested in consumer satisfaction insofar as it brings them profit, but hey, at least they pretend to not be jerks. The AA's won't even do that anymore.
Ok, rant over...for now...

14 January 2006

Star Wars fans are awesome

This is a near-life-size replica of Han Solo frozen in carbonite, which is cool by itself. But this one is made of Legos. 10,000 of them.

The guy who made it has made lots of other fun stuff, but my favorite (after the Solo model) is his Jedi Statue of Liberty. :)

Get on this before it gets shut down

If you can't use existing P2P networks for whatever reason (like if they're blocked or if you've given in to RIAA scare tactics), this is a good site. It's useful if you just want to sample an artist before you buy, because the bitrates are fairly low (radio-quality). It's pretty funny, too--most of the files you d/l are .rbs files (whatever the crap those are) and you have to change the extension to .mp3 to make them work. I assume it's their way of staying under the radar, for a while at least. Even so, I suspect it'll be shut down before too long.

13 January 2006

How silly

There's a site called FileSwap that lets you upload any file and then get a random file in return. It's kinda fun. I sent this:

And received this:
I suppose if I'd gotten porn or a virus or something, I wouldn't be promoting the site, but as long as no one's mean about it, it's a fun idea. And really, who's mean on the internet?

12 January 2006

Your mountain a splode

Here's a webcam of a volcano in Alaska that's about to erupt. When I checked it earlier today, there was nothing going on. Now there's a lot of smoke, but I don't think it's really erupted yet. I find it pretty cool, since I'm not likely to be present for a live viewing of an erupting volcano any time soon.

Also, I just finished my first day of classes. I'm taking Literary Criticism, which looks like it'll be a better class than I was expecting, and History of the English Language, which I'm very much looking forward to. Tomorrow is the Hebrew Bible, taught by the Behlman Factor, which I'm also looking forward to. So now you know.

11 January 2006

Sam & Max live!

[I hope many people read this, but let's be honest: this post is basically for Aaron and the Lt.]
Old news, but new to me as of two days ago. After having Sam & Max, Freelance Police cancelled by LucasArts, we all assumed the situation was hopeless, that LA would just sit on the rights and we'd never see another Sam & Max game. Fortunately (I hope) an independent company called Telltale Games has acquired the rights, and will be working with Steve Purcell on some new releases. I don't know how good a company Telltale is (they've only made two other, mediocre-looking games) but as long as Purcell does the writing, it doesn't really matter-- the humor is the real draw of the series, anyway. They'll be releasing episodes, rather than a whole game at once, which, if you ask me, is a pretty spiffy idea. If other companies would release episodic games, it could be a great method for reviving the adventure gaming genre (as long as each episode is <$5 a pop).
No word on release date yet, but there will be some kind of dog and rabbity-thing action coming out this year.

The future is now-ish

I mean, we now have quantum microchips, so we must be getting close to the Big F (*whispers* the F stands for 'future'). Seriously, this is very cool. They can change the quantum state of an ion by changing the spin of its free electron. The reason it kicks binary in the teeth is that while up-spin = 1 and down-spin = 0, it can also exist in both states at once, making it wicked fast. The article says that these new chips will be "more efficient at rock-solid cryptography and mass database searches", and that they're not likely to be used in personal computing. That = silly. For some reason, no one sees beyond the immediate applications of their inventions. I doubt the people making ENIAC thought I'd be playing GTA: San Andreas on a descendant of their giant machine, but that is what I'm about to do.

05 January 2006

If only I had $90k...

I saw this on the Science Channel last night. It's called Fogscreen, and it's basically exactly what it sounds like--a screen of fog that you can use with any projector. The water droplets are so small, though, that you don't get wet. The resolution isn't great, of course, but I imagine we'll be seeing these things in places like Colorado Mills pretty soon. I mean, it's a billboard you can walk through, and that = cool. But the best part is that it's also a touchscreen--lasers scan the fog and detect when it's broken, so you can draw on it, and even run compy programs if you don't mind the resolution. It's extremely cool, but very expensive. Anyway, check out the videos.

02 January 2006

Holiday pics

Rather than post a few pics here, I just decided to put a flickr badge on my sidebar (----->). Check it out.