June 29, 2006

A good debate

How well do you know your computer?

Microsoft recently started including their "Windows Genuine Advantage" (WGA) tracker as part of their critical updates. Now if you know you have a pirated copy of Windows, your pupils would have widened while reading that.

Heres how the WGA works:

Having the latest WGA will become mandatory and if it's not installed, Windows will give a 30 day warning and when the 30 days is up and WGA isn't installed, Windows will stop working. Even with a completely patched system that is entirely legal, a system lacking the WGA software could be disabled.

I want to direct you to this article, and make up your own mind. Here are some of the comments that had me scratching my head:

- The Doom Machine strikes again:
More than 90% of the world's personal computers use Windows. I don't think Microsoft realizes that a vast majority of these copies are pirated, and furthermore, many of the users of these pirated copies are unaware they are pirated. That's just how it is when you dominate the industry to the degree that MS does. The point is, if MS decides to flip the 'killswitch', the repercussions could be more than just a couple dozen million people suddenly finding their computers unusable. We're talking shaking the foundations of civilization, economic collapse, governments being overthrown, real apocalyptic events here. That's the degree that Windows has become essential to the functioning of the world's economies and societies. The operating system company is just about as important to the first world countries of the world as the electric company...

- Kerii writes:
Apparently, some people are incapable of wraping their brain around the idea that software can be cracked. Didn't we go through this whole scenario before when XP Activation first came around?

- Response to the Doom Machine:
Geez, here we go again with the usual MS is evil, everyone will leave in droves, get a real OS, it will bring Governments, Countries, the entire World down etc etc crap. I run a licensed version, I see no issue with MS checking my license is valid from time to time. How can they make it work? Easy, the same as if you go past the activation period without activating XP. What if I don't download WGA? It could be a requirement before any future updates and activations. A similar update could mean a system level check to make sure WGA is still there, similar to when the system checks for changes to signal a new activation. You bought a license to use their software, what's wrong with them wanting to check it once in a while? And if they detect a pirated copy of their software, why is it wrong for them to want to disable it?

- response to that one:
Can you name any other product you own where you have to actively prove ownership in the absence of evidence to the contrary? I don't recall anyone ever knocking on my door demanding to see a home title or else they will board up the doors and windows.

- the shock:
So, let me get this straight – Windows has to validate when you install it, by phoning home to Microsoft, and then has to continue to validate on some sort of regular basis to continue to prove to MS that the software that you purchased is still valid? Seriously -- you guys put up with this shit? In absolutely any other business customers would tell a vendor who tried to pull off a scheme this outrageous to go take a hike; with Microsoft they defend it. Unbelievable.

- and finally (the thoughts I side with the most):
Okay I understand where Microsoft is coming from on this, but honestly this move would piss off far too many people... they are better off just leaving this for Vista and that way no one can complain "I had no idea I've been running a pirated copy all this time". Let the pirates run their copies of XP until the next millenia or let them switch to Linux, it's not like Microsoft was getting their money anyway.

If you believe you might have downloaded it as part of a security update, you can get rid of it, but you might want to call a computer geek "friend" to help you out. Go here for the article, or HERE for the how-to and print this out before beginning.

If not, perhaps watching these might persuade you to avoid this altogether.

June 23, 2006

Muppets go!

I just found out Statler and Waldorf are back on Go.com - brilliant stuff - and very much in line with how I remember them as a youngster. Always trying to crack a joke, nearly always in miserable failure. This context sees them not reviewing the Muppet Show segments, but new movie releases. There are great little skits as well (with other muppets).

It's truly a joy to see these old codgers still up to their old tricks. If you expect it to be too clever, you miss the whole point.

Here's the original crew (click to enlarge)

The Muppet Show Cast - click to enlarge

June 21, 2006

Nothing to report, except

This is the kind of thing I see, read, hear and lust after, nearly every day.

Lust (see: I want)
• I want this Snorg Tee. For christmas ...someone?
Dave Chapelles Block Party - I know a few boyz who'd love to see this

World Cup Updates I can handle.

