Friday, February 26, 2010

thanks for nothing, Gipper

Looks like we lost the Cold War, after all. From within. Via one of the NYTimes's innumerable blogs, according to Pew Research Center, Americans born after 1980 believe in big government, market intervention, and that we will revel in the blood of society's bourgeois parasites. Okay, just the first two.
The Pew Research Center today released a giant report on the Millennial generation, a.k.a. Generation Y, a.k.a Americans born after 1980.

The report has many interesting factoids (including the percentage of members of each generation who say they sleep with their cellphone next to their heads). But one of the more provocative sections has to do with attitudes toward government.

Based on the 2009 survey data in this report, Millennials appear to be more pro-government, pro-regulation and pro-market-intervention than older generations... a whopping 53 to 42 percent. People over sixty-five are opposed, 47 to 39 percent.

Repeat: a majority of people over 65 believe in less government intervention in the market. One would think a significant number of these people lived through The Depression -- or heard about it from those who did right before these jerks were born.

So, two take aways here: apparently, we're Millennials, the most apocalyptic nickname for a generation ever. Also: old people are dumb.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

what mickey wants...

Well, it seems that our condemnation of Odeon was a bit hasty. They threw their tantrum, and now will give the Mouse what it wants:
In a statement following talks with Disney, Odeon said: The Odeon and UCI Cinema Group is pleased to announce that, following detailed negotiations with the Walt Disney Company Ltd, an enduring agreement has been reached encompassing all the different aspects of both companies' commercial relationship.

"As a result of this agreement, Odeon is pleased to confirm that it will be able to continue with its plans for significant investment in new cinemas, in digital technology in 3D capability and the other exciting developments designed for the increased enjoyment of all its customers."
So that's that, I guess. No one learned anything. Sounds like another glorious day in the entertainment industry.

protecting the status quo

Honestly, how much can a company not get it? Listen, businesspeople: if you try to keep business models static, not only do you sacrifice future profits, you will hurt current profits.

Autodesk, the makers of AutoCAD, want to prevent people from re-selling fully licensed copies of their software on sites like eBay. Seems like a straightforward endeavor -- until you realize they're trying to invoke DMCA in such a way that it will undermine the legality of minor things like video rentals and libraries.
When Mr. Vernor tried to auction four authentic, packaged copies of AutoCAD software, Autodesk sent DMCA takedown notices to block his auctions and threatened to sue him for copyright infringement. Mr. Vernor, assisted by the lawyers at Public Citizen, took Autodesk to court and won.

Autodesk has appealed, arguing that so long as its license agreements recite the right magic words, it can strip purchasers of any ownership in the CD-ROMs on which software is delivered. If that's right, then not only don't you own the software you buy, but any copyright owner can simply recite the magic words and effectively outlaw libraries, used bookstores, and DVD rentals, among other things (eBay also filed an amicus brief on behalf of Mr. Vernor). That would be bad news not just for consumers looking to save a few dollars, but also for our ability to access older, out-of-print materials. For these materials, often libraries and second-hand sellers are the only hope for continued public access.
Public interest aside, I'm sure Netflix might be a little miffed should their entire business be deemed illegal.

It's becoming apparent that existing copyright legislation is quite simply outmoded. We need Congress to take the lead and establish firm yet workable guidelines in the digital age.

In other words: we're completely screwed.

[Hat tip to the eff blog, via the bookmooch blog]

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sausage Gets Made, continued [All's Fair (Six Western)]

Part of COItc's pipeline for 2010-2011 includes development of the new play All's Fair (Six Western), the recipient of a performance residency at Centrum (Port Townsend WA). Throughout the year, we hope to post the thoughts of various members of the development team and track its progress.

Below, the playwright continues to recall some of the thought process behind the work. (Part One is here.)

I'm not quite sure how Neil Patterson came into being. He's not based on any one person. As depressing as it is to think that we've not been at war in Iraq and Afghanistan long enough to subdivide it into eras, there was a time in the first stages after the fall of Saddam Hussein and the Taliban when the overwhelming narrative was that of soldiers and contractors kidnapped and executed by insurgents. (It's still happening, but we don't pay much attention anymore.)

The story then was that of the armed forces of a helpless giant besieged on all sides by hostile Lilliputians who would be our undoing through many isolated--albeit barbaric--fatalities. Vietnam redux.

