Monthly Archives: March 2009

Copyright Cnuts

Some dedicated readers of this blog will know I published a potentially amusing YouTube video the other day. It would seem that YouTube have kowtowed to the increasingly bewildered music industry and included some sort of audio fingerprinting technology into their upload process. In particular their cutting-edge technology accused me of using Michael Jackson’s “Ain’t no sunshine” in the video. Now, I didn’t even know that Mick had recorded a version of this song. But even with that knowledge I would never consider playing it let alone using it in a video. Nonetheless my dispute was rejected and YouTube told me they had banned the video from the entire civilised world as a result. Firstly, I have indeed used copyright material for the audio of this film, but for the purposes of stupid comedy for the easily amused. Also, I used less than 30 seconds of each song. That is fair use. And I don’t care whether some lawyer or other agrees with me, because it clearly fucking is. Watch it! It’s not damaging anyone’s intellectual rights. If you want to have a conference-call/seance with Marvin Gaye, Shabba Ranks and Barry White then I’d be only to happy to be included.
Secondly, the ban seems not to be working from the US at least, yet the thieving fucktards have placed links under the video offering to sell punters copies of the Michael Jackson song that isn’t even in the video!
I sent a complaint to them, together with a suggestion of where they could licence a better audio fingerprinting system 🙂 but they haven’t responded as yet. The fact that the video is still live makes me wonder if they understand the ridiculousness of the situation and are just letting it lie…if so, thanks guys.

Banks Vs Ponzi Schemes

What is the difference between the international banking system and a Ponzi scheme ? This is a serious, non-rhetorical question to which I’d really like an answer. The more I think about it, the only difference seems to be the exact nature of the con, and the honesty of the people running it.
If the owner of the bank/Ponzi is truly honest they’ll admit, to themselves at least, that it can’t work in the long run, and acknowledge it’s just a con. This is when it becomes a Ponzi.
Cowardly, stupid, or dishonest people will just continue to work at increasing the scale of the scheme without thinking about the obvious consequences and the inevitability of collapse. These are the bankers.

Seriously, I can’t think of any other differences. They work in the same way:

  • Firstly they encourage a chunk of investment by producing glossy brochures claiming to be able to increase the value of your investments using some financial magic.
  • Banks then use this money to invest in debts. They offer massive loans to people, in return for massive amounts of interest. Even though they may never get this money back, it is accounted for as a profit. Ponzi schemes don’t bother with the debt selling bit, they just declare the profits. This is actually better for investors because it saves a lot of overhead on selling and administering the loans.
  • Investors receive statements showing how much their money has grown. Everyone’s happy!

In both systems, the numbers on the statements are fictitious. If all investors attempted to withdraw their money, the scheme collapses as the money isn’t there! It’s a con!
All of this stuff about “toxic assets” is a red-herring; they’re all toxic assets. Neither scheme can support itself when everyone is permanently in debt.

Bernard Made-off obviously had enough integrity not to ask for a government hand-out, and instead owned-up. So we should give him a lot more respect than anyone in AIG, Citi or RBS.

As usual, Tom Tomorrow explains it far more clearly.


Sometimes you have to have some time off work to get your head together. I’ve taken a couple of days to calm down, do some reading, engage in some quality family time and generally relax. Two days is all I took but I’m already enjoying it. Some stuff:

AIG bonus solution

So the argument is that the bonuses were a legal obligation made before the bail-out. Apart from that being obvious bullshit, there is a simple solution to this problem that will avoid the legal quagmire:

Simply ask for the money back, and then publish the names and home-addresses of those that decline! You could print them in newspapers, or on huge billboards, together with driving directions, gun adverts and bomb making instructions.

The “talent” will swiftly and willingly comply.

Slacklustre blog

Busy busy busy, and no time to get brain-air for something interesting to say. So here is a list of stuff…helps jog my memory if nothing else:

Bird of the Week: Red-winged Blackbird

red winged blackbirdFrom now on, as well as the usual cobblers that make up this blog, every week I’m going to try and nominate a bird for the “Bird of the Week” and this week is the beautiful Red-winged Blackbird.

We first became aware of this beautiful little guy last year during our drive to work. We noticed a bunch of odd little birds flying across the road at the same point of our journey every day, but flying in a most peculiar way; rather than just flying in a straight line they give a little burst of wing flapping, which caused them to gain altitude, followed by a short glide, during which they drop again. It gives them a sort of sawtooth flight pattern. On a few occasions they flew close enough for us to notice that they had red go-faster stripes on them.

Once we’d managed to identify these lovely little guys, we noticed from the pictures that rather than go-faster stripes, the red markings are actually more like the epaulettes of some dodgy military dictator – right down to the gold trim.

Over the winter we haven’t seen them at all and were beginning to wonder whether we’d imagined them…until last week.

Waiting over the road from my office, at the bush that designates the bus-stop, I noticed a swarm of odd little birds. They flew past me into the distance and then, two minutes later they appeared behind me and flew past again – all the time in a peculiar sawtooth flight pattern. This went on for about ten minutes before I realised…the red-wings are back! Now that the temperature is rising, they’ve come back to make babies and hang out in Philly!

Pedestrian post

no pedestriansNow, I know I do bang on about the depressing, soulless, pit of malfeasance that is King Of Prussia a great deal, but it’s so difficult to paint an accurate picture. Fortunately, the job has now been made easier by the geniuses at Google who created Street View; now you can take a virtual tour of the area where I spend most of my weekdays.
In fact, I’ve become so obsessed with the anti-pedestrian sentiment of the entire area that this Saturday we’re going there to make a film about it.

More details later.

Last week it snowed. Heavily. This week is warm and springy. The robins and red-winged blackbirds are back.