Category: David Clark

The insignificance of numbers

Today I posted the 1001st story in Anacrusis, and I wanted to do something a little different for the occasion: an audio story, read aloud by a startling array of generous people. I thought the hardest part would be actually asking them to read the silly little thing without cringing, and the next-hardest would be the actual mixing process. It turns out that the hard part is not being able to use all the material from everyone for the whole thing. They were all so good!

Thanks to Robert Baker-Self, Maria Barnes, Amanda and Jon Brasfield, David Clark, Amanda Dale, Kevan Davis, John Dixon, Holly Gramazio, Josh Hadley, Sumana Harihareswara, Stephen Heintz, Catriona Mackay, William O’Neil, Leonard Richardson, Kristofer Straub, and everyone who’s had a kind or critical word to say about Anacrusis. Let’s do this again when we hit 10,201.

  1. Do you own enough shit?



  2. Of course you don’t. Get some more! This is easy, because of Capitalism.
  3. GOTO 1
  4. Uh oh, it’s time to move! You’d better pack all that up, drive it around, and carry it up stairs. But your fleshy man-body is weak! What will you do?
    • Hire professionals
    • Ask your friends for help, but pay them what you would pay professionals
    • Ask your friends for help, on Valentine’s Day, in eight-degree weather, and repay them with Mexican food that you didn’t even buy, your girlfriend did
  5. Wow, you’re kind of a bastard! But at least all your shit is moved now.
  6. Wait! You still have more shit to move! How did that happen? You’d better stay up until 3 am. You can move the rest tomorrow! I mean today!
  7. GOTO 4

Thanks to Maria’s parents Mike and Susie, Scott, DC and Beth. We owe you guys a hell of a lot more than those enchiladas.

I am hyperventilating

A secret source with the initials “David Clark” brought me first the rumor, then the confirmation: Brick will be showing at the Baxter Avenue Theatres this Friday, June 2, at 12:50, 3:10, 5:30, 7:50 and 10:05. Normally I’d want to see it as soon as I left work, but I’d also like to see it with Maria, who has to electrocute children until after 8:00, and anyway I bet this is a movie better seen after dark.

SO! If you live in or around Louisville and love either a) me or b) good nasty detective stories, please show up at the Baxter for the 10:05 show! It will be a party! I will buy your popcorn!

The second time I’ve ever linked Slashdot. Via Downhill Battle.

Okay, so DC beat me to posting about Sony’s big fat recall, but now I’m scooping him: the rootkit contained GPLed de-DRMS code by DVD Jon! I know that makes no sense. Give me a second.

“DVD” Jon Johansen is a Norwegian hacker who likes to take things like DVD encryption and Apple’s iTunes digital rights management (DRM) software and meet them in a steel cage (and win). He releases the software he writes under an open-source license called the GPL, a legally binding agreement that says “hey, you can freely look at and reuse this source code, but only if you release code derived from it under the same license.” Like the Creative Commons license I use, the GPL is just working within existing copyright law.

Now, the XCP software that’s causing such a fuss–because it installs itself on your computer without your consent when you pop in a Sony music CD, is very difficult to find or remove, deprives you of your fair use rights and makes you vulnerable to a whole new brand of virus–needs a way to interact with the CD-ripping functionality of Apple’s iTunes. iTunes creates AAC files when it rips a CD, which are locked to specific authorized computers (although some of those restrictions may be lifted for ripping–I’m not sure, as I haven’t used it to rip CDs myself). XCP doesn’t want you to authorize any other computers to use the copies you make, though. It doesn’t want those copies to leave the ripping computer ever, at all. So the people who wrote it used DVD Jon’s open-source code for messing with iTunes DRM to make that happen.

In doing so, they created derivative software and kept it closed-source. They did not release it under GPL, violating the terms of the license under which they obtained the code. And they sold it millions of times over.

Here’s the point: this is a massive act of copyright infringement and piracy, on the same scale as the giant duplication rings of Southeast Asia that record labels and movie studios have been trying to stomp out for decades. First4Internet Software, which developed the technology to “stop piracy,” is one of the single biggest software pirates on the planet. Sony BMG paid them millions to be so, and distributed the results.

The Slashdot post I linked above says this comes from the “when-will-it-end dept.” This story is amazing. If we had plotted a fantasy scenario to bring down a record label, we probably couldn’t have come up with anything this good.

