The Internet is not just one thing, it’s a collection of things – of numerous communications networks that all speak the same digital language


i read this weeks news about universal offering legal movie downloads with excitement only for it to rapidly turn to bemused annoyance. from the bbc news site:
“Fans will pay 19.99 for a DVD of their chosen film plus two digital copies to keep indefinitely – one for their home computer and one for a portable device…However users will not be able to burn copies of the films to DVD themselves and the files will be compatible only with PCs and Windows software.That means they cannot be viewed on Apple iPods or Macs.”
now, mac/pc issues aside (allthough it’s a pretty big aside for us apple users) why on earth would i be excited to pay 19.99 for a ‘download’ that has to come with a hard copy when – if i wanted a hard copy – i can allready just go to hmv or amazon and get a retail dvd for the same price (if not almost certainly cheaper) and use dvdbackup or some such programme to make a copy for another machine? why can’t they grasp that for many users the whole point of legal downloads will be the option to have a no-frills digital-only purchase?
to my mind the ideal download service (and i realise i am speaking purely from a consumer point of view, not a technical one) will offer:

1) the option to ‘rent’ a download. this sort of this has been done before with music. several legal music sites have had (the rather dubious) service of a monthly subscription which if you stop paying causes your music files to stop playing.

2) the option to buy a no-frills, no packaging digital copy to keep. which CAN be backed up in the same way a retail dvd can.

3) as above but with sleeve artwork

4) a hard copy with sleeve artwork and the ability to back up.

obviously these would increase incrimentaly in price with the last option being around the price of a regular dvd.

at least that’s how it is in my dream world….

edit: as i sidenote i just went to the universal website and noticed the advert for ‘on demand pay-per view’ i dully clicked to get more info only to have around ten quicktime pop-ups open onto my screen along with around five ‘this url is not valid’ messages – and no pay per view info. i’m not sure if this is mac incompatability or just rubbishness but it gave me the fear and i exited the site pretty quickly.

It’s nice to have a job you can show your kids

panic over! gary oldman will be back… this article was featured on hpana
“After weeks of uncertainty and conflicting press reports, Gary Oldman is set to reprise his role as Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, his management company confirmed today.

Fan site GaryOldman.info posted the news earlier, and in a short interview Oldman’s long-time manager Doug Urbanski confirmed it to HPANA, and elaborated on the prolonged ordeal.

“I’m so relieved and happy,” said Urbanski. “I can’t put my mind in the place of the producers, but I would’ve thought that when they read the book, a call to us would’ve been very high on their list. Obviously, the character of Sirius Black is key.”

Urbanski said he was baffled by the months-long silence from Warner Bros. There were other jobs on offer to Oldman, and he was very close to taking one.

“Since they had no option for Gary on this film, he was a free agent. Last week, we told them that Gary had another movie, and it was just a question of doing a deal,” he said.

Of the negotiations this morning with producer David Heyman, Urbanski said: “It was the most mature, simple and friendly negotiation that I’ve ever done.”

“It’s a wonderful role. Gary read the script last night, and he read part of it to me on the phone this morning. The end of the story is: Gary’s in it. It’s a terrific script, and he’s so happy to be back.”

i can relax again. i was definately starting to loose sleep over that.

(header image for this post by ‘HRB’ whose work can be seen at immeritus)

The real thing to fear from Napster is its simple and excellent distribution system


the bbc has revealed plans to revolutionise it’s online service. the director of the bbc’s media division is quoted as saying: “Audience needs are changing. They want to consume media on their own terms, anytime, anyplace, anyhow,” Mr Highfield told the audience at the Mix06 conference. If we want to stay relevant in the digital age, the BBC must respond to this challenge by some seriously good technological innovation, resulting in products like the iMP, through partnerships such as this one with Microsoft.” you can read the full article here…

this is great news (even if mr microsoft is the chosen partner!) and has me VERY excited. it is exactly what i’ve been waiting for and may be the kick up the arse that other entertainment companies need to get going with on demand content. good old beeb.

(as a sidenote the title quote is from ‘courtney love does the math’ which is really worth reading in full despite it being a few years old. ive posted the transcript here)

Now, see we’re sittin’ down here , ready to negotiate. I’m still a mystery to you. But I know exactly where your ass is comin’ from

what on earth is going on… warner brothers and gary oldman (or at least his agent) appear to be using hp fansites as some kind of contractural battleground. there has been much off-on-off-on about his confirmation for order of the phoenix but untill now i always asumed this was just the usual thing of roles not being ‘officialy’ confirmed despite it being 99.99999 % positive that they will be in them. even the previous statements from wb stating that he hadn’t been confirmed didn’t really bother me. storm in a tea-cup, i thought. when they started rehearsing for the films and he hadn’t been confirmed, well.. ok.. i got a little bit nervous but i reckoned maybe they didn’t need him until later. then i read this on dissendium…

