Comment Spam

I had no less than 20 comment spam waiting for me this morning.

I had no less than 20 comment spam waiting for me this morning. These were all since around 12:30 am. Looks like someone got a new spam generator in their Easter basket! Anyway, the spam blocking in WordPress caught them all, since they were all obviously spam. I’ve not come across too many of the really tricky ones as of yet. Anything that WordPress has missed in the past, I’ve been able to pick up on some keyword to add to the flag-list.

Oh, I suggest you not try and leave any comments that might include mention of any pharmaceuticals related to Men’s performance enhancement. They’ll be deleted before I can even do anything about it. Just being fair here. Not that I really wanted to talk about that with you anyway.

Copyright Law

These may be dumb questions on copyright law, but with social software and photography sites being incredibly popular, I can only imagine they’ll come up more and more.

I learned shortly before our trip to Paris that the private company, SNTE, hired by the city of Paris to install flashing lights all over the Eiffel tower has copyrighted the pattern of lights. This effectively makes any photography taken of the Eiffel tower when then lights are flashing a copyright violation. The claim is that this is all to prevent using the likeness in unauthorized ways. Well, let’s pretend it isn’t completely moronic to try and control the likeness of a 100+ year old monument which is the very icon for an entire country.

Sparkling Tower

Copyright violation? Does the effect of the glass window change anything on the copyrighted subject matter?

When we were in Paris, I took lots and lots of photographs of the Eiffel tower. Frankly, it can be hard sometimes to not have the Eiffel tower in your Paris photos; it’s pretty damn tall. Many of my photos were at night, while the lights were dancing about the structure. It’s a pretty amazing effect, actually. The whole thing seems to be made of rare jewels. Anyway, one such photo I took was through the dirty glass window of a boat tour we took. I say that since the dirty glass effectively changes the light pattern, I’m not violating the copyright. Further, couldn’t one argue that air particles, moisture, camera lens, etc. all change the properties of light, therefore changing the image? What about camera motion blur or artsy effects? I mean can you ever expect to copyright a pattern of light? I suppose anything visual is nothing more than a pattern of light, and this argument could be made for music and other art. I’m not really trying to go down that path, but my point is this: isn’t that the way we are heading when copyrights such as this are granted, especially for such widely recognized monuments?

Another photo we have, is of the two of us standing in front of Notre Dame Cathedral. This photo was graciously taken by another tourist, for whom we returned the favor. So, I (an American) have a photo of us taken by an Italian tourist, in France, with my camera. Who holds the copyright? Which countries laws govern? I assume my Italian friend was granted the copyright the instant he pushed the button, at least according to U.S. law. I further assume that where ever the file (or a copy of the file) is located, is under which law governs the copyright. The file is now in America, but what if someone downloads a copy in a country where laws have opt-in style copyright law?

To say the least, I could really care less about copyright law. I’m sure that all these questions have answers, some of which may be conflicting. However, most people taking pictures on vacation don’t know the answers. I for one don’t even care, as I’m going to do whatever I please with my photos. If SNTE or the unnamed Italian tourist would like me to stop using images, they’ll have to just ask politely. Something tells me, I’d hear from the large company long before I’d ever hear from a fellow tourist.

Korean Films Are Coming

It’s been a long time in the coming, but some very incredible Korean films are starting to make their way on the U.S. movie radar.

When you talk about foreign films, you often are speaking about European art films. When you talk about Asian films, it is usually Hong Kong action movies or Japanese animation. Somewhere between the two are Bollywood musicals. However, rarely does anyone in the U.S. talk about Korean films. Well, friends, that’s all about to change. Here’s three major Korean films that are likely to hit the U.S. harder than a serving of Kim Chee:

  • "Old Boy" – (Action/Revenge/Mystery) What could be worse than 15 years of imprisonment and mental torture? Just ask Oh Dae-Su after he is released and his former capture leads him through a mysterious puzzle to uncover why he was kidnapped. Trailer in Quicktime. Official Movie Site.
  • "D-War" – (Fantasy/Action) Based on an ancient Korean legend that says giant creatures will return to try and take over the world. Somewhere between "Reign of Fire" and "Godzilla". Trailer in Quicktime. (also, check out the pre-viz) Official Movie Site.
  • "Sky Blue" – (Animation/Sci-Fi) This film took some 7 years to make, because of all the layering of CG and animation. It looks incredible for it, too. Trailer in Windows Media. Official Movie Site.

