Not so much purple

The Artist Formerly Known As The Artist Formerly Known As Prince has made what one might call a Swift move:

Prince has removed his discography from all streaming music services except Tidal. “Prince’s publisher has asked all streaming services to remove his catalog,” reads a note on Prince’s Spotify artist page. “We have cooperated with the request and hope to bring his music back as soon as possible.”

This is nothing new for His Purpleness: last year he had all his tunes pulled from YouTube, and killed his Facebook and Twitter accounts, although he has since resurfaced on Twitter, where he expressed some annoyance with the very concept of streaming music:

This is where he got that quote, and here’s the rest of it:

“…from pennies on the dollar to fractions of pennies on the dollar.”

To borrow a phrase, it’s a sign o’ the times.

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General Lee speaking

As The Dukes of Hazzard vanishes from cable channels, the Friar gets what ought to be the final word:

Both TV Land and Country Music Television (CMT) were airing Dukes, but are no longer. TV Land will replace it with reruns of Bonanza, a series free of racism and noted for its enlightened portrayal of Chinese immigrant cooks.

Oh, and comparatively speaking:

For the record, I enjoy Bonanza much more than Dukes, because the latter is very very dumb and there’s only so much dumb Catherine Bach’s legs can erase.

If you’d like to test that latter assertion:

Catherine Bach suitably attired

Now: do you feel smarter? Even a little?

One more try:

Catherine Bach suitably attired

Brilliance surely is within your grasp.

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Take that, ya little turdblossom

Some weird goings-on in Wayne, New Jersey:

A township teacher who lost her tenured position and whose teaching license was suspended after she made fun of a curse word in a student’s name has lost her appeal.

Yvette Nichols had appealed an October decision [pdf] by the state licensing agency for teachers — the Board of Examiners — suspending her teaching certificate for a year for posting a screenshot on Facebook of an assignment a student had completed, which instructed students to “practice writing my name the kindergarten way.” Nichols’ Facebook post, however, focused on the curse word in the student’s name.

What is this story missing? Right:

The decision does not specify what the student’s name was, or what curse word it contained.

Theoretically, I suppose, the child could have been named for a marginally famous river, like the Washita.

(Via Strong Language.)

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Utility zero

Perhaps the single most useless site on the entire Web is now live, for limited values of “live”:

The Internet is supposed to be the world’s most inclusive medium: A miraculous tech utopia anyone can access. Which is why Justin Foley thought it might be funny to make a Web site that was, well — exactly the opposite.

Foley is the man behind, a site that — true to its name — only one person can visit at a time. You access the site by requesting a “ticket” for your 60-second window and then waiting in line; as of Tuesday night, there were only 40,204 other people you needed to get behind.

Of course, if you close your browser tab, you lose your place, so the line moves more quickly than you might think.

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Eighteen and I don’t know what I want

I know what I wanted at 18: a place of my own. Didn’t work out quite that way, but hey, I’m just this guy, you know?


His comment: “i look pretty dumb in this pic!”

Oh, and someone noticed the door under the stairs, and asked if Harry Potter might be behind it.

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The antithesis of progress

Oh, yeah, it saves space. Big deal:

The Wall Street Journal reports that Sealed Air, the maker of bubble wrap, has announced a new “flat” version of its product. This version, to the lament of many on social media, will not pop.

Sealed Air states that shipping pre-inflated rolls of bubble wrap takes up too much space in trucks and on warehouse floors. The new version is sold in flat sheets and will be filled on demand with a custom pump. Shipping it in this manner will use about 1/50 as much space as before.

Rather than individual bubbles, the new wrap contains a single chamber of air which holds little promise to entertain like the original wrapping has done for decades.

This puts an end to at least some of “Weird Al” Yankovic’s freaky time.

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Dot nothing

There is now a waiting list for IPv4 addresses in this part of the world:

Noting an important development for the Internet community, the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), a nonprofit association that manages the distribution of Internet number resources within its region, announced today that it has activated its Unmet Request Policy with the approval of an address request that was larger than the available inventory in the regional IPv4 free pool.

Activation of this policy is another sign of the impending depletion of unassigned IPv4 resources in the ARIN region, reminding businesses of the need to deploy the next generation Internet Protocol, IPv6, and usher in the next stage of the Internet’s evolution. Qualifying organizations now have the choice of accepting the next largest available block of IPv4 addresses or being placed on the Waiting List for Unmet IPv4 Requests.

