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Friday, January 09, 2004

New Desktop Wallpaper Alert

Saddam sprawled on the ground.

(The picture is also posted here.)

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Mandatory Polish Joke

As you know, every web log must have one. I find this tradition a bit distasteful, because the Poles did us the favor of decoding Enigma and are presently our newest best friends. Nevertheless, a rule is a rule.

WARSAW (Reuters) - Three Polish divers faced a police investigation Thursday for possible illegal fishing and animal abuse after a news photo showed them plying a freshly caught pike with champagne at an outdoor New Year's party.

"They may have committed offences of poaching and maltreating a fish," said Maria Niedziolka of the National Fishing Authority, which notified police of the incident.

Actually, I don't get it. What's so funny?

The picture in Nowa Trybuna daily showed three frogmen neck-deep in a lake, with one of them tipping a bottle of cheap Russian bubbly into the fish's open mouth.
(emphasis added)

Oooooh. Now I get it. Heh heh heh. But is offering a drink to a fish really illegal in Poland? I think that's wrong. In fact, it makes me so sad, I'll just go hide in a corner and cry in my beer.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Arsenal of Free Iraq

Wow, they are becoming more American every day:

BASRA, Iraq — Iraqi police yesterday opened fire on hundreds of stone-throwing former Iraqi soldiers demanding monthly stipends promised by the U.S.-led coalition, and reporters saw at least four protesters shot in the southern town of Basra.
The protesters in Basra marched on the Central Bank and then tried to force their way in to get money, pelting the building with stones and then turning on police, who initially tried to stop them by wielding batons. Police then opened fire.

British forces arrived on the scene and calmed the situation, using loudspeakers to say in Arabic: "You will get what you deserve, but not in this way." They did not fire, even after one was hit in the leg by a stone.
(Washington Times)

That is so Bonus Army!

Copyright on the net

I disagree with Glenn Reynolds when he writes:

RIAA TAKE NOTE: Apparently, free downloads don't do much to hurt sales of intellectual property goods. At least, that's the result of an informal experiment conducted by the Insta-Wife. I mentioned a while back that she was somewhat bemused to see used copies of her book on violent kids selling for $99.95. The solution was to put the book (which is out of print, and which won't see a new edition anytime soon because she's working on another project) up for free download in PDF form on her website.

You'd expect that offering the book for free would have depressed the price for used copies, but it doesn't seem to have done so -- in fact, the price seems to have gone up, as there's now somebody offering the book for sale for $105.84. Go figure. And although quite a few people have downloaded it for free (and even sent in donations), many of them have emailed to say that they'd rather pay cover price for the actual book than download it for no charge.

This seems to me to suggest that free downloads don't do much to cannibalize actual sales.

Oh yes they do:

Penthouse magazine publisher General Media Inc. on Tuesday filed a bankruptcy reorganization plan that will put a new group of creditors in charge of remaking a racy men's magazine hurt by newer rivals and Internet pornography.

Penthouse, founded in 1965 as a competitor to Hugh Hefner's Playboy, has seen sales plunge in recent years to newer, more celebrity oriented men's magazines aimed at a younger audience. The magazine, known for its raunchy content, also has seen readers lured away by the explicit array of pornography on the Internet.

For all the caterwauling about musicians and their revenue lost to P2P, nobody sheds a tear for the adult photographers and their publishers. And yet their industry is being destroyed by illicit file-traders.

Who mourns for pornographers?

Monday, January 05, 2004

Ways to tell we're winning

I bet Reuters reported this one through gritted teeth:

A Saudi Arabian man who called his son Saddam Hussein 14 years ago is now desperately trying to have the name changed. Mohsen al-Harithy first asked the relevant authorities to change his son's name in 1990, when the forces of the now-deposed Iraqi president invaded neighboring Kuwait, the Saudi English-language Arab News newspaper reported Monday.

"Saddam" is the new "Benito!"

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Funny Videos

Browsing through this (sometimes naughty) page of downloadable clips, I thought this excerpt from Tech TV was the funniest thing I'd seen in a long time. But this bit of local Texas television is the funniest thing in the whole world!


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