Archive for the ‘Internet’ Category

I Won’t Do It and Rupert Murdoch Can’t Make Me


Let’s just jump in, shall we?

Rupert Murdoch wants to begin charging people for online content across all of his newspapers.

I say have at it. I will miss The Sun, but hey, there still a whole slew of mud-slinging sites out there that won’t make me pay to read about Katie Price. I don’t read The Wall Street Journal, why bother when I have Bloomberg, Reuters and The Smoking Gun? Those sites provide links to News  all over the world. I can get content specific information all day by clicking through them. Readers don’t need Murdoch’s papers, online or print.

Murdoch has an overblown sense of importance. And, like many others in the dying Print Journalism sector, he has completely ignored the group that spreads news the fastest.

No, not Iranian twitter junkies.


If it’s even slightly news worthy or gossipy , the Bloggers will have it up and running in minutes. Twenty minutes later The Huffington Post will have the full article. With pictures and eyewitness accounts. New memes are being created constantly and they cycle through the Internet very quickly. Sure one could shut blogsites down but…  Attempting to silence bloggers has never worked out well for mainstream media. Why should they want to when they can steal content from bloggers who rarely complain? Oh yes, they do. They’ve done it to me. I’ve read my own words, without credit,  several times on mainstream news sites. I have heard from other bloggers who have the same problem.  We mostly ignore it, as it’s kind of flattering in a left handed way.

The issue here is whether the average joe will pay to read the news online?

I think for highly specialize content, maybe.  But then those papers would be reduced to industry specific information causing their readership to dwindle.

Yet, for general News? No. I don’t think people will pay.  Other online papers can follow the lead of the man whose papers are under investigation for criminal phone hacking, (coughworldnewscorpcough), but there are to0 many sites that will let us in to wander about for free. Also, there are many back doors into different papers. News aggregators would be the bane of the paying sites existence. Let’s not forget about the group that drives the Internet. The online advertisers. Online advertisers flock to the sites that have the most readers. If one is required to pay for content, the readership will shrink, causing advertisers to look elsewhere.

Murdoch can force people to pay, but he can’t force them to read his sites.

The News industry is discovering what the Music industry has been dealing with for years, people now have choices.  We are not bound to accept content based on what the Industry wants to give us. News, like music, will now be fully driven by demand.  If we like what you have to offer, we might pay for it. But probably not. Mostly we will wait for our aggregator to pick it up from another site or have it e-mailed to us by relatives.  Consumers no longer have to wait to be told what they like or which news groups they get their content from. They can choose for themselves. And very few people will choose to pay for something they can get for free elsewhere.

And for greedy, unscrupulous executives like Murdoch, that is a scary proposition.


The Dog’s Advice


Dear Dogwoman,

I am a woman in my mid forties with a busy family including the arrival of a new grandchild by my seventeen year old unmarried daughter. I am also currently running for the Vice-Presidential slot in the next election. My question is: How do I balance these responsibilities in the face of a media onslaught?

-just a barracuda

Dear Barracuda,

Being a working mom can be tough. With so many different jobs during the day one can become overwhelmed. My advice is to fly back to your home state as quickly as possible and not come out again until November 8th. This way the media has nothing to talk about and most voters will forget who you are. An air of mystery can be a good thing during a political campaign. As I always say, leave ’em guessing because confusion is always the best weapon.


Dear Dogwoman,

I recently announced my Vice Presidential pick. It seemed like a good idea at the time, now however, I am having second thoughts. Apparently this chick has some unfinished business she forgot to mention during the vetting process, like a little legal problem called Trooper-Gate. Even though she is trying to avoid testifying I am afraid it will come back to bite both of us in the ass. How do I get her to dropout without looking bad?

-running on empty

Dear Running,

All of us make mistakes from time to time. It is best to try not to make them in the public eye. And definitely best not to get caught making them on YouTube.  With this in mind, once the mistake is made one must learn to live with it. I am afraid that if you bounce this person now you will look like an even bigger ass than you currently do. Best just to smile into the cameras and talk up your choice as much as possible. If you say something enough people will begin to believe it, even if it is an outright lie.


