Not allowed to change ways

In response …

Do I have any illegal MP3’s in my iTunes library right now? Not that I know of and if I do Lauren put them there. All of the CD’s in my iTunes library were ripped from CD’s I purchased. I bought my last CD a few days ago (Everclear – Sparkle & Fade).

I haven’t downloaded an MP3 from the Internet (that I didn’t buy) in, literally, years. The “collection” from California was nuked when I bought my Mac over a year ago. Since then I’ve realized two things: 1.) I don’t need 40GB of MP3’s and 2.) I should support the artists I like listening to.

Another funny thing that Paul is forgetting is that he has coded for money. If Paul found out that the company who paid us to code that software was breeching our original agreement he’d be pissed (as he’s expressed this before).

This leads me into a good discussion on another topic: People change. I’m not the same person who spent hours recompiling my kernel to get my CD burner working so I could burn MP3’s. I know use OSX and Windows 2000 (for that very reason). I’m no longer the person who feels it’s OK to download music I don’t own. My views are different now that I’m 23 and not 19. I can name quite a few changes I’ve made over the years and I’m sure Paul can too. I’ve lost a few friends over the last year or so because of how I’ve changed. This includes fraternity brothers and close friends.

Paul, along with quite a few others, seem to forget that they have changed too. Moonkhan no longer drinks with Miester. Moonkhan no longer enjoys coding with Miester. Moonkhan never calls Miester. But, I’m not pissed, people change. Moonkhan’s alter ego, Paul, now has a fiance. Paul also has a job where he works very hard to keep an entire school district up and running. Paul, soon, will have a house and little evil Moonkhans in his own image running around. Paul has a princess who wants ponies to worry about.

The point of all of this is that the actions of me from more than a year ago can’t necissarily be held against the me of today. People change, we all need to understand that.

More on stealing music

Paul amazes me sometimes. It amazes me that someone can actually call downloading music “copying” and not any form of stealing (he refers to it as “copyright infringement).

Well, Paul, you’re right. Technically, what you’re doing is “copyright infringement”, but that doesn’t make it “legal”. According to dictionary.com copyright is “The legal right granted to an author, composer, playwright, publisher, or distributor to exclusive publication, production, sale, or distribution of a literary, musical, dramatic, or artistic work.” Infringement is “A violation, as of a law, regulation, or agreement; a breach.” By definition steal means “To take (the property of another) without right or permission.” And, to round it out, a thief is defined as “One who steals, especially by stealth.”

Do you have permission to have a copy of that file? No? Thought so – you’re technically a thief. Just because what you stole was not tangible doesn’t mean you are not “liable” (Legally obligated; responsible).

His defense that they aren’t “thiefs” but rather “pirates” is a total joke. Again dictionary.com; a pirate is defined as “One who robs.” A pirate is just another name for a thief. And the person who sells unauthorized copies of movies are thiefs too.

Do I think that fair use is severly limited by the DMCA? Yes, of course! But I also think that artists have a right to charge for their intellectual property. The reality is that downloading music that you don’t have a right to own is stealing. Pirating and stealing are the same thing with different names. Again, if Paul would take a few seconds to think about it from his perspective (charging for code) he’d come to the same conclusion.

I think the dilema has moral considerations too. No one in this country thinks about anyone else anymore. It’s all about money, oil, free songs, and ourselves. What I find so amazingly ironic is that we hate the record labels because they steal from the muscians. If you “copy” music that you don’t own so are you!

Washington, DC

I just got back from Washington, DC. Other than a long ass drive both ways, it was a good trip. We made stops at Arlington National Cemetary, the Holocost Museum, and the Smithsonian’s American History Museum. We missed out on the new spy museum, but I can wait.

We also spent a lot of time eating and drinking. The last night we were in town we saw Wanda Sykes. To put it lightly, she was hysterical. I had a good time catching up with Lauren’s sister and her boyfriend. At any rate, I should probably get to fixing the servers at work now.

MMS Rhetoric

It appears Blue Beard has a few words to say about Apple’s new music store. Before I got further it should be mentioned BB and I don’t see eye to eye on DRM. What everyone seems to overlook is that when you buy a CD you don’t *own* the content.

What?!? I’ve spent phat l00+ on my CD collection! You mean I don’t own it?!? Nope. What you own are the rights to listen to the CD. Those rights are further restricted by not allowing you to redistribute, alter, or rebroadcast the CD in any way. You may be asking: Why do they let me buy blank CD’s? Well, under fair use, you are allowed to keep a backup copy of what you purchased.

BB states that he should have unrestricted use of his CD’s because he *owns* them, which, since that isn’t the case, he’d have to purchase a record label to do so. Apple lets you listen to the music on *three* different computers (or a gazillion if you burn it as a music CD). How is this horrific? The reality is he thinks stealing other people’s music is OK. I look at it this way: if I went into work each day and didn’t get a pay check I’d be pretty pissed.

I program all sorts of stuff for clients each day and I can honestly say that I empathize with the musicians. If I found out a client had breeched one of my licenses by reselling my software I’d be able to sue them into next week. What BB overlooks is that he would to.

ping -f www.joestump.net

For those who don’t use *NIX on a regular basis the above command implies this site has been flooded with posts today. This is because I’ve emerged from 2 days of solid coding. I’ve got quite a bit to talk about, but not a lot of time.

