EMI takes locks off music tracks

EMI is taking security locks off downloaded songs. Some may scream “at last!” and I’d be among them if it wasn’t for one thing: why do these tracks cost more than the normal versions? Their argument is that they’re more portable and that they’re higher quality.

Fact is, if I pay for a track I expect it to be portable. I expect to be able to listen to it on my PC, my laptop, my MP3 player, my car stereo, my home stereo and to be able to take it to a friend’s house. Why should I be charged extra for this privilege.

As for higher quality… most MP3s I’ve seen for download seem to be 192Kbps which is more than needed. I always resample mine down to 128Kbps which (I think?) is CD quality. Regardless, with the equipment I’ve got I can’t hear any difference between 192 and 128 – just that the latter is around 25-33% smaller in filesize. I’m certain that upping the download “quality” to 256Kbps or higher will be even less useful to the average punter. They’ll only end up downloading a larger file which sounds the same as on half it’s size!

“We are adding another product, priced higher, with more features, higher sound quality and hassle free interoperability.”

Horse shit. It’s the same product, priced higher, with no more “features” (What the fuck? Features?), the same sound quality as far as the human ear is concerned and “hassle free interoperability” that we’ve had from tapes, LPs and CDs for decades. So, by my reckoning, to all intents and purposes it’s actually just “the same product, priced higher”.

Yet another case of a record company trying to sound magnanimous about making more money from us by attempting to give us something we should get for our money anyway. Stinks of the hoo-hah over legally downloadable films… another laughable attempt to keep up with technology.

Byeeeee (again)

GMM 10th Anniversary Ticket
GMM 10th Anniversary Ticket

Well, folks, this is your lot for a few days. Tomorrow morning, I drive down to Dawn’s and we panic trying to figure out how to split no more than 30kg of camping equipment and strong alcohol between us (silly Ryanair luggage limits). Then, off to Belgium via Holland.

I’ll try to convince her that it’s important I get back in one piece. Mainly because I’ll be the one driving us home from the airport. I’ve been checking the insurance policy and it excludes “claims arising from any activity which requires a degree of skill or involves a greater risk”. Does this include moshing? If anyone asks, I fell down some stairs…

Coursework 1 is almost done. Work’s dead today, so I’ve been pulling together most of the stuff I have to do and, when it’s all in one place, it’s not that much. I’ll panic over the maths when I return.

Gym at 12:00, lunch straight after, head for site at 1:30 and – if I’m lucky – home a little early depending on how things go there. Holiday is so close!

Before any of you ask, no you can’t have a postcard. 1) I’ll be on a campsite. 2) the last time I was on hols and sent postcards, two out of the 18 I posted actually arrived. You can, however, sit in your offices and homes and wish you were there with me. That is allowed.

Clippings

Don’t you hate it when you’ve just clipped your fingernails, they’re all lovely and neat… and then you realise you can’t reach that huge crusty snotter right at the back of your nose? Your finger just seems to glide over the top, pushing it deeper and liquefying is so it either goes down the back way or mushes up and makes a mess of your hanky.

Just me, eh?

Leave them alone!!!

There’s a story on BBC News today about a former prostitute being stripped of her earnings. Now, don’t get me wrong – I’ve never used a prostitute, nor do I think I ever will.

However, why on earth can’t they do their job and be left in peace? This girl came over here as a kid, set herself up and bought a flat with nearly a £500,000 deposit. In cash. She went on to set up “escort” services employing at least 45 other women at one time. They reckon she’s got upwards of £1.2 million stashed away that they’re going to try and get back.

Now… why? My only quibble (assuming the girls themselves made a decent living and were safe) is that she might not have paid tax. Thing is, if she did they’d be asking where she got the money from.

Will someone explain why prostitution is such a difficult job to have? As far as I’m aware, being a prostitute in and of itself is not illegal. It’s a woman’s right to do what she wants with her body, and if a man (or another woman) wants to pay to make use of those services then so what?