Dearest Dog Woman,

We are a group of International Foreign Ministers. Recently, we had a meeting during which one of our esteemed members proposed that as a bit of fun we vote for the next U.S. President amongst ourselves.  We did, it was a laugh and things went forward. Now, unfortunately we are all being hounded, Diana-style, by the international media to reveal the winner. How do we get these vultures to back off?

_Ministers for Change

Dear Ministers,

Admit openly that your choice was Barack Obama, even if it wasn’t, and they will leave you alone.


Dear Dogwoman,

I was recently fired from a news job. Well, fired is a bit extreme, more like downgraded. All because I let my opinions be known openly. And because the person they paired me with is a right wing blow hard with no morals to speak of. Seriously, this guy would sell his grandmother for air time. Is it my fault the Unites States government is full of crooked bastards with their collective grubby hands in the cookie jar? I think not. Anywho, now my employer is mad and refuses to let me finish commenting on the upcoming election. The question at large is this : How do I get back at these numb-skulls without losing my job completely?

-slave to the man

Dear Slave,

You have a serious problem. Normally I would blithely dispense advice but honestly. You should know better than to hold left leaning opinions in a world where Fox “my ticker tape is always misspelled and no one cares” News rules the roost. Right wingers, Republicans and your mother -in-law will now berate and scorn you for not being ‘neutral’ in a world where no one is neutral. The best advice I can come up with is, either continue soapboxing for the Liberals and hope Obama wins or rapaciously suck up to every Republican political figure you can. At this point neither action can do much harm. Good luck.


Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss


I’ve been avoiding political themes, I know. The reason is simple. I’m tired of both of the candidates. Particularly Barack Obama.

I can’t get through the news when every other story is about something one of them may have said or done to the other. And all the while anything Cheney and Bush may be doing in the background is ignored.

Also, as a Michigan voter I can do nothing less than assume that Barak stole our delegates from Hilary. For perhaps the first time in history a candidate who was not on a state ballot had delegates voting in the National Convention. Regardless of what Howard Dean may be saying, it was Obama’s decision not to put his name on the ballot. The DNC should not have given him half of what he did not earn. And then to go ahead and seat the Delegates after promising they didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of doing so is nothing less than thievery.

I understand that the party needed to ‘show unity’  in order to stave off Republican attacks, but let’s face it, Hilary got hosed. For her to give such a fantastic speech during the convention when in fact she should have been berating Howard Dean shows a great deal of tact. And kudos to Bill as well.

Both of them went out and did what needed to be done despite the obvious failure of the DNC to run a fair campaign.

While I am pleased to see that for the first time in history we have nominated an African-American for the office of President.  I am disgruntled at the way in which it was achieved. It feels as though this race is being run by the Internet hacks and the beleaguered media rather than by the average voters. the average American is being told how to vote by a barrage of media and Internet ads and sites rather than being given a chance to weigh their options. It’s distasteful to me.

So if you find that my political coverage is light for the next few months it’s because I am revolted by both of the major party candidates. There is a great deal at stake in this race and to me neither candidate represents a ‘change’. As for unity , the pundits can go on as many talk shows as they like, the party is split and we all know it. They can gloss over Bidens’ abysmal record all they like, the only ones it fools are the younger voters.  When Democratic leaders are shaking their heads in sorrow one knows the wrong pick has been made.  When Hilary supporters are flooding the Internet with calls to back John McCain even as the Convention is preaching a watery ‘unity” theme there is a problem.

And it’s a problem that won’t disappear just because the DNC wants it to. It needs to be addressed. But, we all know it won’t.


I Drank What?


I know that my Bono rants are tiring. But he’s just gone too far this time. Again.

In a magnanimous effort to still seem hip inside some rapidly expanding and aging skin Bono and the Red(y for this Bullshit ?) Program are launching a DRM free online music store. The B states that the new programs will change the way music is delivered. That’s nice.

Sadly, this announcement comes right after he published a letter in NME blaming file sharing and music store deliveries for the downfall of the music industry.

Playing both sides of the field will not make friends among fans of music. And by music I refer of course to those who use instruments that they can actually play, sing songs in tune and don’t use drum machines or backing tracks to disguise the fact that they haven’t a musical bone in their body.

