RIAA Has Friends in Nashville

I sup­pose no one should be shocked that the state that calls “Music City” its cap­i­tal would end hav­ing clash­es between music fans and copy­right own­ers. Now, a state bill seeks to get state-fund­ed uni­ver­si­ties to do some of the dirty work. From ArsTech­ni­ca:

A new bill pro­posed in the Ten­nessee state sen­ate aims to reduce copy­right infringe­ment at uni­ver­si­ties by forc­ing the schools to become antipira­cy enforcers. If passed, the bill would require uni­ver­si­ties that receive fund­ing from the state to ana­lyze all traf­fic pass­ing through their net­works in order to track down and stop infring­ing activ­i­ty. Under the pro­posed bill, uni­ver­si­ties could lose state fund­ing if they refuse to imple­ment net­work analy­sis sys­tems or if they receive ten or more infringe­ment com­plaints from con­tent own­ers dur­ing a sin­gle year.

Giv­en much of a high­er-learn­ings taint­ed record of on-cam­pus law enforce­ment, I frankly don’t trust them to han­dle it from either side of the copy­right issue. How­ev­er, play­ing CSI — IT isn’t the uni­ver­si­ties job and we should­n’t be putting the schools’ fund­ing at risk to make them play along.

Hollywood Couldn’t Do These Guys Justice

I can’t clas­si­fy this as one of the great­est jobs in his­to­ry, because the chance of get­ting killed is way too high. How­ev­er, if you’re look­ing to read a sto­ry on some real bad-ass action heros, check out the cur­rent issue of Wired Mag­a­zine and their sto­ry on how Titan Sal­vage res­cued a car­go ship full of Maz­da cars.

They’re a mot­ley mix: Amer­i­can, British, Swedish, Pana­man­ian. Each has a spe­cial­ty — deep-sea div­ing, com­put­er mod­el­ing, under­wa­ter weld­ing, big-engine repair. And then there’s Habib, the guy who reg­u­lar­ly heli­copters onto the deck of a sink­ing ship, greets what­ev­er crew is left, and takes com­mand of the strick­en ves­sel. He’s been at sea since he was 18, and now, at 51, his tanned face, square jaw, and don’t-even-try-bull­shit­ting-me stare con­vey a world-weary air of com­mand. He holds an unlim­it­ed mas­ter’s license, which means he’s one of the select few who are qual­i­fied to pilot ships of any size, any­where in the world.

Should Hol­ly­wood attempt to por­tray these guys, at least get Tom­my Lee Jones to play Habib. And kids, stay in school. You’re going to need to learn some math to be a bad-ass like Rich Habib.

Yea, Sony?

Cable and tel­cos side with Com­cast in FCC Bit­Tor­rent dis­pute. From ArsTechnica:

But oth­er parts of the pri­vate sec­tor have sent the FCC urgent requests for pro­tec­tion from poten­tial­ly unfair ISP behav­ior. Sony Elec­tron­ics, which now offers a wide vari­ety of legal con­tent for its web-enabled TV sets, wrote to the Com­mis­sion on Feb­ru­ary 13 ask­ing for a clear­er def­i­n­i­tion of “sen­si­ble” or “rea­son­able” man­age­ment practices.

Yea, Sony!? Pol­i­tics does make strange bed­fel­lows. It’s good to see Sony on the right side — for once.

Greattest Jobs In the History of the World — Part 1

One of the best parts of my child­hood was Lego’s line of space kits. If you asked either of my broth­ers, I think they’d say the same. That’s why it was so cool to learn about Bjarn Tveskov, who got a job design­ing those kits for Lego in his late teens:

My LEGO career start­ed when I was 17 years old; I saw an ad in the Sun­day news­pa­per, they were look­ing for design­ers for the Space prod­uct line. No for­mal qual­i­fi­ca­tions were required so just for fun I applied. They sent me a big box of LEGO bricks and asked me to cre­ate a Space mod­el from imag­i­na­tion. Still got the mod­el I made back then. At the inter­view I real­ized that the job was a full-time posi­tion in Bil­lund, ini­tial­ly I thought that maybe it could be a free­lance gig, but no. So when sud­den­ly I was offered the job I had to ask my par­ents if it was OK if I quit high-school to become a Space­ship designer.

Video for Sen Obama’s Campaign

I’ve yet to decide of who is left in the run­ning whom I’m vot­ing for in Novem­ber for Pres­i­dent, so please don’t mis­take this as any sort of endorse­ment. How­ev­er, a pho­to of mine has found its way into a pro­mo­tion­al video for Sen. Barack Oba­ma’s Pres­i­den­tial cam­paign (though I don’t think is from the offi­cial cam­paign). The music isn’t too bad, though it reminds a bit of some of the kid’s music we lis­ten to with our daugh­ter. Any­way, since Vir­ginia yes­ter­day vot­ed for Oba­ma by a rather wide mar­gin (along with D.C. and Mary­land), I thought this was appro­pri­ate. So, if you’re sup­port­ing the Sen. from IL, enjoy — espe­cial­ly the pho­to at 1:57 in of the sen­a­tor rolling up his sleeves.

Weeks Roll By

It’s a tired cliché of blog­ging: apol­o­giz­ing for not post­ing in so long. The excus­es are always the same, and this is no dif­fer­ent. There has sim­ply been too much going on here take any time to write down [or type — ed.].