What struck me was how quickly those hostages disappeared from our collective view after their deaths or repatriations. Their only value was when they were in the most distress; we considered very little for them or their families after the crisis was over, one way or another. This is to be expected in our celebrity-addled times, but it seemed particularly psychotic when it came to things like war. Trapped coal miners and babies dropped down wells might be satisfied, even eager, to return to obscurity after their rescue. If the traumas of returning soldiers were anything to go on (another largely ignored narrative, because untidy), those held hostage by Islamic extremists and lucky enough to escape might have a bit more difficulty readjusting.

And while there were events in the news that no doubt inspired the plot, but the real backbone of the play, the real thrust behind the writing, were the characters around Neil, and my experience bringing them to life made me throw this script in a drawer for two years.

Some of the dialogue for my scripts starts as disembodied voices arguing in my head. My favorite parts of All's Fair (Six Western) were born when I started hearing Emily, Jane, and Cherien sparring in the back of my head beyond my control. So, like I always do, I just started transcribing their argument and tried to drape a story around them.

There was something different this time in their voices, though: I was hearing the distinct characteristics of specific actors I'd worked with -- this was something new.

I got into playwriting, if it can be believed, for more egotistical and self-serving reasons than the ones I have for pursuing it: I begin writing lines for my own voice, trying to give myself the parts I wasn't finding in auditions. (The Third Seat was assembled from the zombified remains of my first ever attempt at playwriting in 2003; the first draft was truly cringe-worthy.)

For the first time, the characters I started developing for AF(SW) weren't abstract -- they were based on performers I truly enjoyed working with; sentence cadences were starting to mold to their habits -- for more practiced playwrights I know that this is not an epiphany, but I felt like a painter discovering a whole new kind of brush; it was exhilarating.

I hastily slapped together a draft and dragged some actors into a studio. From 2003 to 2007 I had used the page as my primary laboratory, but after Danish I couldn't even get a full picture of the piece without hearing it out loud. And in the writing for this one, I had literally composed it for specific performers. It was inconceivable that the process could go one more step without their input. These were characters for them; was like a tailor assembling the materials for a custom-made suit: I needed measurements, color swatches, allergies.

So it was a special thud in the pit of my stomach when one of the performers for whom I'd written a role flipped the last page over and said, I don't really get it.
Laurel Lockhart and Roy Clary at the Third Seat first read. This is after I started photographing the carnage.

The first problem was probably that I had tried to drape the script over the episodic roll-out I'd conceived as a way to enhance an audience's engagement with the production. Trying to make a story that ostensibly would unfold over the course of two hours sustain itself for four weeks is a challenge in and of itself, compounded by the fact that my writing style in the best of times tends to be rather condensed. A frequent complaint from actors is that I often don't provide enough of a justification in text for the leaps of faith and about-faces my characters make.

Since my instinct was to be the anti-soap opera (half-submerged objectives, quick changes, non sequiturs), how could I have plausibly created a script that was, for all intents and purposes, a live soap opera?

The short answer is that I hadn't. But I thought I did. There, on the second page, was a pretentiously worded breakdown of pages, purposely indecipherable because even I didn't know that it meant:
But it sure looked like I knew what I was doing. Until we were done reading and people started asking questions.

So -- the first week -- people just leave after page 67? And then they come back and don't have any idea what's going on?

This character doesn't do anything. There's no justification for her making this choice.

I don't get it.

This was my first experience with developing a piece with other people; up until now I had worked in seclusion, not showing drafts to anyone else, and in my one single experience of producing, had held all the purse strings, and thus had final say. I had never opened my scripts up for scrutiny before we had a chance to rehearse and refine. And yet I had thought in my arrogance that these performers would be so flattered by my writing for them that they would not see this first draft for the flawed text that it was.

I had a lot to learn. A lot to process and refine. A lot of ways to get better. So, I did what any mature and self-possessed artist would do.

