Chickens and Eggs — I Love ‘Em Both

Katherine Coble on Ron Paul’s campaign:

 I would simply say that it was the growing respect for limited government in advance of Dr. Paul’s candidacy which has bouyed him so long. In short, he’s not the father of the movement. Our movement is the father of his candidacy.

Your Computer Will Get Thinner–Guaranteed

I’ve been saying for quite a while, at least 5 years, that we aren’t far away from a time when your desktop computer will be little more than a browser, with all of your applications and data stored server side–somewhere out there.  The day may be closer than you think according to the Wall Street Journal.

Google is preparing a service that would let users store on its computers essentially all of the files they might keep on their personal-computer hard drives — such as word-processing documents, digital music, video clips and images, say people familiar with the matter. The service could let users access their files via the Internet from different computers and mobile devices when they sign on with a password, and share them online with friends. It could be released as early as a few months from now, one of the people said.

I think this is a good and bad thing.  Good because it will open up the ability to store and share information between individuals.  Bad in that Google is the entity doing it.  As far as I can imagine, no competitor has both the resources and the power to do it.  Microsoft?  Maybe, but they are going in so many directions and have their fingerss in a lot of pies.  Google is web focused.

Amazon’s Kindle — I Don’t Get It (Yet)

Amazon launched its new ebook reader this week, and while I can definitely see the value in owning one, I think I have to pass for now.  The big obstacle for me?  The price.

$400 is pretty expensive, even though the gadget is cool.  Amazon is footing the bill for their reader’s connectivity to the Amazon ebookstore, which is nice, but they are still charging for the books.  I would be much more likely to buy one of these if it came with some free downloads, at least 15 or 20.  Seth Godin wanted to give his books away with each reader, but Amazon balked at the idea.  For me, that could have been the justification I was looking for.

I’m still tempted, because something like this is perfect for me.  I’m always reading 4 or 5 different books at the same time, and it would be great to be able to take them all with me on one little device.  This one is billed as being able to hold 200 titles.  Also, it would be great to use when traveling for the holidays.  Nice features like reading blogs through RSS and a built in music player make it a little harder to resist.

I’ll probably end up waiting for the third generation of these things before I commit to buying one.  I’ve already been burned by first generation mp3 players and digital cameras.  The price will drop and the products will get better.  I’d also like to hold one in my hands befre I throw down the money.  Still, a really cool idea, and this is the direction everything is going anyway.

Check Out the Tom Petty Movie

I Tivo’d Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin’ Down a Dream Thursday, I’m about halfway through it (it’s four hours long). This is without a doubt the best music documentary I’ve ever seen. Imagine Motley Crue Behind the Music without all of the crap about drugs and chicks. This documentary is about guys making good music.

You know they have a lot of good songs, but you don’t realize how many and how great until they are all thrown at you at once. There are a few other singers/bands I’d like to see documented in this format for that same reason–Mellencamp, Springsteen, Fogerty, Prince, Stevie Wonder, U2…

Young MC, Quiet Riot, and Winger almost made the list too.

Movies, Music, and Newspapers

This post by Jack Lail made me revisit a thought that has been rolling around in my empty skull off and on for a while now.

Truth be told, the history of newspapers on the Internet is littered with missed opportunities, wrong turns, and a lack of investment that all seemed smart (or at least prudent) at the time because of the industry’s strong herd instincts.

As an outsider, it seems to me these three industries are facing the same basic challenge. They are industries that completely rely on talent to exist, but whose current business model is centered around delivery, not the talent itself.

People are going to find good music to listen to, good stuff to watch, and good writing to read, and in an open market, the cream will rise to the top. The reality of the situation is that musicians, writers, and actors/directors no longer need the old media structure to be found, all they need is to have talent.

For now, old media has the market on talent cornered for the most part, but they’d better quickly find a way to monetize or they’ll be history.

I Were Wondering the Same Thing

I came across this Mother Tongue Annoyances post by way of Kat Coble at Music City Bloggers. I’m taking a big risk linking to this blog, fearing that Tim W. may visit here and rip a new grammar hole in me.

Ach! This usage of was grates me so intensely because in my opinion it makes the speaker sound so powerfully ignorant. Not necessarily “low-range IQ” ignorant, but “blissfully unaware of the standard rules of English grammar” ignorant. We must recall that the adjective ignorant derives etymologically from the Latin ignorantia (“Not aware”).

This is one RSS feed to which I’m sure I’ll be subscribed for a while. I haven’t had a chance to dig through the archives to see if he’s already written an article on “people who try to look smart but really show how ignorant they are when they use ‘I’ instead of ‘me’ as the subject of a verb”. You’ve seen and heard it many times I’m sure…

“Tim gave a grammar lesson to Chris and I.”

Hopefully, he’s already addressed conjucating “be” as well.

America’s Next Top Televangelist

Why doesn’t this reality show exist?

It would be perfect for CBS Sunday nights, right after 60 Minutes. Of course, you’d have to wait until football season is over.

Let the competitors give both prepared and spontaneous sermons on a variety of subjects. Instead of competing for dollars, they could compete for souls.

Seriously, why wouldn’t this work?

I’ve got dibs on the idea. (as far as I know)

Student Loans–Education by Doctor Evil

Student loans–yet another thing I’m against. I’m not against the fact that they exist, mind you, I just don’t think think they are a good idea for me or my posterity. You can do what you want, but Katherine Coble and several other people agree with me.

I still think that the student loans I took out were some of the biggest financial mistakes of my life.

And from the comments, Jim Voorhies adds this.

Being able to do what you love is the goal all of us should have. Knowing what that was at a time early enough in life to be able to mesh it with your degree is remarkable.

It’s totally contrary to the norm, but I think many 18 year olds would be a lot better off if they didn’t go to college right away. They’d be better off getting a job doing something, getting their partying out of the way, learning what it means to have real bills, saving some money (for school) and figuring out what they really want to do. It would have been good for me.

Maybe a good rule of thumb is to have two of these three things in place:
1) Absolutely sure of what you want to study
2) Can pay for it without loans
3) Have done enough real labor to know you don’t want to wash dishes for the rest of your life.

Free of DRM is Good Too

I’ve been talking about free here a lot over the past few days. Well, Amazon has launched an mp3 download site to compete with iTunes. Seems impossible, right? Not if you consider that Amazon’s downloads are DRM free. DRM is the code in songs downloaded through iTunes that allow you to only play the song through iTunes or on your iPod. Songs downloaded from Amazon can be played on any player.

I checked out their catalog last night, and it is pretty extensive. Not only that, but you can also download complete albums there at a discount, not to mention the fact that you don’t have to pay shipping and get the song immediately.

You’ll need to install Amazon’s download manager, but it’s quick and easy!

A Reg’lar Ol’ Nashvillian

GingerSnaps has a pretty interesting post over at MCB about the way famous people are treated in Nashville–basically just like everybody else. I grew up there, and I have to say it’s pretty true. Most people in Nashville just don’t care that much about seeing someone famous. It happens often enough that you become a little desensitized.

I think the only time I ever even acknowledged a famous person was the time I was waiting tables and Grandpa Jones came in. I’m a big Hee Haw fan, so I couldn’t resist saying, “Hey Grandpa, what’s for supper?!”

He didn’t get biscuits and gravy, just a Killian’s Red and some pizza.