Joystix

Over the last year or so I’ve been hearing about Joystix Classic Games and Pinballs in Downtown Houston located near Minute Maid Park on Franklin Street.

Basically it’s a video/pinball arcade featuring vintage games like Asteroids, Defender, Tron, Space Invaders and so on. Plus many, MANY pinball machines. You pay a flat fee and play all night. Pretty cool.

On this week’s show my co-host phliKtid mentioned his recent visit to Joystix and word got to the owner who invited us out to check the place as a possible venue for a future event.

Friday night myself, phliKtid and Groovehouse ventured over there and checked it out. It’s about everything you would expect. Flashing lights, electronic noises and grown men and women grinning like idiots. I played Defender and Tron and even went head to head with phliKtid in a game of Wizards Of Wor. I was soundly defeated. I was, however, happy to see that my mad Spy Hunter skills were still in tact.

While I was roaming the aisles of games I was reminded that there is something that is worse than the band Journey…and that’s the video game Journey

File Sharing

Lori Jones here in Houston got a letter from lawyers representing the RIAA indicating she is being sued for copyright infringement to the tune of over half a million dollars. Apparently her daughter had downloaded and installed Limewire to share music.

According to the lawsuit the half-million dollar price tag works out to $750 per infringement. That’s $750 per song. Pretty steep considering you can purchase the songs at the iTunes store for 99 cents a pop. On the plus side, they are willing to settle for a one time fee of $4,000.

You can see the whole story here.

Jeff Ehling from the local ABC affiliate station here in Houston, TX called me to setup an interview. Since I had taken the day off we did it in the comfort of my living room.

Strangely, this time I was only referred to as:

Jay Lee who hosts a radio program that specializes in computer issues

Negativland

Mark Hosler

Close
Mark Hosler holds a copy of the infamous U2 single.

Took the time to go to the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center @ The University of Houston to listen to Mark Hosler speak about media and Negativland (wiki).

I’ve been a fan of Negativland since the early 80’s and used to play their stuff on the old Wake Up And Smell The Coffee program I did back in the day and it was a treat to get to listen to him speak.

The most entertaining anecdotes were the details of the U2 lawsuit and the David Brom axe murderer hoax.

The discussion ranged from fair use and copyrights to culture jamming and touched upon things like Youtube and P2P file sharing as a cheap and effective means of mass distribution for digital artists.

My friend Chuck Ivy was able to record the presentation so perhaps there will be a copy of it available soon.

Shop As Usual

hosler.jpgThursday, March 13, 4:00-5:30pm
Adventures in Illegal Art: Creative Media Resistance and Negativland
Mark Hosler of Negativland in attendance!
Quintero Lab Theater, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center, University of Houston

A film/lecture/presentation/conversation with Mark Hosler of Negativland presented by the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts.

Interested in media literacy? Want to know more about creative and humorous anti-corporate art/activism? Interested in challenging the roles of advertising and corporate power in our lives? Opinionated about intellectual property issues? Want to be involved in the evolution of art, law, and resistance in a media saturated world? Then…

Reserve your space now! 713-743-5749

Imported Beer

At work I sometimes find myself on the phone with our contractors in Bolivia. A few weeks ago I was going back and forth on a particular problem that required multiple phone calls before arriving at just the theory of what was causing it. This was followed by a few more calls to Bolivia as we implimented the solution.

The net result was that we not only resolved the problem, but likely cleared some things up going forward that should reduce the impact of this kind of issue in the future.

The developer/tech I worked with was so happy with the efforts and the results that she informed me she would be sending me a sample of her favorite Bolivian beers as a thank you. These arrived today via one of our Houston employees who travels back and forth between locations

And she sent them in a nifty leather man purse which goes GREAT with some shoes I just bought!

Ascii Star Wars

I find it oddly reassuring that this little gem still inhabits the Internet.

Open up your favorite telnet client and connect to towel.blinkenlights.nl

If you’re using Windows just click Start, Run and type cmd to open a command prompt. Then type telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl and then hit enter.

If you’re using Mac OS X or later you can open up the Terminal application found in the Utilities folder under Applications and then type telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl and then hit enter.

Enjoy!

The Geek Speaks

Once again the mighty news media empire calls out for a tech expert and Houston’s Best Tech Geek responds to the call!

Jeff Ehling wanted to come by and interview me for a a story on ABC 13 (KTRK) about about the new music service Qtrax that claims to be offering free and legal music downloads via P2P…

It’s available here for your web viewing pleasure:
Free online music downloads?

Jeff was telling me they’ve been getting mixed feedback on the new web site. I gotta say, I like it! It’s slick and easy to navigate. and I’m not just saying that because it was easy to find the piece featuring my interview so easily after the broadcast on the 6 o’clock news!

Greetings!

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