“Douglas Urbanski, of the Douglas Management Group has told Dissendium that unless an offer is made by next week, Gary Oldman will not be reprising his role as Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. A deadline has been put in place for early next week, Mr. Urbanski told Dissendium. He said that the desire on Warner Brother’s part has been low since the beginning, even though the money Oldman wants to reprise his role is little. He added that it is unfair for Oldman to wait, as other films have assumed he is apart of the next Potter film, and, like the rest of us, he needs work for the summer.
As of this moment, Gary Oldman is not a part of Order of the Phoenix, has never been, and unless anything changes next week, will not be a part of this”

this is just bizarre. i can’t work out what is more bizarre – the fact that wb are, it would appear, actually considering either axing or recasting sirius in oop (and if you don’t know the book the role is pivitol… no rubbish lava-faced sirius will do this time) or the fact that this little drama is being played out so publicly. cinics will say that it is a ploy on behalf of wb to generate interest in the film but it really doesnt present them in a good light. i think more likely it is mr oldman desperately trying to get his contract signed. now i’m not so romantic as to assume that it has nothing to do with money BUT he is one of the few actors in the series to show a genuine love for the books (aparantly he wore a black armband when you-know-what-but-i-wont-tell-you-if-you-dont happened) so it seems doubly strange that wb would not want him to reprise his role.

that noise you can hear? oh, that’s the fandom wailing in agony…

They were using the dolls to project their dreams of their own futures as adult women

according to this article the cwa think that mattel are part of a great transgender conspiracy! all due to a foolishly worded poll asking whether chilren were male, female or ‘i don’t know’ (see below) the director of cwa is quoted on abc news as saying that posing “this transgender question at little girls, they’ve really crossed the line,” and that “bisexuality gender confusion is the Web site’s agenda, which is very dangerous.”

interestingly no-one mentions the genderless genitalia…

whoever thought the plastic princess was so politiced? truly bizarre.

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn’t try it on


LOOK, LOOK, you can actually get a TEA cake, not just a cake for having with tea but a cake that IS tea!!! An Orange Pekoe Tea Cake… (Submitted by: Kelli Bernard to teachef.com)
“Melted white chocolate infused with Green Pekoe Blues tea is the secret ingredient to this incredibly fast and easy cake. Topped off with Orange Pekoe icing, the end result is a perfectly moist, sweet cake perfect for any afternoon tea.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Serving Size: 10-12

Ingredients
Orange Pekoe Tea Cake
6 oz unsalted butter, cut into one-inch cubes
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 oz white chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon Green Pekoe Blues tea, for brewing
1 tablespoon finely chopped Green Pekoe Blues tea, loose
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
2 eggs

Orange Pekoe Icing
1 1/4 cups confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
2 tablespoons brewed Green Pekoe Blues Tea
1 teaspoon finely chopped Green Pekoe Blues Tea
1 teaspoon grated orange rind

Directions
To make the cake:

1) Preheat the oven to 325F
2) Grease a mini-cake or muffin pan, set aside.
2) Place the butter, milk, sugar and white chocolate into a medium saucepan.
3) Place the Green Pekoe Blues tea (for brewing) in a tea bag or strainer and add to the saucepan. Make sure the bag or strainer is closed so the tea leaves do not escape into the chocolate mixture during heating.
4) Bring the chocolate mixture to a simmer over low heat, stirring constantly.
5) Once simmering, remove saucepan from heat, and remove the tea bag or strainer from the chocolate mixture.
5) Place the finely chopped Green Pekoe Blues Tea, flour, baking powder, vanilla, orange zest and eggs into a large bowl.
6) Slowly add the chocolate mixture to the flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
7) Fill each mini-cake or muffin tin half full. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

To make the icing:
1) Sift the confectioner’s sugar into a bowl.
2) Add 2 tablespoons brewed Green Pekoe Blues tea and stir to combine. (If you prefer a thinner icing, add more brewed tea 1/2 teaspoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.)
3) Stir in the finely chopped Green Pekoe Blues tea and grated orange rind.
4) Spoon onto Orange Pekoe Tea Cakes immediately and enjoy.”

mmmm yes PLEASE!

The inedible raised to the unspeakable

“Robbie is sometimes sad because people like him and he is very rich.

Madge once made a very big book. it was full of lots of pictures of kissing.

When Marshall was a small boy he lived in a very special house. it was on wheels!”

i love these books by popjustice.com so much. the illustrations are fab AND they come with cut-out-and-play finger puppets. i mean, how can you resist a book that comes with a Dr Dre finger puppet for god’s sake???!!??