Study: P2P effect on legal music sales “not statistically distinguishable from zero”

Little of my day is spent watching TV or even reading online now because of the obscene amounts of time I spend without an internet connection. But when I do manage a few minutes of spare time and a WIFI connection, my Google homepage is customized with all kinds of RSS feeds. When I got to my homepage, this JUMPED out at me from Slashdot. Having watched the RIAA cry for many years now and try and convict everyone from an 80 y/o grandfather to a 9 y/o girl, I wonder what their motivation truly is. What is the possibility that this could finally open the RIAA’s beady little eyes (with green dollar signs) to the fact that the reason their cd’s aren’t selling/shipping is cause they put out crap?

Things I learned in the Stranger today

Today’s Slog was rather ripe with notable stories, and even though very few of them dealt with the whole supposed plot to blow up airplanes with Gatorade and iPods.

  • About half of Americans think that American Muslims aren’t loyal to the US, and almost 40% think they should have to carry special ID. (maybe like wearing some kind of symbol to identify themselves?)
  • Five years is too long for Americans to remember major events like September 11. No wonder Georgie-Boy’s handlers figure no one will remember that they made up the reasons for invading Iraq. Entertaining:
  • This guy is challenging Maria Cantwell in the democratic primary. My personal favorite of his platforms: “Promote the involvement of for-profit companies such as Boeing and also Washingtonians in the coming, amazing colonization of orbital space (the high frontier), which begins not far above us, but very far away from the minds of many people.”
  • A vote for Darcy Burner is apparently a vote to open up the gates of hell!
  • Kurt Cobain’s kid kinda looks like Drew Barrymore. 
  • It’s Hammertime. Again. 

Whatcha gonna do with all that rant?

So, Hua Hsu over at Slate thinks that the Black-Eyed Peas song “My Humps” is objectively horrible. Not just awesomely bad (which, I guess, is intended to mean that it’s so bad it’s good, just bad. As in stupid. As in the kind of thing that makes you want to turn the radio off. So, for comparison, like that “My Heart Will Go On” song from Titanic.

At least, that’s how I have to interpret this rant against what is, really, a very catchy and fun tune. One that I kinda bought the album for, so I could roll down the windows, turn up the volume, and make the commute over 520 at least mildly entertaining on a summer evening.


I drive these brothers crazy,
I do it on the daily,
They treat me really nicely,
They buy me all these icies.
Dolce & Gabbana,
Fendi and NaDonna
Karan, they be sharin’
All their money got me wearin’ fly
But I ain’t askin,
They say they love my ass ‘n,
Seven Jeans, True Religion’s,
I say no, but they keep givin’
So I keep on takin’
And no I ain’t taken
We can keep on datin’
I keep on demonstrating.

Seriously, what girl wouldn’t love singing that. It’s catchy, and, not unlike wearing stilletos and red lipstick is a nice little opportunity to revel in the power of feminine wiles. Because, hell ya, I wanna drive these brothers wild.

Now, how can you possible say a song as fun as that (with a good ass-shaking rhythm, I should add) is bad? Certainly how can you say it’s even in a class of badness anywhere approaching:

Love was when I loved you
One true time I hold to
In my life we’ll always go on

Near, far, wherever you are
I believe that the heart does go on
Once more you open the door
And you’re here in my heart
And my heart will go on and on

There is some love that will not
go away

You’re here, there’s nothing I fear,
And I know that my heart will go on
We’ll stay forever this way
You are safe in my heart
And my heart will go on and on

Or, for that matter:

Check it huh
Let’s talk about one, baby
Ya gotta hear me out
Do you really want to be the last to know
What it’s all about
Let’s talk about who you say
Is the essence of your life
But he’ll eat you up from inside slow
And then he doesn’t wanna know
I’m tellin you he’ll eat you up from inside
And then he doesn’t wanna know

That’s bad song writing. But

I met a girl down at the disco
She said hey hey hey yeah lets go
I can be ya baby, you could be my honey
Lets spend time not money
And mix your milk with my cocoa puff
milky milky cocoa
mix your milk with my cocoa puff
Milky milky

is funny. And danceable.

