hikingviking

Campbell, CA

Monday, December 08, 2003

Haiku of the day...

with colors so bright
how can highlighter markers
be called nontoxic?

Monday, August 04, 2003

Real pirates are the threat to the RIAA

As the RIAA hides behind statistics of dwindling CD sales and launches a massive campaign to turn teenaged file swappers into felons who lose their voting rights, the numbers are actually telling a different story about why sales are slumping. According to the BBC, real pirates selling bootleg CDs are bigger culprits.

Some stats from the article:

- Every third CD sold is a pirate copy.
- Pirate CD sales rose 14% in 2002, exceeding over a billion units.
- Competition in the counterfeit market has the price of CDs down to $4 each.
- 90% of CDs sold in China are bootleg.

And here’s the kicker:

- Major record labels and distributors have been fined twice by the US Federal Trade Commission for price fixing their products.

Is the RIAA fighting the right battle? I mean, I’m all for artists earning a living when there’s a market to support their livelihood. But when you look at how much the artist sees of the $17 price of a “legit” CD, I no longer buy that line of moral justification for the RIAA’s actions. (Keep in mind that the “illegal” bit about P2P file sharing is an uncollected royalty fee of 8 cents per song that goes to the copyright holder, which, depending on the recording contract, may not even be the artist!)

Recording industry greed and lack of competition have created an unsustainable price point for CDs, the losers are the consumers and the artists. The market adapts with a huge incentive for counterfeiters to jump in, and the artists get hurt even more. Come on, RIAA, bring the cost of legit CD’s down to $5 where they belong and the piracy problem goes away.

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Ampersands

Okay, because this keeps coming up,


This is where it states that URIs should use the entity value for an ampersand instead of a simple ampersand.


This means that when XSL outputs URLs like:


http://filename.ext?n1=v1&n2=v2


it is not a bug that there’s a “&” in there!. In fact, this URL is more spec-compliant than a URL that simply contains “&".


The breakdown goes something like this:

  1. HTTP and URI’s declare that the ampersand is used to separate name/value pairs for GET-type form submissions.
  2. SGML and XML specify that “special characters” need to be escaped into their character entities when they occur inside attributes in elements. Unfortunately, the ampersand is the character that denotes the beginning of a character entity, and is thus considered a “special character.”
  3. This means that the ampersand must be represented as & or & if it occurs inside an href attribute in the A tag for the HTML to be truly valid. This is a hard requirement for XHTML validation.

An interesting corollary happens if you live in the XSL world, like I do. If you create your links in XSL like this:


<a href="{$my_link_var_with_ampersands}">...</a>


then ampersands will always be escaped into their entity form. However, if you create your links like this:


<a>
<xsl:attribute name="href">
<xsl:value-of select="$my_link_var_with_ampersands"
disable-output-escaping="true" />
</xsl:attribute>
</a>

an interesting thing occurs. If your output method is set to “text/html", then the XSLT engine will output escaped ampersands. If you output method is set to “text/plain", then it will not, since the engine is not worried about producing code to SGML/XML specs.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

The Patience of a Saint

Okay, yes, my life is a soundtrack. Rediscovered this album this weekend, and Neil Tennant’s lyrics seem to fit my new role on the Search Attributes team at eBay … especially since I have no computer yet, nor a badge, but I do have a spec to read …

Talking of my attributes
The things I do so well
As anyone whose in cahoots
With me will readily tell
I’ve lived up here, I’ve been down there
I’ve bought so I could sell
And if I drove a faster car
I drive it bloody well

How could I change … I live without restraint?

And I would try the patience of a saint.
And I would try the patience of a saint.

Sunday, March 09, 2003

Turning...

… last night of transition, tomorrow begins something brand new. listening to a bunch of my old acoustic favs (joni mitchell, dar williams, cheryl wheeler, christine lavin) and reading some more Rumi:

A secret turning in us
makes the universe turn.
Head unaware of feet,
and feet head. Neither cares.
They keep turning

-

Dance, when you’re broken open.
Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off.
Dance in the middle of the fighting.
Dance in your blood.
Dance, when you’re perfectly free.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Two Little Children

… up all night drinking beer and listening to old kyler, dekana, and figment recordings … two days and counting until i am no longer a fish …

Two Little Children

Jan Martin Borgersen, 1991,

recorded by Figment and the Rest, 1994, on Common Ground

Underneath my pillow I hide all my wishes
I don’t want to lead a life full of only near misses
And I can see your eyes as you stand next to me
And now on these lips I feel soft gentle kisses

I take your arm as we skip around the fountain
We’ve tumbled through the grass and we’ve climbed all the mountains
(mountains are ours)
And I can see your eyes as you gaze into mine
(like the stars)
Always and forever we’ll be two little children
(happy children)

I take your hand as we walk to the altar
We’re tying the knot say a prayer to God the Father
(God does hear us, child)
And I can see your eyes as you lie next to me
(no lies are said)
Always and forever we’ll be two little children
(smiling children)

Underneath my pillow I release all my wishes
I’m living a full life, full of all of my wishes
And I can see your eyes as you lie next to me
Always and forever we’ll be two little children
And I can see your eyes as you lie next to me
Always and forever we’ll be two little children

I touch you one last time as they carry you away
Lower you in the ground and they carry you away
And I can see your eyes in a memory of mine
(sweet memories)
Always and forever we were two little children

Underneath my pillow I bury my wishes
I’ve lived a full life full of all of my wishes
I can see your eyes in a picture on the wall
Always and forever we were two little children
(blessed children)
Always and forever we’ll be two little children

Friday, February 14, 2003

Leaving the Island

Aim conversation with the guy who hired me into Razf. Three years to the day after I began working here, I give notice. Happy Valentines Day.

: what if gilligan left the island and went on some other show
: what would the other castaways do?
: throughout the west coast
: there are shouts ringing
: “that’s my little buddy!”
: of course the bean counters are now having to adjust their revenue forecasts
: the implications of this are only now starting to be understood
: thank you for not making this announcement until the sbi deal was past the point of no return

Sunday, February 09, 2003

Unsurpassed comfort at home...

The best thing about the Razorfish / SBI merger happened this afternoon.

I walked out of our (now vacant) 11th St. San Francisco building this afternoon with an Aeron chair for the last-ditch price tag of $50 paid to "SBI and Company." Apparently, as you might have just read in the Salon article, the USWeb/CKS office we’re moving into on Townsend Street has plenty of their own.

If I had any more room in my car, I would have bought four more and sold them for 1000% profit (yes, one-thousand percent) on Ebay.

But this one I’m keeping. Ahhhhh. What luxury.

Saturday, February 01, 2003

Shattered

Surreal.

Awoke to images of the space shuttle Columbia disintegrating over Texas. Numb, head and lungs still aching from the chaos of last night.

Romantic, in a macabre way, this Roman Candle at 200,000 ft. fizzling into dust across a bright blue February sky. Graceful, in contrast to Challenger seventeen years ago, yet just as final.

As above, so below. This day seems meant for Roman Candles, whose outward flair and beauty are the very elements of their end.

I have some emotional soul searching to do. Road trip to Tahoe.