Meet at the Texas Freethought Convention?

Are there any other Austin-area readers who want to meet at the Texas Freethought Convention on 10/26? Weather permitting, I’ll wear my SEB T-shirt.

Disclaimer: I’m not involved with the event or organizers in any way, shape, or form except for planning to attend.

another DRM server bites the dust

Walmart… (via BoingBoing).

From: Walmart Music Team
Date: Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 7:42 PM
Subject: Important Information About Your Digital Music Purchases

Important Information About Your Digital Music Purchases

We hope you are enjoying the increased music quality/bitrate and the improved usability of Walmart’s MP3 music downloads. We began offering MP3s in August 2007 and have offered only DRM (digital rights management) -free MP3s since February 2008. As the final stage of our transition to a full DRM-free MP3 download store, Walmart will be shutting down our digital rights management system that supports protected songs and albums purchased from our site.

If you have purchased protected WMA music files from our site prior to Feb 2008, we strongly recommend that you back up your songs by burning them to a recordable audio CD. By backing up your songs, you will be able to access them from any personal computer. This change does not impact songs or albums purchased after Feb 2008, as those are DRM-free.

Beginning October 9, we will no longer be able to assist with digital rights management issues for protected WMA files purchased from If you do not back up your files before this date, you will no longer be able to transfer your songs to other computers or access your songs after changing or reinstalling your operating system or in the event of a system crash. Your music and video collections will still play on the originally authorized computer.

Thank you for using for music downloads. We are working hard to make our store better than ever and easier to use.

Walmart Music Team

There’s not much to add, is there…

It’s nice that they’re transitioning to a DRM-free store, but can’t they just give the suckers who music crippled by DRM the unshackled tracks? Just another example that buying anything locked down by DRM is not a long-term investment, but a short- or medium-term rental.

Ubuntu Christian Edition

Get your cross-bred penguin while it’s hot…

I don’t want to spend the time trying to figure out if this a parody or for real, but how often do you get the chance to use this combination of categories: Computing, Easily Amused, and Religion.

An Open Letter to the South


by The Bo$$

I’d like to do a Peter Fredson-style article on how I feel about the South…

I think the Southern States (Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, & Texas) need to realise a few things:

  • ‘Most’ is not a synonym for ‘all’, as in ‘most people believe in God’ != ‘all people believe in God’
  • Scientific theory != Cockamamie theory
  • Just because you think something is the right thing to do does not give you the power to blow past authority and do it anyway, as with the Terry Schaivo case and the Iraq War
  • Muslims != Terrorists
  • The Bible is not meant to be taken as fact

Also, stop the whole forcing religious beliefs down everyone’s throats via Intelligent Design. ‘But I don’t need no edumacation; I get it from the Bible’, you say. That’s why you lost the civil war.

In conclusion, get with the 21st century. It’s nice here. You’ll be happier.

The Pope Problem

I’ve been hearing a lot about the pope on the news lately. I imagine all of you have too. The question is twofold; is the Pope going to die, and if so, who will take over?

People (mostly Cathies) say that it’s going to be an Italian person who will succeed PJP2. This sounds like a good idea for a poll: Who’s gonna be the next pope? As long as it’s not a southern Cathie, I don’t care. However, the media wants us to care. After all, America IS a Christian Nation.

At first this whole thing seemed like “He’s gonna die, too bad” but then CNN keeps covering every single little thing that he does. Pope blesses crowds from hospital, Pope may return to Vatican by Easter, Pope speaks in German, Italian, pope pope pope pope pope!!!

We need to submit ideas for a Super Pope, an ideal Pope who wouldn’t call Gay Marriages dangerous to society.

The FCC is the PTC’s bitch

I saw an article in my school’s paper that was too good to not talk about here. Keep in mind that my school is a Catholic school.

Very rarely can we, as a society, point our finger at one organization and justly say “it’s all your fault.” This is one of those times. In an October analysis, the Federal Communication Commission revealed that 99.8% of all the indecency complaints it received in 2003 originated from the Parents’ Television Council. The PTC is a television watch-dog group committed to eliminating offensive content and making television safe for family viewing. Of the 240,000 complaints it received last year, approximately 239,500 were filed by members of the PTC.

It never ceases to amaze me how much time some people have. Fly a kite, build a model boat, try to actually do something constructive instead of bitching about TV and deciding what we do and do not watch. If ya don’t like, don’t watch it. Simple.

This means that a tiny minority of the population is doing the vast majority of the complaining. Because the FCC policy is to review each complaint, the tiny minority is almost single-handedly deciding what we see and hear.

’Nuff said. The article went on to say how the PTC picked the WB’s Everwood as one of the worst shows. When asked why, the PTC noted one episode in which a doctor gave birth control pills to a teenage girl without informing her parents. The PTC called this a “reckless message about sex.” To which the author replied:

In light of recent studies into the effectiveness of abstinence-only sexual education, this message can be called anything but reckless.

I am really proud of a Catholic School to publish a view contrary to the Christian stereotype. It proves that Catholics too have had it up to here with these other “Christians,” and that also that Catholicism isn’t all about banning contraception. Some catholics I know actually support it.

Solution? FCC should change its policy (We will review every complaint as long as it’s not from some right-wing fundamentalist nutjob).