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The Open Bundle

July 12, 2013 Leave a comment

open_bundle_header

There are so many game bundles on the internet (thank you, Humble Bundle, for making this a trend) that The Open Bundle is easy to overlook. Its name is simple but not descriptive, and to be honest it doesn’t actually include any games. Instead, it has art, music, and code for making games. What really makes it special, though, is that it’s a grand experiment in leveraging crowdfunding to make releasing things under Creative Commons licensing viable for artists.

Read more…

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Open Letter About Glee’s Lack of Integrity

January 27, 2013 Leave a comment

A recent episode of Glee included a cover of Sir Mix-A-Lot’s Baby Got Back which was a blatant ripoff of Jonathan Coulton’s several-year-old version — much to Jonathan Coulton’s surprise, since he was neither contacted nor credited. Fox’s stubborn refusal to admit their wrongdoing towards Johnathan Coulton raises questions about the integrity of Glee. How many of Glee’s other covers are ripoffs of lesser-known artists’ work? I refuse to support the show anymore, and am sorry I ever did.

The open letter below wasn’t written by me. I’m reposting it with permission, because it eloquently expresses how I feel about this incident. The orignal is here. If you like it, spread it around. When I asked permission, I was told, “Blog away! We just want to get the message out!”

An Open Letter to Glee’s Executives

Dear Sirs,

I am a long time fan of Glee. I have watched Glee since its inception. I have bought Glee on Blu-Ray. Glee is probably my television show. The episode aired on January 24th 2013 entitled Sadie Hawkins will be the last episode of Glee I will watch. Read more…

Amazon Now Allowing Kindle Account Merging Across International Stores

November 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Amazon.co.jp launched its Kindle store last month. When I logged into my US account today to see if the next Dresden Files book had come out yet, I saw a message telling me that I can consolidate my Japanese and US Kindle libraries.

Great news! You can now shop for Kindle titles at Amazon.co.jp. Consolidate your libraries and manage them from Amazon.co.jp. Change your preferred shopping site to the Amazon.co.jp Kindle Store to shop for Japanese titles in Yen.

Read more…

MOOCs: Not Just a Moose Call Anymore

October 28, 2012 Leave a comment

The internet is awash, lately, with sites aimed at making university-level education available for free to anyone with an internet connection. Such sites have generated a lot of excitement this year.

Apparently these Massively Open Online Classes have been around for a while now in one form or another. Now that the Ivy League universities are taking an interest in the idea, however, so is everyone else. And by “everyone else”, I mean millions of people all over the world. Literally millions. Multiple MOOC platforms have risen to popularity this year, with Coursera alone having something like 1.4 million registered users last I read. Even assuming that many, like myself, have created accounts on all the MOOC platforms they can find, I find it hard to believe that fewer than 2 million people have at least dipped their feet into the pool.

This post is the first in a series about MOOCs and my experiences with them. This first entry is about MOOCs in general. Read more…

Categories: Current Events, Reviews Tags: , ,

Blackout Day

January 18, 2012 Leave a comment

When rumors started flying around the internet that companies like Google and Facebook were considering a coordinated blackout to protest SOPA and PIPA, I eagerly hoped for a complete takedown of the sites. That hasn’t happened to nearly the degree I wanted, and I fear it won’t be enough to make the point. However, some sites are going pretty far. The English Wikipedia site, while not down, is throwing a black anti-SOPA message up to obscure every page as soon as it loads. (Non-English versions have a black banner at the top of every page urging readers to consider the devastating effects of SOPA/PIPA, too.) If you visit the homepage of WordPress.com, every “hot blog post” has been replaced with a link to an anti-SOPA page.

I wrote a letter to my representatives about SOPA/PIPA last month and published it here on my blog for everyone to see. I’ve been following the issue since October, though I’ve been busy with life and haven’t commented on it much except to share articles I’ve read about it on Facebook and Twitter. I didn’t think to save the links to those articles for later. However, I’d like to take a moment, on this day that many companies have staged protests against the SOPA and PIPA bills, to share with you some of the better articles I’ve seen in the past couple of days. Read more…

Letter to my Representatives Regarding SOPA

December 18, 2011 Leave a comment

In spite of being busy this morning, I took the time to write letters to all of my representatives in the House and the Senate to ask them not to support SOPA. While I’m a little ashamed to admit this, I’m having trouble figuring out which side of Congress has the bill in its hands, so I sent this letter to all three reps. Hopefully whichever rep or reps has to deal with Protect-IP will consider the same points as they apply to that bill.

Dear [Representative],

I am increasingly disturbed by the SOPA bill. In addition to the ease with which it allows censorship, I am given to understand that it would also destabilize the internet as a whole. Read more…

New PlayStation Network TOS

September 18, 2011 Leave a comment

I got an e-mail from Sony today. They’re changing how the PlayStation Network (PSN) is managed, and with it they’re changing the Terms of Service. The e-mail included a link to a PDF of the new TOS for my perusal. They were nice enough to make all the changes obvious, with all changes in red lettering — old terms crossed out, new terms right next to them. The bulk of the changes just refer to the change in management.

However, there are two big changes they’ve made.

  1. By agreeing to the TOS, users waiver their rights to class-action lawsuits related to PSN.
  2. PSN content is no longer being purchased by the user. Instead, we are licensing the use of the software. Read more…