I threw the script in a drawer and left it there for two years.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

news that is not news

To begin with, all the items in Patrick Healy's gays are just like us theater trend piece in the NYT are positive ones.
A new breed of plays and musicals this season is presenting gay characters in love stories, replacing the direct political messages of 1980s and ‘90s shows like “The Normal Heart” and “Angels in America” with more personal appeals for social progress.
These productions about gay life make little or no mention of H.I.V. or AIDS and keep direct activism at arm’s length, with militant crusading portrayed with ambivalence more than ardor. The politics of these shows — there are seven of them opening in New York in the next several weeks — are subtler, more nuanced: they place the everyday concerns of Americans in a gay context, thereby pressing the case that gay love and gay marriage, gay parenthood and gay adoption are no different from their straight variations.
All well and good, but not only are these points blindingly obvious (the Times is rather good at catching on late and pimping illegal wars, after all), Healy neglects two key changes over time:
  1. the increasing maturity of audiences to deal with gay characters being more than people who sleep with the same sex; and
  2. the slowly dawning realization on the part of theatrical producers that they can fund works that portray gay characters with simple humanity and still make money (see point number 1).
It seems to me Duncan Pflaster's pithy post here provides a far subtler and perceptive analysis in a tenth of the space. But his argument assumes a continuum between audience and playwright, and a market to be supplied -- rather than the received aesthetic of whatever theaters the Times deigns to populate.

What is disheartening is Healy's unstated assumption that gay characters in theater must be placed there for exclusively political reasons. It's particularly galling to this playwright because the portrayal of brown-skinned characters has gone through this same evolution (or, I should say, audiences and producers have evolved along similar lines vis รก vis brown-skinned people onstage) and the same assumption prevails: if a character treads the boards who happens to be gay / brown / lack a penis but possesses any crumb of agency, they must have been placed there because the playwright has a point to make.

Why can't a playwright simply want to tell a story using people who exist in the real world?

Overall the piece has this tone (like so much of the Times) well-suited to quietly assure the elite that change wont essentially threaten their privilege. Honestly, is there a better article to send your great-aunt Edna out on Long Island -- you know, the one who hasn't been to New York since 1974 when that black guy looked at her funny on the street and scared her half to death -- to convince her to come see a show?

Credit where credit is due, however: Healy does briefly note that despite the more even-handed portrayal of gay people onstage, those characters are still overwhelmingly male. There are hierarchies, even amongst society's untouchables...

eating your own hand

Yet more evidence that the entertainment industry can't stop panicking about the new digital landscape.

We'll call this the digital butterfly effect. Disney, which seems more willing than most to toy with the DVD sales model to maximize profits (Disney Vault, anyone?), is now toying on the other end: by narrowing the window for its new Tim Burton-helmed Alice in Wonderland re-boot to be in theaters.

While direct-to-video and simultaneous release are not necessarily new, the idea that a producer would take the central event of a theatrically released film (that is the, er, theatrical release itself) and try to use it to jump-start DVD sales is ... interesting. Mostly because they are taking the central strength of film, its longevity, and bringing it closer to live theater by limiting its run.

(The key difference being that Disney's marketing budget and built-in platform makes such a ploy a cagey gamble -- everyone, after all, knows where they can buy one your items -- whereas for any theatrical production that isn't Phantom of the Opera, a limited run is a sad concession to reality.)

But as the mouse flaps its ears in Anaheim, some corporate conglomerate in London craps its pants. To wit:
Tim Burton's new film version of Alice in Wonderland will not be screened at Odeon cinemas in the UK, Irish Republic and Italy, the cinema chain says.
The move is in response to the Disney studio's plan to reduce the period in which it can be shown only in cinemas from the standard 17 weeks.
The plan would allow Disney to release the film on DVD at the end of May.
Odeon said it would "set a new benchmark, leading to a 12-week window becoming rapidly standard".
There are always unintended consequences to any move, and in an industry with as many moving parts as the international film market, of course someone's gamble is someone else's guaranteed loss.

Although, on the face of it, the complaint that the 12-week window could become the industry standard seems a bit random. It's not as though theaters are at a loss of material to screen. And had it come from their end, couldn't theaters use the limited time only banner to fill every seat during a shorter run, like every other business does?

Instead of a rational reaction to shift in business practice (and not even a permanent one, might I add), we have the usual panic-in-the-face-of-any-change-whatsoever. Charming.

[Image via Waylou]

Thursday, February 18, 2010

why it's dangerous

The correct argument against the expansion of the executive branch under George W. Bush and Nixonite refugee Dick Cheney was not that they were inherently evil and doing irrevocable damage to the Constitution and the world (although they were); the deeper crisis was the precedent they set for those who came after.

