Joshua Davis Photography

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The Pile: Thoughts, Life, and Photography of Joshua Davis

GoDaddy Is A Ripoff

I’ve recently been growing disgusted with GoDaddy. The speed of my Drupal site has slowed significantly, their SSH is a joke with only a few available commands (at least on shared hosting).

But recently this burned me up, I was renewing seven domain names, and without my permission GoDaddy forced me to use the bulk domain registration, which supposedly would save me $1 on domains. Since my order was over $50 I was entitled to use a 20% discount, but because I already had the unrequested bulk discount I was forced to pay more money.

Currently I’m looking for a new host (hopefully I can get $10/month for a couple dozen gigabytes of space) , so any recomendations would be appreciated.

Filed under: Technology, , , ,

Web Magazines Must Not Be So Succesful

Vibe 2007 sale, imgae taken in 2008.

So last year I subscribed to my first digital magazine, Vibe. I probably wouldn’t have done it except for a sale price of $2.07 to celebrate the start of 2007. There was a catch, only the first 2007 digital subscribers would get that sale price. Well it’s 2008 and Vibe is still on sale for $2.07 for the first 2007 subscribers.

As for reading a magazine online it was an okay experience. Vibe has a property interface which make it harder (but not impossible) for someone to easily share copies. Of course they probably use IP tracking, so I wouldn’t try it. It’s defiantly worth $2, but I’d never pay full subscription to read an online magazine just yet.

Filed under: Technology, , ,

Domains For Sale

I’m selling several of my domains, so if you’re interested in some good names for your busines or web idea check these out:

metroclubbing.com

This could be used for a local club looking for an easy to remember and keyword heavy website name, for an national index to local clubs (for instance nyc.metroclubbing.com, dc.metroclubbing.com) or lastly for a health club.

dogdaysitting.com

Great for all these dog spas, dog hotels, and dog sitting business that seem to be springing up. This would also place well in a web search for dog sitting.

doctorreview.info

Hopefully the use of this one is pretty explanatory.

toursanfran.info

Great for a San Fransisco tourism company, or for a website that wants to give information about San Fransico to tourists.

yrmag.com 

Pronounced Like wire mag, this would be a great site for a technology blog. Also this domain comes with content.

If you’re interested in any of these you can contact me via email, at sunstreamgrafix@gmail.com

Filed under: Technology

Apple Updates iPod Touch/iPhone

This is the first time I’ve followed Macworld (yes I’ve been drawn in), and I was excited as hell about the release of the firmware update and additional applications.

I’ve found the Notes application to be useful, but I still want to see a todo program like they had on those Palm PDAs. Also the mail app is nice too, now I’m no longer bound to the Internet for referencing emails.

But the new firmware made my iPod Touch very sluggish. I want to see a serious performance upgrade on the next firmware release. The mail app was especially slow. Also I felt sort of ripped off they charged $20 for the upgrade. I paid for it, but since this update will be free for people buying new iPod’s, and users of the iPhone and Apple TV, it seems like Apple just wants more money from Touch users.

Already, Apple gets a hefty kickback from iPhone bills, and it’s assumed Apple TV users will be making impulse movie rentals from their living rooms.

Also are these new programs designed with the forthcoming SDK? My guess is yes, and they’ll be using it to test out any bugs. Also could they be using it to test how much money users will pay for software. If so my guess is with 5 applications releaed and that going for $20 total, they’ll charge $4-6 for new programs.

Filed under: Technology

RIAA: Saving CDs To Computer Is Illegal

Copyright law was never intended to prop dieing business models. It was designed to promote societal advancement. The RIAA doesn’t understand that. The Washington Post has an article which tells of a man being sued for ripping songs from CDs he purchased to his computer for personal use only. They claim he needs to buy another copy of the song to use it on his computer.

Now, in an unusual case in which an Arizona recipient of an RIAA letter has fought back in court rather than write a check to avoid hefty legal fees, the industry is taking its argument against music sharing one step further: In legal documents in its federal case against Jeffrey Howell, a Scottsdale, Ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer.

The industry’s lawyer in the case, Ira Schwartz, argues in a brief filed earlier this month that the MP3 files Howell made on his computer from legally bought CDs are “unauthorized copies” of copyrighted recordings.

Copyright law, when invented by George Washington lasted a maximum of 30 years, but usually only 15. It was designed so that authors, artists, and scientists wouldn’t have to compete against their own work if say, someone else decided they could sell a cheaper copy of an authors book. Former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Conor said:

The primary objective of copyright is not to reward the labor of authors, but [t]o promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts. To this end, copyright assures authors the right to their original expression, but encourages others to build freely upon the ideas and information conveyed by a work. This result is neither unfair nor unfortunate. It is the means by which copyright advances the progress of science and art.

Propping up the 20 year old model of selling $15 CDs with only a few good tracks is clearly not advancing science, the arts, or business innovation. Especially when there are solutions like iTunes and Amazon MP3 where consumers can legally download an album for less than $10.

Previous cases in which defendants where sued for saving TV programs to VHS tapes for viewing at a later date where found to be under the fair use provision, so I can only hope the courts will use this same wisdom in this case.