It was nice of him to laud Radiohead for their online ‘experiment’. However, he must be living in a musical time warp if he thinks Radiohead invented the free download. Excellent musicians without huge contracts have been doing this for a while. And they don’t throw a tantrum when the music is shared. They know that if people like their music they will come back again and again to buy it.

It is pure excrementum to complain like a harpy about file sharing and then start a DRM free online music store.

Whatever he is smoking I would like some delivered to the Doghouse, pronto.


Somebody Call The Waaahhbulance


I have to hand it to Obama, he is a man who knows how to use the Internet. In fact, I would say that the majority of actual campaigning has gone on in the virtual world.

He now has a website  completely separate from his other websites. This site exists solely to kill off damning rumors made by the opposition and other people who may not be fond. Including those rumors about his wife and whether or not she may have at one time or another said the word ‘whitey’. That little gem, if I remember correctly, was started by Rush “eh? speak up I ruined my hearing with opiates ” Limbaugh. A man who has probably used the n word in mixed company more than once.

However, it seems like whining to me to have an entire page of rebuttals of ridiculous rumors set forth by men with no conscience. It is better to ignore such foolishness. The Republicans have a great machine that spews out lies like Angelina Jolie collects children. And like Jolies’ rush toward overpopulating the earth, no one is paying any attention except those who have nothing better to do.

I long for the old days when candidates didn’t respond to every single bullshit rumor set forth by the mobster mentality of the other party. Now such responses are the norm and it is boring. And distracting. It distracts from the real issues. Issues the American People would like to see addressed in the here and now.

So my advice to the Obama campaign is simple:

Quit yer bitchin’ and get on with it already. Say something of importance to the American People  or shut up.


Caving In


Yesterday I came to a life changing conclusion. I would really like to give up my ‘modern life’ and go live in a cave. Yes, I want to be a troglodyte. I picture long nights in my cave with a low campfire, maybe a dog to keep me company.  Perhaps a cave by the beach so I can faintly hear the sound of crashing waves but, really, it’s not that important where. Just a cave. Sand fleas, mysterious scuttlings, perhaps a reflected eye or, even better, two to scare me when I get bored. Ah yes, I really think Cave life is for me.

So I said “Self, where would one go to find a suitable cave to practice one’s hermit tendencies?” And Self replied “I’m sleeping, get a life would you.” Self is never a help at three a.m. Then it came to me. To rent a superior cave I need only let my fingers do the asking. People always say you can get anything on the Net. So I took my chances and typed in “rent a cave” and lo, This is where I think I would like to spend the rest of my life.

Sadly, it’s not a life long rental but a vacation spot. While roomy, I was thinking of something a bit smaller, cozier, if you will. So I typed in “rent a small cave”. The only one I could find was in Romania. I’m not sure I’m ready for such a long travel plan associated with cave dwelling. Yet, most wise and wizened hermit types usually live in mountain caves. So I typed in “rent a mountain cave”.  All I could find was a rather spiffy villa in Spain trying to pass itself off as a ‘cave house’. My idea of cave dwelling does not include a pool and DVD player.

I am not giving up. There’s only a few years left before this angry giantess has to turn in her chalk and glib answers. I’m thinking a nice cave in my mother’s homeland. An Irish cave. Surely, they must have them somewhere. The place is an Island and I know from extensive reading of books like Lord of the Flies and Robinson Carusoe that all Islands have caves. Ergo, I should be able to rent a cave there. However, I wonder how wise I would become living in an Irish cave? Maybe I should think a little broader, like Tibet or China. According to media reports and books like ‘The Inn of the Sixth Happiness’, they have caves and wise people.

Either way I am in the market for a cave of my own. So, if you, my readers, happened to hear of one where I can spend the rest of my life please feel free to pass that info along. Keep in mind, said cave should be able to get WiFi. Cave dweller I might be, but I am not a Neanderthal.


Isn’t It Lovely?


I just found the most beautiful website in the history of English language usage. Pain in the English .com.

It’s a site for those pesky grammatical questions that pop up from time to time. This site has everything from formal usage help to dictionaries for ESL learners. I think we should ship a copy of this to every MySpace user on the net. And a few journalists. And President G.W. Bush.

It’s amazingly pedantic. Delightfully semantic. It’s glorious.

(Sorry, that was me singing it’s praises. No, I won’t do it again. I promise)

And I have posted a link.