I bet you Hua Hsu doesn’t even like the Beastie Boys. I can imagine him complaining about the song “Girls!” being offensive and stupid, rather that the sort of thing you turn way up, roll down the windows, and sing at the top of your lungs:

Girls – to do the dishes
Girls – to clean up my room
Girls – to do the laundry
Girls – and in the bathroom
Girls – that’s all I really want is girls
Two at a time – I want girls
With new wave hairdos – I want girls
I ought to whip out my – girls, girls, girls, girls,girls,
girls, girls, girls,

Nola spirits spook soldiers

The SF CBS affiliate hasa very interesting video of California National Guard soldiers telling tales of ghostly apparitions in a school they have commandeered as a base of operations. It’s kind of cool. Unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of talk of Bibles found mysteriously open to Revelations 11, which speaks of a city destroyed and its dead left in the streets. Reading the chapter, it doesn’t really sound as appropriate as the soundbite suggests. What’s not cool is the unidentified soldier wandering around the school with a cross trying to exorcise it and talking about how “this is a dark place and the military is bringing light.” Onward Christian Soldiers I suppose, but it’s a creepy ending to an otherwise interesting segment.

“Oil Storm”

Fiction? Must be, because the plot of this “hurricane hits oil field” drama features a US administration that does something right. The rest of the plot? We may soon be watching it in real-time if Katrina has really hit Port Fourchon as hard as it looks like she has.

And by the way– if this hurricane does lead to a crisis that prompted the US to use less oil, I will definitely start praying to Gaia.

Keilor on loving radio

His Confessions of a Listener is a great read, funny as hell, with some serious observation mixed in:

The reason you find an army of right-wingers ratcheting on the radio and so few liberals is simple: Republicans are in need of affirmation, they don’t feel comfortable in America and they crave listening to people who think like them. Liberals actually enjoy living in a free society; tuning in to hear an echo is not our idea of a good time. I go to church on Sunday morning to be among the like-minded, and we all say the Nicene Creed together and assume nobody has his fingers crossed, but when it comes to radio, I prefer oddity and crankiness. I don’t need someone to tell me that George W. Bush is a deceitful, corrupt, clever and destructive man–that’s pretty clear on the face of it. What I want is to be surprised and delighted and moved. Here at the low end of the FM dial is a show in which three college boys are sitting in a studio, whooping and laughing, sneering at singer-songwriters they despise, playing Eminem and a bunch of bands I’ve never heard of, and they’re having so much fun they achieve weightlessness–utter unself-consciousness–and then one of them tosses out the f-word and suddenly they get scared, wondering if anybody heard. Wonderful.

The Guardian Digital Edition

First off, in the most important news of the day from London, David arrived there last night on the first leg of his marathon European business trip. He is tired, but otherwise well. Only eight more days.

While he’s there, he will no doubt enjoy the services of newsmedia that don’t suck ass. Especially the Guardian, which we adore. For those of us trapped over here, the The Guardian Digital Edition might just tide us over. It’s being marketed as a “mash-up” of print and web. Maybe. But it does offer the serendipity of browsing a print paper alond with the convenience of digital.

The Smarter They Get, The Dumber They Are

I have a message to “online marketing specialists,” just because the media that you are dealing with is different from traditional outlets doesn’t mean that human beings aren’t still human beings. This MediaPost editorial (free registration required) expressing surprise at the results of out-of-context placements is simply ridiculous.

Serving an ad in an editorial environment with NO relationship to the product may seem counterintuitive, but it is becoming hard to ignore. Case studies too numerous to count are showing surprising results from the targeted delivery of “out-of-context”online ads – delivering ads to qualified consumers within content areas that are “out-of-context” for the offer. For example, serving automobile ads to “auto buyers” in a site’s sports section, rather than in auto content. Quite frequently, the out-of-context ads will outperform those that are delivered in-context, sometimes dramatically so.

Imagine selling people cars within sports content – newspapers and TV have been doing it for years so why is this somehow amazing and unexpected? It’s called mass marketing and assumes that people with an interest in one thing are likely to have an interest in others – straight-forward demographics, people!