Sound Of Superman is an album that is well timed around the release of Superman Returns. 14 songs inspired by the man of steel, about heroes, courage and stuff like that. Perhaps perfect for a mid 40s woman who reads romantic novels, or for the soundtrack to your home movie of a 7 year old boy being 'tuff'... OR
• As many concievable versions of Depeche Mode's "Enjoy The Silence" for your downloading pleasure :)

I gotta see Glide Time. "New Zealand, 1976. The clock ticks. The rain pelts down. The heaters don’t work. The phone rings. The in-tray overflows. Clipboards and circulars rule. And there’s a promotion to be had."

June 14, 2006

80s Stripped

A neat idea and perhaps a good enough reason to give the 80s another chance - especially if you REALLY hate the image, at least the original artist has the chance to branch through 20 years of musical adaptation and revisit their old, and most memorable work.

The two songs I have posted here are particular favourites of mine. Howard Jones does "No One Is To Blame" on his piano. Its clear how great lyrics and a great, simple melody makes a great song. Toward the end of the song, you think he's done and wrapped up the song, but uses a cadence to encore the chorus twice more, with audience singing along. Cute.

As for "Promises Promises" by Naked Eyes, I hope most of you know that Madonna was featured on the 12" version - as the female subject, answering why she never kept her promises, and it would have been nice to have this in the 'stripped' version. Although it isn't, the arrangement makes this song much more emotional and less 'poppy'.

There are a couple of abysmal tracks on this album as well. I'm highlighting Colin Hay of Men at Work doing 'Down Under', Hearts 'These Dreams', and Tommy Tutone's '867-5309/Jenny'. Woof.

The rest are awesome - if you buy the album, Rick Springfield's 'Jesses Girl' will stand out. I really liked the nuttiness of Thomas Dolby's 'She Blinded Me With Science'. Why? Those original samples of Magnus Pyke screaming Science! were played live, and oddly reminded me of the Munsters.


Howard Jones - No One Is To Blame ogg/2Mb/2006
Naked Eyes - Promises Promises ogg/1.2Mb/2006

*pick up Ogg before June 21, 2006

Aguilera's back

Correct pronunciation:

Incorrect pronunciation:

Feelin this new track at the mo. Sounded a bit like a James Brown song at first feel, but its through and through Aguilera. Teenage girls everywhere will like this!
Kamatu Atem sums its up really well.

"Back ta yesserday on da wings of tommorrow. 60s beats and horns style wit early scratchin' sounds of rap. It's Aretha and DJ Flash on a corner in da bronx, it's Witney pre-crack and AJ Theodore, all wit a heavy dose of James Brown. But lord the drums is funky plenty a mama daddies and papa daddies. It's da hottest true pop dis summer hands down."

Christina Aguilera - Ain't No Other Man ogg/2Mb/2006

*pick up Ogg before June 21, 2006

June 13, 2006

80s Music Videos

Oh you naughty naughty tube!


Work Safe Videos also boast a few shiners!

Look at you

Courtesy of Timedoor, I thought this may be a great time for you to review this, and take a look at yourself. My answers in italic.

1. Of all the bands & artists in your collection, which one do you own the most albums by?

2. What was the last song you listened to?
T Rex - Hot Love

3. What’s on the stereo right now?
Niu FM

4. What’s your favorite local band?
Always enjoy P Moneys stuff, also Greg Johnson. Bands are great, but individuality I think is far more expressive.

5. What was the last show you attended?
Vaimutu Allstars at Skycity

6. What was the greatest show you’ve ever been to?
Big Day Out 2003

7. What’s the worst band you’ve ever seen in concert?
I'm super critical of club DJs, so I'll answer this question by claiming avoidance.

8. What is the most musically involved you have ever been?
Engineering demo singles, remixing and bootlegging the odd song.

9. What show are you looking forward to?
U2 in November, without doubt.

10. What is your favorite band shirt?
Supergroove's thin black tee (circa '94), with red & white logo on front.

11. What musician would you like to be in love with you for a day?
Yulia Townsend.

12. What was your last musical “phase” before you wised up?

13. Sabbath or solo Ozzy?

14. Did you know that filling out this survey makes you a music geek?

15. What is your favorite movie soundtrack?
Pump Up The Volume

16. What would you be without music?

June 12, 2006

Aucklands 2006 Power Cut

Just leaving for work (late today too) at 8:40 and the power goes out.
Still hot water. Good. Can wash my face. Im sure I paid the power bill!

In car, Policeman directs traffic at the intersection. Im now certain I paid the bill.