I have no doubt that the 43rd President of the United States, what with his direct line to Jesus and all, truly believed that he was doing what was right for the nation, the world, and the Rapture. What worries me is the successor who has no interest in doing what's right, or God's will, but seeks only to line his pocket and smite his enemies. The last time we had a spiteful, mentally unbalanced President (see Nixon, Richard M.), things did not go well. And that was with a robust balance of powers in place -- a balance of power that Richard Cheney sought actively to undermine during his eight years in the Executive Office Building.

That is why it is so disheartening to see Obama make choices that are right for the short term, but are ruinous to the structure of our federal government. I'm not worried about you, Barack, I'm worried about the next guy (or gal!).
With much of his legislative agenda stalled in Congress, President Obama and his team are preparing an array of actions using his executive power to advance energy, environmental, fiscal and other domestic policy priorities.
“We are reviewing a list of presidential executive orders and directives to get the job done across a front of issues,” said Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff.

Any president has vast authority to influence policy even without legislation, through executive orders, agency rule-making and administrative fiat. And Mr. Obama’s success this week in pressuring the Senate to confirm 27 nominations by threatening to use his recess appointment power demonstrated that executive authority can also be leveraged to force action by Congress.

Mr. Obama has already decided to create a bipartisan budget commission under his own authority after Congress refused to do so. His administration has signaled that it plans to use its discretion to soften enforcement of the ban on openly gay men and lesbians serving in the military, even as Congress considers repealing the law. And the Environmental Protection Agency is moving forward with possible regulations on heat-trapping gases blamed for climate change, while a bill to cap such emissions languishes in the Senate.
Yeah, liberals, I see you nodding your heads there. Remember signing statements? The establishment of Guantanamo? John Yoo?

What happens when Mitt Romney's hair falls out, Sarah Palin's teabaggers hijack the GOP Convention, and the Democrats crap the bed like they always do? Yeah, you know what happens: YOU BETCHA gets added to the pledge of allegiance, that's what.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

and an angry little child shall lead them

If the entertainment industry can't figure out how to deal with digital media as a commodity, how about letting the criminal justice system should have a go? The entertainment industry doesn't know how to properly monetize a digital transaction, but it seems a courtroom knows when a digital crime is being committed:
When Amy was a little girl, her uncle made her famous in the worst way: as a star in the netherworld of child pornography. Photographs and videos known as “the Misty series” depicting her abuse have circulated on the Internet for more than 10 years, and often turn up in the collections of those arrested for possession of illegal images.

Now, with the help of an inventive lawyer, the young woman known as Amy — her real name has been withheld in court to prevent harassment — is fighting back.

She is demanding that everyone convicted of possessing even a single Misty image pay her damages until her total claim of $3.4 million has been met.
It's a sick kind of royalty payment -- except where Hollywood producers claim (and unions reject) that full royalties for the distribution of (non-exploitative) events via the internet is unsustainable, "Amy" is hoping the economic effects of her digital retransmission will be ruinous on its perpetrators.

This is part of a larger (and far more serious) debate about society's treatment -- or lack thereof -- of sexual offenders. And while we would not want to trivialize the victim in this case for as much as a nanosecond, there is an interesting philosophical debate on the margins of this case:
Some experts argue that forcing payment from people who do not produce such images but only possess them goes too far.
So here is the question as it relates to the issues of digital distribution: some are arguing that possessing, but not creating, these images does not constitute an act of abuse on the original victim, and thus they don't owe her restitution.

Hollywood producers argue that viewing a performance on your computer, rather than in the movie theater or on a television screen, constitutes a less-valuable (if not outright criminal) transaction. How long will that argument hold water?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sausage Gets Made, continued [All's Fair (Six Western)]

Part of COItc's pipeline for 2010 includes development of the new play All's Fair (Six Western), the recipient of a performance residency at Centrum (Port Townsend WA). Throughout the year, we hope to post the thoughts of various members of the development team, and track its progress.

Below, the playwright recalls some of the thought process behind the work.

Can anything fruitful be born out of spite? Because to be honest, the first spark of what became all's fair (six western) came in 2007, sitting in the darkened lobby outside our inaugural production, The Danish Mediations, thinking about how much Actor's Equity pissed me off.

Being my first time around as a producer, everything about the process was strange to my eyes: Why did the showcase code cap the production budget and number of performances? Why didn't the code demand that producers share box office proceeds with Equity members (something we nevertheless did)?

