Sunday, April 18, 2004

Sunshine and Lollipops

So, the weather is getting nice again. It'll probably be snowing tomorrow, but it's nice for now. But you know what? I like it that way. The best days are days when it's been crappy for a while, and suddenly it's nice. Days like that are way better than if it was just sunny all the time. Everyone is immediately in a great mood...people say "hi" to strangers and mean it when they smile. The cynical bastard inside me informs me that if you want to manipulate anyone into doing you a favour, such a day would be the perfect time, because people all want to be nice. It's also a good day to be nice for the sake of being nice.

I think I'll go for a walk today.



Not only because it's warm out...but because I need an excuse to use my new MP3 player (pictured on the right, cuz I really am a geek). I got an iRiver iHP-120 on Friday (after $100 in unexpected shipping charges...UPS fucking sucks), and it's quite the amazing little thing. It holds 20 gigabytes of data. In non-geek language...I've put about 90 full CD albums and 4000 miscellaneous songs on it, and it's just over half full. That's about 220 hours worth of music. I could listen to it for over 9 days continuously, and in addition to being deaf and sick of all music forever, I wouldn't have heard the same song twice. What's the point, you say? There isn't much point...I could just get a $10 radio and listen to that...but it's just so cool that I carry nine days' worth of sound in a little box the size of a deck of cards. It's magic through technology. If you brought this thing back in time 100 years, or even back 10 years, they would probably think it was magic. Then they'd burn you at the stake with it, and you'd be like "Nooo! The instruction manual says not to expose it to extreme heat!", then your face would melt.

While I'm bragging about my music collection, I counted my CDs yesterday, and I have 432 of them. At about $14 each (or more, but I buy a lot of them used), that's $6000 I've spent on CDs. My girlfriend pointed out that I could have bought a car with that money. But what would I rather have...the ability to get anywhere I want quickly, or the ability to put on Styx Greatest Hits whenever I want? I think the answer is obvious.

.

(The answer is Styx).

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Superness

I have discovered that I am a super hero. I am a super hero because I have a super power. My power is the ability to open elevators with my mind. It's actually a pretty passive power...I don't have to think about it, elevators just open for me. I didn't think much of this power, until today I had to actually push the 'up' button to get to my office, and I thought to myself "what the hell is going on?" It actually felt weird that it didn't open. Usually, as I'm walking toward an elevator, it will start opening at just the right time so as to let me get in when it's fully open, then close after I'm inside.

But having a super power also comes with a super weakness. Like Superman's kryptonite or Batman's inability to be in good movies, there is one thing that pushes the laws of the universe against me. That weakness is losing Tim Hortons roll up the rim to win every time I get coffee. I've talked about this here before, and it's still true. I now have almost 50 losing rims collected, and not one winner among them. The odds of 1 in 9 seem to hold with other people, but not me. Let's do some math! If the chances of losing are 8 in 9 (or 8/9), then the chances of losing 50 times are 8/9 to the power of 50, which is .0027...about 1 in 370. In psychology, you conclude there's something other than chance operating if the odds you got your results by chance are 1 in 20 or less *. So, something other than chance is operating on me...the forces of the universe are conspiring against me.

* Yes, I know this is technically false and I'm mangling statistics and probability to fit my needs. Bite me.

Speaking of super heros, and given that it's around Easter, let's give some "props" to the first super hero ever (and also the first zombie ever). Yes, I'm talking about the one who was bitten by a radioactive God and given the power to heal the wounded and turn water into booze: Jesus!



Tuesday, April 06, 2004

More Fun With Evil Corporations

Never sign up for MoviesForMe. I signed up for their free two-week trial about a month ago. It was going well...I recieved a bunch of movies and everything was going peachily. Then my two-week trial was almost up, so I looked for the "cancel" button so I wouldn't be charged for it. But there was no cancel button. The help files directed me to two different places, but neither actually let you cancel. So I e-mail customer service and ask them to cancel my account. Five days later, they mail me back and say "we're sorry you want to cancel...is there anything we can do to make you stay?", so I'm like "No. Just cancel my account so I'm not charged for a month." Of course, a few days later, a month's charge appears on my credit card bill. A few more days after that, I get a reply from them: "OK, we'll cancel your account now." This is almost 2 weeks after I first wanted to cancel.

