Nota Bene #119: Think! It Ain't Illegal Yet

“My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #103: Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse

“To take people from the music world and give them the same kind of credibility that you give me, Morgan Freeman, Laurence Fishburne, Forest Whitaker—that’s like an aberration. I know there’s some young actor sitting in New York or L.A. who’s spent half of his life learning how to act and sacrificing to learn his craft but isn’t going to get his opportunity because of some ‘actor’ who’s been created.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #101: Your Pal, Mike S.

“The guys who are shooting films now are technically brilliant, but there’s no content in their films. I marvel at what I see and wish I could have done a shot like that. But shots are secondary for my films, and with some of these films, it’s all about the shots. What’s the point? I’m not sure people know what points to make.” Who said it? Continue reading

Reality is making us sick, and fantasy can't cure us

You’re honey child to a swarm of bees
Gonna blow right through you like a breeze
Give me one last dance
Well slide down the surface of things

You’re the real thing
Yeah the real thing
You’re the real thing
Even better than the real thing

– U2

Fantasy stories, myths, legends, tall tales, fairy tales, horror, all these have been with us for a very long time. Science fiction, as well, has been with us since Mary Shelley found herself in a bet with Lord Byron about the possibility of writing a new kind of horror, one not grounded in the gothic.* So the presence in our popular culture of stories based in unreality of one form or another is certainly nothing new.

It seems to me that there’s been a lot more of it lately, though. Continue reading

Welcome to the Kindleverse

by Lara Amber

I’ve never been an early adopter of technology. I, like most people, come in at wave two or three, but well before grandmas finally get that machine everyone else had for a decade. So ordering a Kindle 2 the day it was announced by Bezo goes against the grain. I’ve had it for a day, and let me tell you it’s going to change the world.

I’m not talking about the sleek design, the high price tag, or the status symbol of carting around the next hot gadget. This, as has been said before, is the iPod of the book world, and its effect will be just as profound. Continue reading

TunesDay: The best CDs of 2008, pt. 2 – the Platinum LPs

Our Best CDs of 2008 continues today with a review of the super-premium Platinum Award winners for Excellence in rocking and rolling. As with last week’s Gold Awards, these are in alphabetical order. Band Web sites link to the band name, and if the CD is available via eMusic, that links to the CD title. (Mike Smith of Fiction 8, in last week’s comments, recommended that you buy from the band’s Web site or Amazon, if possible, because the artists get a better cut of the proceeds that way. Duly noted.)

Speaking of Fiction 8, let’s get this out of the way first

Fiction 8Project Phoenix
I have a rule – I never include in my official ratings CDs that I had something to do with, no matter how great I think they are. And since I co-wrote “Hegemony,” the track that closes this disc, that means that Fiction 8 is officially disqualified. This doesn’t mean I can’t tell you what I think I’d think about the record if I weren’t laboring with a conflict of interest, though. Continue reading

The death of DRM is the rebirth of the music industry

By Martin Bosworth

I just wanted to follow up on Brian’s awesome post detailing Sony BMG’s plans to sell DRM-free music through Amazon as part of a Super Bowl promotion by making a few additional points: Continue reading

Today is a good day for DRM to die

Not too long ago, it seemed like Sony BMG was willing to die on the digital rights management (DRM) hillside rather than climb to the top along with its fellow major international recording labels the EMI Group, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group. But today, Sony BMG announced that, after six months of testing various waters, they were making at least some of their catalog available DRM-free.

In a move that would mark the end of a digital music era, Sony BMG Music Entertainment is finalizing plans to sell songs without the copyright protection software that has long restricted the use of music downloaded from the Internet, BusinessWeek.com has learned. Sony BMG, a joint venture of Sony (SNE) and Bertelsmann, will make at least part of its collection available without so-called digital rights management, or DRM, software some time in the first quarter, according to people familiar with the matter.

Continue reading