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January 2001

2001-01-31 / Today’s Reading. ‘Legally and Technically, Hollywood Is Assaulting Some Basic Rights’ by Tim O’Reilly and Richard Koman.

• Read Code + Law: An Interview with Lawrence Lessig

2001-01-29 / Freq E-Zine Posts Review of ‘Good Times.’ This just in: although it does not yet seem to have appeared on their web site, Freq E-Zine has informed us that Antron S. Meister has penned a review of the most recent Tape-beatle CD Good Times, which was released just about one year ago. Until the review really does appear, please be satisfied with this excerpt:

‘There is more to The Tape-beatles than simple anti-capitalist irony; there’s a semi-mysterious play of the same title included in the accompanying texts too, apparently discovered in the walls of the group’s studio following a fire. It’s another game, and makes for several possible readings on the related subject of resistance to low-level economic activities which ultimately benefit multinationals, such as pyramid selling, through a symbolic dialogue of distinct opacity. There is something of The Residents’ dangerous humor to the Tape-beatles, with (slightly) less tongue in cheek — one of their mottoes is ‘We take ourselves seriously so you don’t have to,’ after all. Another is Plagiarism®.’

Read it at this site

site note 2000-01-27 / Site Note. After a long hiatus, and courtesy of Google, we once again offer Search capability on our site. Why wade for hours through bushels of digital irrelevance when you can go straight to what you’re looking for. You’ll discover that using it is far more direct than this meandering descriptive enticement that invites you to try. It’s fast, it’s fun, it’ll get you where you want to be. It’s at the top of the page — you can’t miss it!

2001-01-26 / Today’s Reading. By John Gilmore (Electronic Frontier Foundation).

What’s Wrong With Content Protection?

Tape-beatle Defies ‘Stodgy’ Image by Being Clever

2001-01-24 / Local Traveler Presents ‘The Intourist.’ We all know that one of the main reasons many people enjoy traveling is because it gives them a new perspective on what they take for granted on their own home turf. The habitual traveler can often be characterized as easily growing bored with their local surroundings. They often feel the need to experience what I will call ‘constructive disorientation.’ (Some might argue that this is what what’s come to be called ‘situationism’ would call ‘dérive.’)

That, of course, is one of the reasons I plan to relocate to Prague this coming spring. Aside from the obvious and practical decision to be geographically closer to a main collaborator, there is also a choice being made to put myself into a stimulating situation. Once the familiar signposts of language, currency, cuisine, conventional habits of personal interaction, etc. — what we call ‘culture’ — are set aside, looking beyond the easy habitual solutions to day-to-day problems becomes easier. This helps form a new mental set, out of which might grow — ideas. (It is almost embarrassing to state it so bluntly, but that is really what I am after.)

I have been photographing my locale for many years now. I always insist to myself that I am maintaining a detachment from these subjects in my photographs. I know it is not true, for if a subject did not stir something, why would I point a lens at it and find it in my view? Why trip the shutter if some cached meaning weren’t glimpsed? In any event, what I am about to present here are my own attempts at disorienting myself without going very far away from where I live. It’s not as difficult as it might seem.

See for yourself: look at The Intourist

hm-mmm. 2001-01-14 / Disk Rot on the CBC. Yesterday afternoon, out of a clear blue sky, we began to receive e-mails that all sang the same note. ‘…saw your piece about disk rot…’ ‘…am very interested in disk rot…’ ‘…where can I find out more about disk rot…’! The fog that enveloped this mysterious apparent coincidence suddenly dissipated when one of our readers referred to a CBC broadcast entitled Definitely Not the Opera that had read aloud our URL to their listeners. This let loose a torrent of panic that listeners’ treasured CD libraries might be in imminent danger of dissipating like the fog we mentioned earlier. More to the point, this panic was unleashed on the server that hosts our site as the purported source of all wisdom on the subject! ‘Fine,’ we thought, ‘we’ll give them what they want,’ smoothly switching to compliant customer-service-oriented mode.

You will see McLemore’s words exactly as he typed them. Pay special attention when he says to have typed these notes ‘ … from memory of a book read nearly 5 years ago.’ This all started out as a friendly correspondence that resulted in a playful video entitled Re: Disk Rot. In no wise did we intend to be scientific, technically rigorous, nor even serious in putting this before you. But the phenomenon of disk rot exists. Perhaps this will spur further, more useful, research on the subject.

Read the The Disk Rot Papers by John B. McLemore, describing the phenomenon

Watch the video Re: Disk Rot by The Tape-beatles

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