The Job

I start­ed my new job at the begin­ning of Jan­u­ary (before the move, for those keep­ing track of such things). I received a warm wel­come (most­ly all by e‑mail) and did my best to get right into things. My posi­tion is sort of a new thing, though, and not per­son­al­ly know­ing peo­ple I was work­ing with made get­ting much trac­tion dif­fi­cult at first. I did fly out to South­ern Cal­i­for­nia1 to meet a num­ber of my co-work­ers and high­er-up types. That proved to be a very good trip and I real­ly enjoyed get­ting to meet all the peo­ple there. I feel con­fi­dent that I made the right choice in this career.

Fly­ing home through Chica­go in the dead of win­ter, how­ev­er, was incred­i­bly dumb. In my defense, it was also not my choice to do so. I sin­cere­ly wish I was able to make my own busi­ness trav­el arrange­ments again.

The Move

As soon as I got back, it was time to try to fin­ish pack­ing the house, get a U‑Haul van, and let the movers do their work. Of course, mov­ing is nev­er sim­ple. This was off the scale, though. Despite the best efforts of many of our friends2 and all of Ange­la’s hard work box­ing stuff in my absence, we sim­ply were not pre­pared for mov­ing when the time came to do it.

I’ll keep it sob sto­ries short, but after rent­ing a sec­ond truck plus tow-dol­ly for Ange­la’s car and putting all of our gar­den­ing and pow­er-tools on a mobile stor­age unit left in Rich­mond and not fin­ish­ing doing touch-up paint in the house before leav­ing, we were still a day late in get­ting out of there. For­tu­nate­ly, every­thing worked out just fine (as life does more than not, thank God). How­ev­er, the last night lay­ing on an inflat­able mat­tress in our house I was so sick to my stom­ach I just could­n’t sleep. To be hon­est here, I think that night I got more plan­ning for the remain­der of the move than I had done in the weeks and months up until that point.

When we final­ly got it all packed up and were ready to leave, a sense of relief swept over me. That real­ly seemed to pick up my spir­its for days to come. I need­ed it, because it was a tru­ly sad moment when we left our keys inside and locked the door of our old home one last time. We loved that house very much and had put a great deal of time and effort into it. In yet anoth­er bout of poor plan­ning, I had packed my cam­era away some­where in our SUV and nev­er got a chance to take one last pho­to. I’ll make it up dur­ing our next trip up there, but I don’t think it’ll mean as much to me.

Then again, as painful as some of the oth­er pho­tos we did take there recent­ly have been to look through, it may be just as well. It real­ly feels like a part of us is gone. Angela and I had­n’t lived in a place for that long since our child­hood homes (both of which are no longer in the fam­i­ly, either). Despite all of us being con­tent where we’re at now, think­ing about what we gave up — hav­ing those friends close by, a home we loved to be at, just liv­ing in Vir­ginia — kind of hurts.

…The New Place

Though it’s tak­en us about three weeks, we final­ly feel like we have a nice home in our apart­ment. Though going from a home of your own to an apart­ment kind of sucks, it was nice to just call up some­one to come fix leaky kitchen faucet — and not have to pay them. Ains­ley made out great, with her new room being more than twice the size of her old one. It feels like most of that square footage came out of our bed­room, though! The best part though has to be the closets.

My God! Clos­ets! Appar­ent­ly, usable clos­ets weren’t invent­ed until some­time after our old house was built.

Even though the dri­ve down was on a nice sun­ny day, the day we end­ed up unload­ing the mov­ing vans into our apart­ment (and garage and stor­age unit…) was cold, wet, and windy. The movers were great, though; and Dave even drove down to help out for a bit. We got it all moved in and most­ly all in the right places. Ange­la’s par­en­t’s came down the next day and stayed with us for the rest of the week. That helped out tremen­dous­ly. Angela and I were able to work while they watched Ains­ley and we were able to unpack bit by bit in the evenings.

We’ve been unpack­ing ever since, it seems. How­ev­er, at this point there is just one last small box of engi­neer­ing books by the door that is wait­ing to make its way down to the garage. Oth­er­wise, there’s lit­tle evi­dence of all the recent tur­moil around our lives.We’ve got some paper­work still to fill out and make it all offi­cial, but we’re Ten­nesseans again.

  1. Orange Coun­ty prob­a­bly isn’t the most scenic part of Cal­i­for­nia, to tell the truth. How­ev­er, it did make a num­ber of Arrest­ed Devel­op­ment jokes sud­den­ly make sense, so I’d say it was worth it. []
  2. I would be com­plete­ly remiss if I did­n’t give a huge thanks to Jason J. for dri­ving that 26′ U‑Haul giant down to TN for us. Just to tell you how much we trust him, we nev­er gave a sec­ond though to the well being of most of our Earth­ly pos­ses­sion being in the hands of a guy whose nev­er dri­ven any­thing big­ger than a fam­i­ly van. Also, Michelle and Robert P. were absolute­ly tire­less. They gave up their whole week­end to help out and were in a good mood the entire time, which is prob­a­bly what kept us sane. Kushal S. also came over to help pack things up. Thanks, guys. []