Live From Key West

Dave and company playing live down in Key West, FL.

Live from Key West

If you tune in right now, you can catch Dave Coleman, along with Paul Deakin, Robert Reynolds (both of the Mavericks), and Scotty Huff playing at the Hog’s Breath Saloon in Key West, FL. They’re doing pretty much exclusively covers, and some damn good ones, too. Quick, click here and check ’em out.

Dave called me yesterday to let me know he had run a 5k, in which he set a personal best, and was then having coffee at a small place accross the street from the Earnest Hemingway house. This after playing with the guys until 2:00 am the night before. What a guy.

I’m A Kottke Micropatron

Keep this man in clean underwear.

I am a kottke.org micropatron

I finally got around to donating some to Jason Kottke this evening. Tomorrow is the last day of his fund drive, and I felt it was important to give something to him. I use his really cool silkscreen font on some of the buttons on this site and I read his blog regularly. He’s an excellent writer and I find myself agreeing with him more than not. This feels a lot like when I give to NPR, and for mostly the same reasons.

I don’t know that I’ll be donating funds to everybody on the internet that decides to quit their jobs and blog for a living. However, Kottke is setting an example of a different type: not that quiting your day job is what you should do, but that you should do what you dream of. I’m really paying him something for daring to remind me of that.

I'm a kottke.org micropatron.

Too Much Going On Can’t Think

Woah! While it may seem like I haven’t posted in forever so therefore nothing must have been happening, quite the opposite is true. There has been so much going on in the past week-and-a-half I’m going nuts.

Woah! While it may seem like I haven’t posted in forever so therefore nothing must have been happening, quite the opposite is true. There has been so much going on in the past week-and-a-half I’m going nuts. I want to blog about all of these things, but I do not have any time right now to do so. I am looking forward to this weekend so bad… Okay, here’s a short list in only somewhat of an order:

  • Angela and I went to Paris, France! They speak French over there and it’s awesome. It is an incredible city and so much fun to just walk around, which we did lots of. I have roughly 1,000 photos, and I am going to have put some of them up on Flickr as soon as I get the chance.
  • Angela and I celebrated three incredible years of marriage yesterday. Of course, we only got to see one another for a few hours at dinner due to having to get our buts back to work. Still, making some time for one another is how we make the whole thing work.
  • I went to a Tim Kaine 2005 rally for the kick-off of his campaign for Governor of Virginia last night as well. This was not a let down, but I had to leave a little early to make it to dinner with Angela.
  • I have had a shit-storm of work to do lately, on top of trying to study for my SE exam next month. I love my job and I hate my job at the same time.
  • Today is my dog, Harry‘s, fourth birthday. I’m Angela is going to pick him up some doggy ice-cream on the way home from work.
  • Trey has updated both Synthetic Rabbit and Gridge’s web sites. This on top of retooling Megan’s site last month. I’m sure he’s sleeping well at last.
  • Star Wars Episode III trailer. So Badass. The best part, what we don’t see means there is so much more: Jimmy Smits & Natalie Portman, for starters (just short flashes)

And even more that I can’t think of right now. Many posts coming soon, and I hope to write a long article on our trip to Paris. Does anybody know how to get 26 hours in a day, because I need it?

Wil Wheaton’s Not Dead

I happened accross Wil Wheaton’s site today and I can tell already, he and I are going to be good friends.