If anyone cares, we’ve had an IPv6 address here for a couple of years:


Or so I’m told. I’ve never actually tried it, being generally a generation and a half behind on most technical matters.

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We trike harder

Yours truly, a few months back:

The Elio Motors three-wheeler, to borrow an old phrase, is the car of the future, and it always will be. I mentioned the little ultra-econobox last year, and quoted its ship date as “next spring.” It’s not going to happen in the next eighty days, guys.

That said, the unicorn has been sighted and even photographed:

Occasionally the Elio team travels around the country showing off the Elio. Last week I was finally able to see one in person and actually sit inside.

There’s a decent amount of room inside for humans. For baggage, not so much:

The trunk’s measurements are 27″x14″x10″. For comparison, American Airlines allows 22″x14″9″ for carry on bags. Essentially you’ll have enough room back there for one carry on bag and a couple of sandwiches or something.

None of that Dagwood stuff, though.

Still, hope springs eternal:

Currently I am holding a reservation spot with a $100 down payment, but based on what I saw I am thinking about upgrading to the maximum $1,000 spot. My only trepidation at the moment is that the car was originally slated for a 2014 release date and it has already been pushed back 2½ years to mid-2016 … and with where I would end up in line I most likely wouldn’t see mine until 2017, if the car ships at all. $100 isn’t much to hold a spot for a car that might eventually see the market, but $1,000 is a serious investment.

The incentive on non-refundable reservations: half again as much gets applied to the purchase price. So he’ll get $150 off when they ship. (For now, MSRP is a stunningly modest $6,800.)

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We asked you not to

So you settle down to use the Wi-Fi at the International House of Pancakes, when this happens:

Wi-Fi connections near IHOP

Maybe they should have said “Please”?

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Yeah, good luck with that

One of the candidates for House District 85 is sending out this flyer:

The seat was last won by David Dank, who campaigned to keep it in the family after wife Odilia ran up against term limits. (Mrs. Dank died in 2013; Mr. Dank died this past April.) A special election will be held this fall; four Republicans, including Mr. Jackson, will meet in a primary in July. (Only one Democrat, Cyndi Munson, filed for the seat.) District 85 is generally just north of me.

As for Senator Holt’s observation — aren’t we about to do Civil War II anyway?

(On the nullification idea itself, see Cooper v. Aaron.)

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On the Coming Attractions list

“Messages” is an indie rock band from Austin, a city of 900,000 people with at least 9,000 indie rock bands. Their PR people sent me a tour list: the band is coming to Norman on the 23rd of July. I duly dialed up their Web site, and found this cheerful little number:

Attached to the video, a smidgen of band history:

Messages, formerly known as Mighty Mountain, is an indie rock band from Austin, Texas. Complete with vivid harmonies, anthemic choruses, and ferocious energy, this 6 piece powerhouse has made a name for itself in the Austin music scene. Their powerful performances have landed them spots on bills with the likes of Erykah Badu, Of Montreal, Grouplove, and Spandau Ballet.

Now that’s an eclectic bunch. And I liked the song enough to buy it, which never hurts.

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Holding Serve

American Express is phasing out its old prepaid card in favor of something called Serve, and I decided I’d give the new product a test drive.

Serve from American ExpressThe most obvious difference is capacity: the old prepaid card was limited to $2,250. You can stash a million, or more, on Serve. (Not that I’d have a million, but you get the idea.) All the usual Amex bennies are in play, including product insurance. And at a buck a month, it’s cheaper than any other plastic offered by Amex.

The transaction listings might perplex the newcomer. I plugged a Serve card into the iTunes Store to cover future purchases. As is Apple’s wont, and as I expected, they requested an authorization for $1 to make sure the card was good. As I didn’t expect, this dollar stayed on the listings for eight days before being allowed to expire. This is in accordance with the card’s terms, but it seems a trifle excessive.

Saturday I swiped it to get a tankful of V-Power Nitro+. Amex responded with a $99 hold. (I was expecting maybe $75.) This was reduced Monday to the amount actually purchased: $36.10. Of course, they have no idea how big my gas tank is. But I wonder how much they’re going to hold for, say, a two-night hotel stay.