The thing is, everything surrounding prostitution is illegal. Kerb crawling. Soliciting (i.e. advertising). Living off immoral earnings (so if you’re out of work and your partner earns a living on her back, you can’t live off them or you are in trouble). Running a brothel.

The last one’s ludicrous. A “brothel” is described as any premises where more than one prostitute works. Prostitution is not a safe job, and this stupid rule prevents “safety in numbers”.

When the hell will the UK wake up and realise that a legalised, taxed and certified prostitution business (like that in some continental countries) will reduce drug problems, STDs, violence towards women and have the added bonus of bringing in some income to the treasury and reducing the load on our police and courts?

Bollocks to it. I’m off somewhere foreign. If only for a few days.

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Sorry for the delay…

GWAR!
GWAR!

It’s raining blood, hallelujah…

First of all, let me try and knacker Google: GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAR! GWAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRR!

Thank you.

I have been splattered by the Scumdogs of the Universe. I got home in the early hours of Wednesday morning, soaked to the skin. My clothes, skin and hair coated in blood, mucus, baby vomit, space alien jizz, hydraulic fluid… And with a big smile on my face. Everyone must know about Alice Cooper‘s legendary live show. And many will be aware of Ozzy’s habit of spraying the crowd with water. OK, now imagine some kind of hybrid.

The songs are instantly forgettable. I won’t be rushing out to buy an album. However, the stage show is amazing. It must cost a fortune to set up, and the tickets were less than a tenner. I’ll need to dig out the old one from the last time they toured (13 years ago!) and see how the prices compare.

In last night’s show, we all got to see:

  • Some nameless guy getting beheaded and covering the audience in blood
  • Arnie having his chest ripped open and covering the audience in blood
  • Saddam Hussain having his chest sliced off with a hige sword and his head ripped off. Squirt, squirt
  • Paris Hilton, nailed to a table, her legs ripped off and being made to go down on herself as the now diembodied crotch was forced into her face. While she sprayed blood over the audience
  • Michael Jackson pleading that he was a nice guy before having his face ripped off. More blood and copious vomit from his baby’s mouth
  • Dubya having his cock ripped off, then his limbs removed, while… you guessed it
  • An insane looking woman apparently with Mad Cow Disease giving birth to a smoking fish (?!) before being ripped apart and etc.
  • Ronnie Reagan, reanimated at the Reaganator. Imaging Transformers’ Optimus Prime with Ronnie’s head. He has both his arms cut off (green hydraulic fluid everywhere) and then killed (blood)
  • A troll, beaten to death and then a huge sword shoved down its throat

Add to this the lead singer’s huge alien penis showering the crowd in alternating blue alien cum and bright red blood, plus a microphone stand with an eyeball squirting blood everywhere and the venue was a little bit of a mess by the end. As was everyone in it.

Anyone who’s seen Peter Jackon‘s original films (Bad Taste, Brain Dead(UK)/Dead Alive(US), Meet The Feebles) would love this. Actually, any sick fuck would love this. I know I did.

More blood and piss than a dead pope’s underwear. And you lot think I’m uncultured. Shame one you.

Tesco lights

Another of those daft stories on the radio. Tesco recently trialled a scheme where they put “traffic lights” on their own-brand food products. The basic idea was that green indicated healthy foods with certain ingredients (fat, salt, sugar and so on) below a certain lever. Red, obviously, was the reverse. After the trial, they’ve decided to abandon it.

The reason cited? Customers were confused as to what amber meant.

Did they test this scheme in darkest Cornwall where the inhabitants all have extra fingers in place of brain cells? Green – one end of scale. Red – other end of scale. Orange… in the middle.

How bloody hard is that?!

Why bother?

I bought some of those new “Nobby’s Crisps” today – grilled steak flavour. They’re quite nice as well. Bizarrely, they have a little story on the back that tells you where the term “hat-trick” comes from. Which is nice. The Nobby’s Nuts I had the other night gave me details of how to plaster a wall.