I’ll be gone starting tomorrow and not coming back until Sunday. Lauren and I are heading to visit her sister in Washington, DC. I plan on doing a lot of tourist type stuff; museums, monuments, resturants, bars, etc.

Once I’m back I have a full plate. I have a *ton* of applications to write for Jerum, a consulting gig to finish up, a scheduled rewrite of PHPTalk, and *lots* of Disc Golf. I plan on taking maybe another week off from work when I get back. I might head in and put in some half days just to make some money. Who knows. Also, be sure to check out Lauren’s new design. I’m super impressed! She did it herself using bash, vi, and scp – way to go Lo!

three years and going

I found a few blog entries on the net today talking about why people blog, specificlly why the individuals making the entires wrote in their blog everyday. This reminded me that this stupid site has been around for over 3 years.

In reality I’ve been blogging for quite some time. “Joe’s Diner” was set up on a free website when I was a Junior in high school (circa 1997). I actually posted every day using FrontPage and FTP. Yup! Back in my day we had to do it the hard way! We didn’t have fancy CSS or Blogger.

I’ve been looking over my blog postings and since I started storing my stuff in a database I’ve come a long way in my writing. I also like to think I write about a wide range of interesting topics, but the reality is it’s pretty worthless drivel for the most part. Maybe someday I’ll get around to posting stuff people can actually use. Naw …

College worth the time?

Today I took my last college exam. I graduate at 2:00pm on Sunday April 27th with a Bachelors in Business Administration concentration on Computer Information Systems.

I have quite a few regrets with regards to college. The first was chosing to pursue a CIS degree. If you are at all inclined to go this route be warned! If I could go back I’d probably take the 150 credit Accounting masters program (masters + bachelors in 150 credit hours). My second choice would be straight up Computer Science. While the biz school at Eastern Michigan University is one of only a handful of accredited b-schools in the region I consider the CIS program greatly lacking.

If I could do it all over again I probably would have lived in the dorms all 5 years. Something about being on campus that was more fun than being isolated off campus. I’d also go back and meet Lauren a lot sooner than I did. I think I’d also make a bigger effort to hang out with my little brother. If I could do it again I’d get more involved in campus activities earlier than I did. Despite my term as IFC President being a depressing one, I feel great pride in my accomplishments involving the various campus committees I sat on.

There are a few things I don’t regret. I don’t regret staying five years. I don’t regret moving to California in the middle of my college career. I don’t regret joining a fraternity. I’ve take advantage of college unlike most others and I plan to cherish those memories.

The truth, in the end, though, is that college, educationally speaking, was a meaningless venture for the most part. It’s sad when a person like me can skip most, in some cases all, of his classes and still graduate Cum Laude with a 3.5 GPA. One thing I will say, though, is that college isn’t anywhere near the uselessness that they call high school. The best years of your life are in high school they say. Bullshit! Anyone who said that never went to college, did a keg stand, or crammed for three exams the night before.

Greek Awards Reception

As IFC President I only had one thing left to do before my term was officially over. Emily and I prepared the awards, scheduled the room, bought refreshments, and created an schedule. The only thing left for me to do was to write a welcome speech.

I did just that. Those who know me know that I tell it like it is. I often tell people I’m a realist. The truth is, the truth hurts. The truth this year was that fraternities weren’t up to par. Instead of acting like the men they promised to be when they joined their organizations they, instead, performed poorly in academics and had a high rate of risk management violations. In my speech I addressed all of these issues, bluntly. Here it is for historical purposes.

Welcome to the 2002-2003 Greek Awards Reception. For the men this year has been full of a few highs and many lows.

The highs include working with National Panhellenic Council to raise triple what was raised last year for Up ‘til Dawn as well as passing the progressive Greek Social Policy.

However, these highs were overshadowed by many lows: low grades, low numbers, and lower participation.

Men, the women have raised the bar. They have proven that recruiting without alcohol works. They have proven that high numbers can be sustained despite Eastern Michigan University being a commuter campus. And they have proven that responsible risk management does not hinder Greek Life.

It is now up to the men to respond to the challenge. I challenge the men to focus on grades rather than parties. I challenge you to choose recruitment over rush. I challenge you to learn the value of philanthropy and risk management.

It is not going to be easy, but IFC is here to help along the way. We have a newly elected Executive Board that is excited and eager to take the challenge and I have faith that the men will again see better days.

In other news I won Greek Man of the Year at Eastern Michigan University, which was a great honor.

Cruft

I had a good weekend this weekend. I got to spend a lot of time with Lauren. We went to a really nice dinner with Dana and his girlfriend, Gretchen. Definitely, have to thank her again for the discount. Friday night, after dinner, we had a few beers and played Taboo with a few other couples.

Saturday was Gino’s wedding. He married someone who appears to be made for him. Their personalities really seem to compliment each other. With everyone in the wedding spirit they felt the need to ask Lauren and I when our wedding plans will be coming to fruition. After dodging those questions we went home, ate dinner, and got in a healthy ten hours of sleep.

Today I closed a big chapter of my life. I went to my last fraternity meeting as a voting member. I used my last vote to vote in Andy Bergman as our VP for Programs. I’m pretty happy to see that Sig Tau is in a position to survive another ten years. I put a lot more work into STG than I have in school and I can honestly say it’s been more rewarding. As I told my family at Gino’s wedding: I’m proof a drunk frat boy who skips most of his classes can still get good grades. Or, as G. W. Bush put it, to those who get C’s hang in there life ain’t so bad.