Got to work. No power. Sherades. Hmmm.

Had to drop a friend off at the airport at 11. Left the city at 10am, got to the airport at 11:15am. No traffic lights, no police, no-one using the give way rules. Bus drivers were very impatient, so were towies. Running low on petrol, I plunged beyond the point of no return to get to the airport. Thank goodness most of the Airports central services including a petrol station, eftpos and the terminal itself was on a backup generator.

"A message to incoming international travellers. Welcome to New Zealand. Auckland is currently experiencing a power outage, but here at the airport, we assure you it is very much, business as usual."

On the way home, I tried calling work but there was no answer, so tried the big boss - cellphone network busy. Go home then I think. Motorway at a standstill between Mt Wellington and the city, so opt to take the suburban streets, using a route with the LEAST amount of non-working traffic lights.

After a while at home, the power suddenly came back on, so decided to shoot to the supermarket. That was a great idea, as you can see by these pics.

Meat, cheese, fish, milk, icecream - anything refrigerated was written off and not for sale. At this point, I would like to offer Dave Smart this gleeful image, along with its gleeful pricetag. Drunk up buddy!

click to enlarge picture. mmmmmmm

In an interesting radio angle, Leighton Smith "corrected" a listener.
Caller says "thanks to 1ZB for all they do on days like today" to which I agree. Radio Live has some serious work to do before they can hang their hat on something like what happened next. Leighton then says, we are "Newstalk ZB. Have been for years now. We do not go by any other name, and I just needed to correct you there". He was quite blunt about it. The caller plays tennis with him and says "that shows you how good the 1ZB branding was over the years", to which Leighton gracefully bows out with "and a fine closer".

From my jap radio listening chair, when the power went out, there was nothing on the radio for a good 20 minutes between 8:40ish and 9:00, except for Times FM from Orewa, The Flea from Devonport and with much pride, Retro Hit Radio from Manukau. You see, Manukau it seems was not affected by the powercut until around 10:15 this morning. Im guessing the techs had to turn everything off at the Otahuhu power station to reinitialize circuit breakers etc, and that was the point power was cut and transmission went down. Poos. A nice thought anyway to have perhaps all of Manukau all to myself for between 20 minutes and 2 hours.

Random Song:
Ying Yang Twins feat Lil Jon - Saltshaker ogg/2Mb/2005

*pick up Ogg before June 16, 2006

June 9, 2006

Naughty 2001

How far we've all come in 5 years. Personally, I sidestepped out of radio into a recording studio and entertainment production environment. Not long after I realised this was a mistake, and I stepped back into the radio world much to my surprise, as the owner/operator of a cool little lpfm radio station, and creative director for a national radio network.

I can say that since 2001, I've harshly shed a lot of 'friends/buddies' over this time. It was needed. But i've also made a lot of new friends and this time, I have allowed them to be a lot closer to me.

5 years ago, the faces of radio were quite different to what it is now. It will be in another 5 years no doubt, but I suspect the 'face' of radio as a medium will have changed greatly, perhaps more significant.

So heres to June 2001. America was blissfully unaware of what was about to hit them in September. The network I worked for had listeners, and these were some of the songs that are now in a time bottle, rare to ever see daylight.

Samantha Mumba - Body II Body (Robbie Rivera 2001 Remix)

King Afrika - La Bomba

Fused - Saving Mary (Robbie Rivera Remix Edit)

Limp Bizkit - My Generation

John OO Fleming vs Simple Minds - Belfast Trance

*pick up OGG files before June 16, 2006

June 6, 2006

To Tazer?

Its been the news story of the day today. I just cannot understand why these awful devices should be handed to NZ police officers on the front line. Would a police officer use one of these on themselves? .. yet soldiers in Iraq do it for fun.

Look at this. Would you put this to your under arm and press the button?

If you take sides with that ex cop Campbell Live had on tonight, then look at this horrific video.

New Horizon

There they go again, and another 'Retro Reborn' add this week.

The Tommyknockers perform microsurgery on John Parr (from 'St Elmos Fire' for those playing at home). It's just as pleasant as the recent botox job on the Baywatch theme by Sunblock.

Tommyknockers vs John Parr - New Horizon ogg/1.5Mb/2006*

*pick up Ogg before June 13, 2006