I happened across Wil Wheaton‘s site today and I can tell already, he and I are going to be good friends. No, Wil, I’m not going to be stalking you. Plane tickets to L.A. are too expensive right now. However, Wil has a cool site that is all his own. Yep, that’s right. A Hollywood type that does his own web site (down to the code). I suppose many people already knew all about his site, but hey, I can’t read the whole interenet. If you go to the site, you don’t have to read too many posts to learn that Wil is quite the good geek, and not just about coding. He’s a fan of the dark beers, a good liberal, and actually gives a crap what people have to say. Oh, sure you can chock that up to the typical vain, left-coast Hollywood stereotypes, but I did mention he likes dark beers. Explain that away easily. Also, he’s hosted a couple of episodes of "The Screen Savers," which is pretty silver-back for geekdom.

The reason I came across Wil’s site in the first place was reading Garrick Van Buren‘s "Wish List", which credits Wil for. This is a great idea. I’m one who has on many occasions set out personal life-long goals. Many of which were over a beer with friends, and have long since been forgotten. Here’s a list of such goals, out there for the world to see, that can easily be re-visited from time to time to (in Wil’s words) "see if you’re living your life, or just existing." Not a bad idea from some flaky L.A. guy. Okay, I hope you realize that I’m being facetious now.

Anyway, Wil’s getting added to my "Elsewhere On The Web" section of links. I don’t know most of these people and they sure aren’t getting most of their traffic from me (if so, Kottke’s going to starve). However, they’ve all got good sites with something to say. So, if you get bored reading my site, you really should click through to them. I know they’d appreciate you spending some time on their sites as well. Angela will be happy at least. She can easily go check up to see what Wesley Crusher’s been doing since TNG. Oh, and I knew Wil wasn’t dead; that was just a joke. I know, it’s not funny to joke about that sort of thing.

A Byrd In Hand Is Better Than Two In The Bush

Senator Robert Byrd (D- WV) got a lot of flack in the news this week about some statements he made speaking out against the so-called "nuclear" option in the senate. I find the Senator to be far more rational-minded than many give him credit for.

I am all too aware of Senator Robert Byrd‘s (D-WV) former affiliation with the KKK. I chalk it up to the stupidity of youth. Lord knows our current and former presidents did a lot of dumb things in their youth. (They’ve done some very questionable things even much more recently.) Is it fair to use this man’s past as a lens by which to view him? I think that’s at least understandable, if not entirely fair. However, since the man is 88 years old and he was allegedly a member of the KKK in the 40’s, let’s assume he’s learned something since then and forgive the man that. He’s done a lot more good than harm since, particularly if you live in West Virginia.

More recently, though, Byrd got hammered for loosely comparing the conservative’s all-out takeover of U.S. government to that of the Nazi party after WWI. However, today Senator Byrd wrote an op-ed piece for the Washington Post that shows he is a man or reason and consideration; exactly the kind of individual the Senate deserves. He is known among senators as having vast knowledge of the rules of the senate and it’s place in history. Furthermore, long speeches ranting about the over-extension of the Executive bringing back memories of Nazi Germany aren’t exactly new, aren’t limited to Senator Byrd, and aren’t common to just the Democrats. They’re seems to be a few blow-hard Republican Senators who have been down this path before, as Wonkette points out (well, in a round about way). However, this is no different than the Republicans complaining about the left’s lack of stand-by-your-man support of the President in a time of war, even though they trashed Clinton when we had soldiers dying in the Balkans and in Somalia.

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington

However, just because he is the Senate’s most vocal opponent of doing away with the Senate filibuster, he’s getting some special attention. This may be well onto it’s way of becoming the conservative blog’s next trophy head on the mantle wall. I truly hope not, as West Virginia needs all the fiery populists in the federal government it can find.

Now, to the real story here: why the hell does anybody want to do away with the filibuster? I know it’s a thorn in everyone’s side at some time or another. However, don’t we all know that our time to benefit from this eventually swings back around? This is just another example of extreme short-sightedness, of which both parties are so often guilty of. This is a very dangerous road to go down just to get some judge nominees approved by the Senate. Go watch Mr. Smith Goes To Washington if you need to feel the importance of the filibuster and why it’s an important element of the American government. It allows deliberation. It requires consensus on very heated matters. It helps to prevent tyranny of the government. Oh yeah, it makes sure that America doesn’t end up like Nazi Germany, no matter which party is in the White House or controls Congress.