Then again, this is more information than I’m used to getting from credit cards, or even my Visa Check Card. Maybe I shouldn’t complain, since things do get ironed out on schedule.

Ads displaying Amexes (Amices?) of old bore the name C. F. Frost, who, incidentally, actually existed:

Charles Frost — or Chuck, as we like to call him —-is a real person. He was an account executive for the advertising firm of Ogilvy & Mather, which put together the original “Do you know me?” ads for American Express. Ogilvy and Amex thought it would be convenient to use Frost’s name on the sample ads rather than some phony moniker, which would probably turn out to be the real name of some joker in Pocatello who would sue for privacy infringement. Luckily for Chuck, the number on the credit card was not his real American Express card number.

Dear Ann Baker: Call me.

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A costume they dare not shed

Some of us, as we’ve gotten older, are a tad less sharp and a good deal more Shar Pei:

What is happening is that our baby-boomers have gotten wrinkly. The revolutionary-minded generation has reached the age where its members are expected to be society’s wise, respected elders, to run things, to become our latest voices of institutionalized knowledge. But they lack the capacity to institutionalize knowledge, to preserve wisdom from previous generations, “old school” horse sense that younger kids can’t bring because this is the sort of thing that has to be … what’s the word. Evolved. Irony is, although the boomers are big on the idea of evolution, they can’t bring this because they’ve never believed in it. They’ve dedicated their lives to the premise that wisdom comes from the young, and the older generation is just a bunch of doddering old geriatrics standing in the way of progress. Now that’s them, and they don’t know how to react to it. And so they react by proffering a bunch of silly ideas, forgetting to ask themselves obvious, elementary questions that drew frenzied, obsessive contemplation by the older generations of years gone by: How does this make things better? What’s the precedent? What does this do to freedom for those who are not yet born?

And so even when they say freedom is what motivates them, the idea they end up pushing has to do with more rules. It looks like they don’t even know what it is.

Even revolution-obsessed John Lennon could figure that one out. What’s the quantitative difference between carrying pictures of Chairman Mao and wearing a Che T-shirt? Exactly.

Add this to the ongoing corroboration of Gurri’s Proposition: “There is no problem in the world, the solution to which isn’t the Baby Boomers dying.”

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Renter of a lonely heart

It is not true, as Nick Lowe once suggested, that actress Marie Prevost died alone in her Hollywood home and was eaten by her dachshund. The dog bit her a couple of times, but never went beyond that.

Still, the important part of that statement was “died alone.” It’s a subject I obsess over, ever so slightly.

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You need this phone

And by “you,” they mean me. I got a text message with the basics of this over the weekend, and a full-fledged letter, with postage and everything, Monday:

T-Mobile is continuing to invest in our network. As we make network upgrades in Oklahoma City on 7/27, your current phone will no longer receive 4G high speed data.

I almost hate to tell them that my current phone, a Samsung flipper, has never received 4G high-speed data: it’s either 3G or EDGE, which seems to be a sort of 2.5G.

To continue to experience 4G high speed data, we are pleased to offer you a free smartphone, the Alcatel Astro. This phone will allow you to experience the best of the T-Mobile network. The Alcatel Astro features a beautiful 4.5″ screen and 5MP camera to capture and share life’s moments.

Truth be told, I’d be happy to get a consistent bar and a half from my desk at work, and speed be damned.

This is the phone in question. I know nothing from smartphones except that this one is a smidgen behind in operating systems (Android KitKat has been largely supplanted by Lollipop) and the numbers sound fairly mediocre. The price, at zip, is right; of course, the real money comes from the data plan I don’t have yet.

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A selling point, perhaps

Here’s a personal email service designed with your privacy in mind:

Own-Mailbox is a home-plugged personal email server, with strong privacy protection measures integrated at its core. It provides self-hosted email addresses, or connects with your existing email address. In both cases you can seamlessly send and receive encrypted emails from anywhere in the world, through Own-Mailbox webmail, Smartphone app, or through an external email software (Thunderbird, Outlook, …).

Which seems pretty swell. I wonder, though, if this is the right pitch:

Own-mailbox automatically encrypts your emails with Gnu Privacy Guard, a strong encryption software, the same software as used by Edward Snowden (as in the movie citizenfour).

I await an endorsement from Glenn Greenwald and his invisible friends.

(Via Ellie Kesselman.)

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