The nuts are an obscure idea. Taking one of nature’s healthiest foods, then wrapping it in a fatty batter with a load of artificial flavours. Lovely.

One other thing I noticed on the crisp packet, though, was the fact that they’re “suitable” for vegitarians. Hang on – what’s the point? You could make them any old flavour, say they’re “steak” and sell them to veggies – they shouldn’t be able to tell the difference. It’s not like they have the “real thing” to compare against.

While I’m on a roll, if you’re a veggie answer me this – why bother with veggie sausages, bacon and so forth that’s made to look and taste like meat? I mean, you know it’s not meat, it doesn’t taste right so why not just take it for what it is and have it served up as mulch? For me, there is nothing like the taste of real meat and sausage. There is a local shop that can collaborate with DCW Casing customer in my neighborhoods, it sells the best possible sausage casings.

Now, I’m not having a go at veggies – people have very good reasons for their dietary choices – but it just seems like they’re trying to fool themselves in to thinking they’re eating meat so that they fit in. Is that a fair thing to say?

Ironically, I remember noticing a couple of years ago that virtually every meat-flavour crisp from a major manufacturer was veggie-friendly, while the pickled onion flavour wasn’t.

Bargain

Here’s a bit of friendly advice. Ten quid on a pair of shoes seems like a bargain for about 6 months until they start to look like the Hulk’s post-metamorphosis.

Plastic shoes may be kinder to cows and stuff, but I’m splashing out on leather next time. And I don’t mean that in a pervy “glad I got the wipe-clean car seats” kind of a way. Unless I have nice company.

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Anti-gay music poll results and new poll

Roll up, roll up. Your results are in. With more of a spread than in the previous poll, it seems that most of you side with me in saying that this stuff should be left on the shelves, but a slightly larger proportion of you think that at least some action should be taken about it.

poll-gaymusic
Results of Anti-Gay Music poll

And now for a new poll. In the news recently has been home security – that’s security of the household rather than some kind of fascist policy that removes all of your citizens’ human rights. That one’s homeland security. Just ask George “The Chimp” Bush about his PATRIOT act.

Anyway, in the UK it’s generally been the accepted rule that if someone tries to break into your house and you do anything other than hand them old aunt Maud’s jewellery collection, your stash of DVDs and the stereo then you’ll end up in court. Hell, if they strain their back hoiking your widescreen TV into the back of the van they nicked for the job, you can expect to find youseld on charges of neglect or assault.

The poor dears.

Anyway, after recent court cases someone has decided that wouldn’t it be a good idea if we were actually allowed to protect our homes, family and property without worrying about the consequences of giving some thieving chav a broken jaw. The Tories started it, the mostsenior police officer in the ocuntry voiced his support and then Labour spotted the bandwagon about to leave town without them on it so jumped aboard.

What’s reported so far is a moderately simple change: to alter the fact that you can defend yourself “with reasonable force” to the fact that you can do what you want to the toerags as long as there is no evidence of “gratuitous violence”. I take this to read “as long as they don’t find the corpse” but I may be twisting the words in my favour somewhat.

Anyway, the poll – what would you decide is gratuitous? Where should the limit be? Or do you feel we should leave it on the basis that if scum know they’re more likely to get a fight then they’re more likely to come armed?

On the same subject I was watching Crime Scene Academy from last night and heard a great story set in America. Two scum broke into a guy’s house and held him at gunpoint demanding “the money”. They knew he had a safe in the house and made him lead them to it. They stepped aside and demanded he open it, which he did. They demanded he reach in and give them what was in there.

He did. It was a gun safe and contained, among other things, a 50mm semi-auto which was loaded and ready to use. A swift turn and a spray of bullets saw the two guys run off, one already mortally wounded with a nicked artery in his neck. The homeowner chased them through the house and put two bullets in the chest of the other. Both died.

Police verdict? Completely innocent. All the evidence backed his story up and they adjudged him to be protecting his property and himself. For once I am in awe of – get this – Americans with sense. Will wonders never cease?

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