I avoided going in to performances -- even performances with only four or five audience members -- because watching half a dozen imprisoned actors forced to mouth my words was pure hell. Since I also worked the door, those duties provided the perfect excuse to avoid going in, settling the cash box (even scant audience numbers taxed my math-deficient brain), setting up (and eating) the concessions, etc.

Jason Updike (of COI podcast fame) plays, essentially, me with Jason Altman and Gary Patent in The Danish Mediations (2007).

There were long stretches where I lay back in the dark, waiting for the act break or curtain call, and wondered what we thought we were doing. Nestled in a black box theater carved out of a cluster of SoHo apartments, the Access Theater is run by a friendly and committed staff -- but it's a fourth floor walk-up from its nondescript entrance at street level. There were many nights when I wondered how it must have looked from the outside, everyone killing themselves to create this polished theatrical piece which we promptly hid from public view as best we could.

Group photo of COI West Chapter; Gary Patent and Fayna Sanchez, both now of LA, in COItc's inaugural production.

The image etched most indelibly in my memory was the sight of audience members arriving at the fourth floor landing: out of breath, sweaty, and weary even before the show had begun. It was an extreme case, but I thought it was a fit image for many audience members in independent theater: while usually not as efficient at burning calories, it's still not easy to follow a particular company or actor or playwright before they've landed in the more comfortable niche of established off-Broadway companies. Aside from those who are extremely committed to attending live theater (who, like the mildly autistic who chart regional trains for the pleasure of checking a schedule, I find charming and creepy in equal measure), it's work for an audience to attend a show. Most people are tired from their day jobs, confused by traveling to obscure venues, hungry for a deferred meal. And I worried that the payoff was too fleeting to justify the output of energy.

How, I wondered in the dark lobby waiting for intermission, could we change the model? How could I offer an audience a more comprehensive experience? How could we increase their return? I was starting to get an idea.

To begin with, I had to take the asinine limitations of the Showcase Code as a given. It was a red herring to start bitching about the restraints placed upon producers by AEA's profit- and job-killing restrictions; sure, they are both of these things -- but that kind of woe-is-me thinking is counter-creative, it just affirms navel-gazing laziness. It's here, it's the rules. I needed to get over it.

But how could I increase the return on an audience's experience while staying inside the restrictions of a four-week Showcase run of 16 performances and a (since-revised) budget cap?

The set had to stay the same. The cast had to stay the same. But something had to be different, so the only thing left was the script. We had to create a serialized piece that could be laid out over four weeks -- one new segment a week. At the same time, I wanted to avoid a live-action soap opera: the plot had to be contained, whether an audience member chose to view all four segments or only one, they had to have a satisfying theatrical experience.

Moreover, the experience had to be informed by the segmentation -- we couldn't have it take four weeks to do the play simply because of a high page count. I had no idea what kind of story would work, though...


Monday, February 15, 2010

new podcast episode

A new episode is ready for download. (We're proud of this one.)

As always, there are three ways to listen:
(1) Stream the episode below
(2) Visit our podcast page and listen online:
(3) iTunes users can click this link

Friday, February 12, 2010

the battle for the GOP's soul

Never underestimate the power of humor.

There was a breakthrough this week, as the GOP's website made a funny joke. This is an indication that the battle for the Republican Party's soul has been enjoined.

Since the Republican primaries for the 2008 election, there have been many who wondered what had happened to the Grand Old Party. As John McCain is reported to have asked in that wonderfully bad piece of political porn, Game Change, who would want to be the leader of these assholes? has mounted an e-card campaign featuring some Democratic heavyweights, outlined here at the la times' top of the ticket blog. My two favorites:

Yeah, they're a little leaden, but so what? They made jokes based on policy, on public behavior -- and, moreover, jokes that didn't call into question their opponents' citizenship, patriotism, or basic humanity. That's the basis of constructive, responsible politicking. (And worthy of encouragement: jokes also tend to be funnier when they're not hateful.)

So what does this mean? It means that there are elements within the GOP that have begun to work against the hateful, spiteful, far-right elements that wish to take control of it. After all, those who find persuasive the incomprehensible rhetoric of the Tea (so-called) Party most definitely don't have a sense of humor.