Whatever the reason, as more research and more case studies are developed in this area, this phenomenon could have a very significant impact on the online ad industry.

Marketing is a statistician’s wet dream and the levels of minutiae available for measurement and study online are close to infinite (depending on how much programming you want to do). But in marketing it always comes down to two things: the creative and the offer. Placement is really secondary because as we have seen if the creative and offer are strong enough your market will go viral in an Internet heartbeat. So measure that, stick it in your pipe and smoke it!

That’s it– I’m done with the NYT

No, not their acquiesence to the Bush war machine. Or Jody Wilgoren’s ridiculous focus on the shocking fact that Kerry is a rich man. No, this article on the trials and tribulations of the “man date” has finally made me ask this question: who the hell edits this paper, and why are they trapped in a 1962 mindset?

Seriously, read these quotes that read like something out of the Wayback Machine:

The delicate posturing began with the phone call.

The proposal was that two buddies back in New York City for a holiday break in December meet to visit the Museum of Modern Art after its major renovation.

“He explicitly said, ‘I know this is kind of weird, but we should probably go,’ ” said Matthew Speiser, 25, recalling his conversation with John Putman, 28, a former classmate from Williams College.

The weirdness was apparent once they reached the museum, where they semi-avoided each other as they made their way through the galleries and eschewed any public displays of connoisseurship. “We definitely went out of our way to look at things separately,” recalled Mr. Speiser, who has had art-history classes in his time.

“We shuffled. We probably both pretended to know less about the art than we did.”

Eager to cut the tension following what they perceived to be a slightly unmanly excursion – two guys looking at art together – they headed directly to a bar. “We couldn’t stop talking about the fact that it was ridiculous we had spent the whole day together one on one,” said Mr. Speiser, who is straight, as is Mr. Putman. “We were purging ourselves of insecurity.”

Well thank goodness nobody thought they were gay! In a small town like Manhattan, that kind of salacious gossip can travel fast– especially through the tight-knit Williams alumni community, which apparently loves to twitter about men who are “that way.”

But it gets worse:

Other men say dinners may be all right, but never brunch, although a post-hangover meal taking place during brunch hours is O.K. “The company at that point is purely secondary,” explained Steven Carlson, 29, a public relations executive in Chicago.

Almost all men agree that beer and hard alcohol are acceptable man date beverages, but wine is risky. And sharing a bottle is out of the question. “If a guy wants to get a glass of wine, that’s O.K.,” said Rob Discher, 24, who moved to Washington from Dallas and has dinner regularly with his male roommate. “But there is something kind of odd about splitting a bottle of wine with a guy.”

Other restaurant red flags include coat checks, busboys who ask, “Still or sparkling?” and candles, unless there is a power failure. All of those are fine, however, at a steakhouse. “Your one go-to is if you go and get some kind of meat product,” explained James Halow, 28, who works for a leveraged buyout firm in San Francisco.

Cooking for a friend at home violates the man date comfort zone for almost everyone, with a possible exemption for grilling or deep-frying. “The grilling thing would take away the majority of the stigma because there is a masculine overtone to the grill,” Mr. Discher said.

I would have expected to read this in the Onion, but it’s presented as valuable lifestyle reporting. Even if this is tongue-in-cheek, which it reads a little too seriously to be, it’s so idiotic I can hardly stand it. What about the straight male friends whose “rep” I must have destroyed by going to dinner with them? Is it possible there are any men out there just don’t give a flying fuck what other people think when they go out to dinner, drinks or even brunch? Jennifer 8. Lee (yes, that’s her byline!) doesn’t seem to know or care.

You should really read The Major Fall The Minor Lift, whose post was titled ALSO, If Drinking Wine With Another Guy Makes You Gay Then We’ve Got About Eight Different Cocks In Our Ass Right Now. How true. He also lists the other stories the beNYTed paper of record will be covering soon, like “Where There’s a Will, There’s a Grace” and “The Peculiar Incident of the Visit From Aunt Flo.”


Those guys who don’t care? Some of them are over at Lawyers Guns and Money. I love those guys… but not, you know, that way. Should we invite them over to brunch?