Unstoppable David Clark has retained me to edit his longest (I think) play. It’s like Heaven, except there are some assholes in Heaven, but it’s cool, I’ve got a gun.

Saved from an LJ comment feed, because Will asked. I don’t think I’ve ever explained Movie Pong here before.

Movie Pong!

In Movie Pong, which is normally played in groups of three or more, one human names a movie. The human to his or her left names an actor who appeared in that movie, and the next human along names a different movie in which that actor appeared, and the next a different actor who was in the second movie, et cetera. (You can also start with an actor, it’s just simpler to explain this way.) It’s better to play with odd numbers of humans, so that each player has to name both actors and movies.

If you can’t name a movie or actor when you’re up, you can challenge the person who went before you. If he or she can’t name one either, you win and he or she gets a strike; if he or she can, you get a strike. Three strikes you’re out.

If you play Movie Pong with DC, you will lose, but you might learn something. I suspect that Scott is the same way.

Using IMDB is cheating, but permissible for resolving disputes. Using the Oracle of Bacon is always illegal.

A variation I much prefer is Team Movie Pong, in which a group of humans work collectively to try and make a Movie Pong chain from one actor to another. It’s usually easy to do in seven links (Actor 1, movie, actor, movie, actor, movie, actor, movie, Actor 2). The challenge is considered won if the group can do it in five. Doing it in three is considered a mighty feat. Obviously, the more disparate the actors, the grander the accomplishment.

The Notebook, Spanglish and Monster were the exceptions

I like Netflix a lot, and Maria and I have used it to power through almost four seasons of CSI in a matter of weeks. I suppose now I should start renting some “movies” with it, although, man, there’s a lot of Next Generation and Six Feet Under sitting in my “Q.”

I have three Netflix “friends” registered: Ken Moore, David Clark and Garrett Sparks. Today, bored, I was scrolling through the Netflix Top 100 when I noticed that almost every single one of them had a little purple person icon next to it.

Between the three of them, they had watched ninety-seven of the all-time most-rented Netflix movies.

I like movies. Sometimes, I hate movies, because I realize that hundreds of people spent a year of their lives each, along with tens of millions of dollars, making Son of the Mask. But I really do like them in general, even the kind of movies that wins Oscars. If I was in high school and Mr. Munson took two days out of Multicultural Literature (it was a great class, title notwithstanding) to have us watch Hotel Rwanda, I would be moved by it. I would tell my friends about it and do research to find out more about the situation. I would value the experience.

But if I’m sitting at home with nothing to do and I’m like “hey, let’s rent or go to a movie,” there’s no way I’m going to pick Hotel Rwanda. I just don’t hate myself that much. As a result, I never watch great movies and David Clark embarrasses me in Team Movie Pong.

Since my solution to many of my personal flaws is rigorous scheduling, here’s my idea: Sad And Happy Movie Day. Maybe one or two Saturdays a month, I’d get together with other humans (assuming I could trick anybody else into it) and two movies. One would be a great, depressing film about human nature, like Hotel Rwanda or Dancer in the Dark* or Boys Don’t Cry or The Mission. The other would be a goofy big-Hollywood popcorn flick, like Ocean’s Twelve or The Scorpion King. Maybe something chop-socky like Ong Bak, or something happy-indie like Garden State. Maybe Hackers, the foremost cinematic achievement of all time.

We would watch the sad movie first, and sit there slumped over, realizing that all human hope is a doomed, brief match-flare against the endless dark. We’d take a half-hour break to make popcorn and go get some Sourpatch Kids. We’d walk it off a little. Then we’d pop in the happy movie, laugh and ooh, karate-chop the couch and go home feeling generally not suicidal.

This is not something I will likely start soon, and if it does start I probably wouldn’t be able to host it myself. Still, would anybody else be up for it?

* Actually I am immune to Dancer in the Dark now, thanks to Jon, but I can still inflict it on other people.

Twenty-four hours ago at this time, I was still talking about the fact that I’d seen Bobby McFerrin and Savion Glover perform, live. Today, at this time, I own Halo 2.

I’d like to have Lisa, Flora, Allison and especially Ken (who turned me on to Halo in the first place) to play the latter with me; I don’t, as they are casualties of my own private diaspora. But I had Maria to go to the show with me, and DC to encounter there. I’ll have the Thursday Night Grandkids to kick my butt at Halo.

Sometimes I feel bad about marking time in my life by video games and concerts, but there are worse ways to do so.