The seduction of Palinmania has been far too high-wattage for Republican incumbents to ignore as they try to draw big crowds. Hopefully, voters understand -- as the former Governor clearly does -- that her brand (and the ideology of which she has become the figurehead) only works without power and responsibility, and can only be catastrophic with either.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

summer festivals

Before we start inundating the mailing list with announcements (did you know people actually miss those emails? I didn't), a quick bit of good news: we'll be returning to the Planet Connections Festivity this summer, from June 3-27. Equally great news is that our friends Felipe Ossa (of Monetizing Emma fame) and Duncan Pflaster (of, like, everything fame) will be there, too. This year we're having a party.

Dates and details to come...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

this is getting serious

Remember the picture we posted of Jason Updike recording for the podcast? Yeah, the man was back this weekend and put in yeoman's work of a six-hour-long session finishing up the raw audio for those episodes.

A tip of the cap to Jason, and deep breath as we begin the editing...

Monday, February 8, 2010

managing director of insomnia

We would be remiss if not to mention that Artistic Director Adam Karsten and his lovely wife Karen welcomed Keeley Paulina Karsten into the world on January 22nd.

Everyone is in excellent health, if perhaps a wee bit tired.

Friday, February 5, 2010

painting on a moving train

It's slightly embarrassing to admit that I learned of Howard Zinn's passing belatedly, and through a freaking comic. Sure, I was traveling that week, but still -- there are writers and thinkers whose status I try to stay aware of, not because we're chums, but because death means they're really not going to produce anything else.

Zinn is the historian and activist whose People's History of the United States continues to inspire countless young students of history (and, most significantly of course, ["I'm fucking"] Matt Damon). I remember the first time I was truly thunderstruck reading that book in high school, sitting at the Newkirk Avenue stop on the subway as I read about the ILGWU and its role in the history of New York City -- something I thought, up until that moment, I had a pretty good handle on. The enormity of the stories in the book, stories that had until then been erased from our collective history, brought home how badly the fix was in. I was shattered in a way only a far-too-earnest adolescent can be shattered.

(My freshman year of college, I was a still-earnest-but-less-so newly minted history major when Zinn was invited for a lecture; at the luncheon following, I was seated across from him at a narrow table and completely overwhelmed. I had not understood that college could bring me into close proximity with my idols like this.)

When shortly thereafter someone put his one-man play Marx In Soho across my desk, I thought it was going to be the deliverance I sought, the much-needed synthesis of my dueling interests in history and drama. Instead I found, with a sinking heart, a bad play.

Zinn opened my eyes to the artistry and passion one could bring to historiography; he also showed me the limits ideology places on art. The title of Zinn's memoirs, You Can't Be Neutral On A Moving Train, showcases his gifts as a polemicist and limitations as a thinker. The idea that art must submit to the struggle is as bankrupt as the idea that art stands completely apart from society and history: it's something else entirely, something much more complicated. I was a true believer who had forever lost his church; it was a lonely discovery.

While it had been a long time since Zinn was my sun and moon, it is nevertheless a lonely realization that he is not around anymore.

[portrait by Robert Shetterly]

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

simply awesome

I was going to blockquote just a graph or two in a larger post about copyright in the digital age, but really, you just need to read through all of Gizmodo's Joel Johnson, in his parlance, "iPad snivelers": software developers who complain about Apple's closed ecosystem.

Now, yes, I'm a nerd -- even though I don't know thing out about coding -- but I think these issues are relevant to performing artists. As I've mentioned before, we need to be thinking proactively (and, er, creatively) about the nature of performance, recording of performance, and monetizing those recordings.

It's also hilarious:

Is the DMCA a travesty? Is it bullshit that someone should go to jail for cracking the firmware of a device they own? Of course. Only monsters would allow the curious to go to jail for exploring. Every song ever recorded, every movie ever filmed—they're all together less important than a person's freedom.

But you know what will fix those issues? It's not bitching about how those stupid customers may or may not buy an iPad. It's fixing the legal system. (Or for most of us, myself included, letting the EFF fight those battles for us.)

The number of engineers complaining about Apple's decisions who aren't using products of other capitalist corporations who thrive in the shadow of patent law and the DMCA approaches zero: Moan away in your Google browsers on Windows running on your copyrighted Intel processors. You're really fighting the good fight.

Now, I'm not buying an iPad because they're tethered to AT&T and AT&T is terrible. But that's another issue altogether...

Monday, February 1, 2010

new podcast episode

Check it out, y'all -- a new episode is ready for download. Some vintage sci-fi.

As always, there are three ways to listen:
(1) Stream the episode below
(2) Visit our podcast page and listen online:
(3) iTunes users can click this link