So let me get this straight...you can get a FREE two week trial, as long as you e-mail them the day you sign up saying you want to cancel, wait a week for a reply asking why you want to cancel, wait another week for a confirmation that they actually cancelled, and hope it hasn't been more than 2 weeks or else your FREE trial is actually a NOT FREE trial.

Can't this be considered fraud? There's gotta be something illegal about it. If anybody reading this is a lawyer, give me some lawyerly advice. Oh wait, no lawyers read this, because nobody at all reads this. Damn.

Fire is Fun
Speaking of evil, it seems Satan has been up to his old tricks again. Check out this link: SATAN SETS FIRE TO STUFF.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

An Analysis of Evil

You know what the dumbest thing in the world is? Copy protection on CDs. There is absolutely no point in it, and all it does is harm and EVIL. Let me explain why.

I've been putting a bunch of my CDs on my hard drive lately, in preparation for getting a portable MP3 play (the one I'm getting is like an iPod, but better). Hell, one day CDs will probably be obsolete and we'll need to download songs directly into our head or something, so I better start transforming my CDs into 1s and 0s now.

But I digress. The thing is, some of my CDs are copy protected, which means you can't copy the CDs onto your computer, and you can only listen to them on your computer if you install their shitty software, and then it sounds worse. OK, so I see the purpose I guess...the theory is that if nobody can put these CDs on their computer, then nobody can give them to other people for free (on Kazaa etc.) and more CDs will be sold.

Except there are many things wrong with this theory. First of all, there's just the moral wrongness of preventing me from using the music that I purchased in the way I want to use it. I don't plan on sharing these CDs, I just want to put them on my portable player and listen to them. Even if I didn't want to do anything special with them, I can't even listen to them on all my CD players (i.e. my computer's CD drive), unless I install extra software and even then I get less-than-CD-quality music. But hey, they're record companies, and if this is the only way to prevent evil piracy in the world, then so be it. I'll just have to live with the products they put out or stop buying them.

Except it doesn't stop piracy. You can circumvent the copy protection easily. I think it's illegal to say how, which is why if you CLICK HERE then that web page WON'T show you how *wink wink*. Even if it were hard, it only takes one person on the planet to circumvent copy protection for the CD to show up on file-sharing networks, then everyone else on the planet can easily get it for free.

So, copy protection produces the following results:
1. The CD is still available to download for free by whoever wants it. These people are EVIL.
2. People who purchased the CD anyway (these people are GOOD) but don't know how to get around the protection are limited to listening to the CDs they bought on normal CD players, or on their computers but at a loss of quality.
3. People who purchased the CD (GOOD) and do know how to get around the protection have to go through the procedure of doing so, which is a pain in the ass, so they'll probably just download the CD out of annoyance with the record companies (i.e. they will TURN EVIL).

Therefore: The record companies turn GOOD people into EVIL people, hurt GOOD people, and have done nothing to stop EVIL. Anyone who does harm to GOOD things while supporting EVIL are themselves EVIL. Therefore record companies are EVIL.

This is how it makes me feel:



Friday, April 02, 2004

The Power of Google

Here is a fun experiment. Go to Google. No really, do it...here, you don't even have to type it, just click HERE. If my web programming skills are still in order, that should open in a new window. OK, now go to that window and type in "miserable failure". What you find should be amusing, what with the big goofy smile and everything.

The reason that Google allows such fun things is because it goes and looks for links on web pages to get its search terms. So if everyone made links to my home page that say "juicy hunk of man-flesh", anyone searching for juicy man-flesh will find exactly what they're looking for. A bunch of people 'bombed' George W by linking to his bio with the words miserable failure.

So, to do my part in the amusing manipulation of technology: miserable failure.

For more on this, and another goofy picture, go here: EKALSDJFALKSJFSAD.