But the real issue is not what the judges will do, it is a problem with American copyright law. At dozens of pages lawyers must specialize in one facet of copyright law. Expiration dates are complicated, and what fair use is and isn’t is overly convoluted. Of course the workman is worth of his wages, but the consumer needs protections too. Let’s go back to George Washington’s idea of 30 years and no one else can sell or distribute the copyright holders work.

Filed under: American Politics, Creative Commons, History, Technology

Sim City 5: A Disapointment

I haven’t played the game yet, but what I’ve been waiting for, for years appears disappointing. The game is a departure from the path the series has taken – but it is more a realization of the original goal, to let users build maps.

simcity-societies-20070615055012230.jpg

The first Sim Cities treated you like an urban planner/mayor, where you zoned areas, layed pipes, built parks and schools… But ultimately developers chose where and what they wanted to build. Sim Societies seems like a micro management version of the Civilization series. Admittedly I’ve always wanted more control of the cities in Civilization games – but I found Sim City to be a relief from the macro management strategies.
Full post at my new blog at JoshuaDavisPhotography.com.

Filed under: Software, Technology, The City and Suburbs

A DRM Free World (Twenty Percent Complete)

EMI has authroized iTunes to sell their catolouge DRM free. So I no longer have an excuse to download some music videos from YouTube. I did that because there was no way of ripping the video (to resource intensivie), so I was forced to download, and convert them for my BestBuy house brand MP3 player. No I have to go about repaying my debts to EMI. Oh well everything in life can’t be free, (freedom and free beer).

Filed under: Economy and Business, Technology

Immigration Reform in an Nutshell

Sign from pro immigration protest.

While the congress was working on dozens, if not hundreds of pages of immigration reform, I was in my bed thinking up the best way to get rid of illegals make them citizens. Assuming America has 10 million illegal immigrants, and it would cost $1000, to find, process, and transport everyone out of this country America would spend nearly 10 billion dollars. Obviously a large amount of money, and probably grossly underestimated.So what’s a plan that would work, and be cost effective for both the American government and low wage immigrants?

First temporary “Citizenship Centers” would be setup where a person could register to become a “legal” citizen. They’d theoretically be starting a whole new life, with a new identity and such, even all past crimes would be forgotten and forgiven. Hey forgiveness, Mr. Bush, isn’t that a Christian thing? Anyways, they’d give basic information like an address (could be a church or some other place, if they’re homeless), name, age, and all that other standard stuff. Then they’re issued an “Patriot Card” which includes that information.

The Patriot Card is what proves they’re here legally, and it would even include a photo. Some might object to this “Patriot Card” because it would single out fresh immigrants, but it would have some advantages too. For instance it could be wired to a database that had a point system attached to it. Points could be added to your card for taking ESL (English as a Second Language) classes, and keeping a clean driving record. Points could be deducted for drunk driving, arrests, and failure to properly report earnings. Eventually after a person received a certain amount of points they become a full class citizen.

Now with a certain level of points, they’re here legally, but they (or their employers) have to pay higher taxes on them, they could be more quickly ordered to take a driving refresher class if one is found to be driving in a dangerous manner, and so on. These increased taxes would be used, to pay for the new immigration system, and as way of recouping untaxed income, though that later probably wouldn’t be regained dollar for dollar.

Then after the current immigrants where taken care of, the hard part of true immigration reform would come. First we’d take down that stupid and illegal Mexican border fence – since the number one cause of illegal citizenship in America is due to overstayed VISAs – and not foot traffic. Second America would let as many immigrants come here. They’d be subject to the same “Patriot Card” system, except without the increased taxes. And if they did not accrue enough points with the card, they’d have to go back home.

Photo by, Alexander Steffler, covered under CC-BY.

Filed under: American Politics, Politics, Technology, The World

Are Gonzales’ eMails Really Lost?

Patrick Leahy insists key emails (in the Alberto Gonzales attorney firing investigation) are not really lost, they’re just being withheld. He says “You can’t erase e-mails, not today. They’ve gone through too many servers.” You actually can erase them because they should only be stored, on one, or at most two systems. If both of those systems where manipulated by the government, the emails could have possibly been permanently erased.

While concern about who has, and is withholding this documents may be unrelated, a larger quesion looms. Did the Bush adminstration use non government servers to conduct presidential business. If so it would be in violation of laws requiring that they use governement servers.  Some speculate that Republican National Committee (RNC) servers may have been used, and of course those would have been even easier for the Bush adminstration, to have manipulated so that the eMails “disaperead.”

If that is the case, it will be interesting to see how the RNC might become involved in this investigation.

Filed under: American Politics, Technology

MySpace Security

The 30 Days of MySpace bugs seem to becoming fruitation. I got a friend request from a girl in a provocative position, no biggy for MySpace, and out of boredom clicked her profile. Then there was a big blue box blocking most of the profile saying “adult content, download MS Viewer.”

Of course I knew downloading this so called “MS Viewer” was probably going to install a virus, or at least steel my MySpace password. So MySpacers beware of this.

Filed under: Technology