Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Kirk Franklin on Oprah

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I watched Oprah today with Kirk Franklin talking about recovery from a pornography addiction and became more confused than anything else.
His addiction began at the young age of 8 and he has been recovering for the past 8 or 9 years.  I do not immediately know his age, but he has been addicted over half his life, so I thank God for his continued recovery and ongoing, conscious struggle.
The ironic part to me is that he stated that his porn addiction was more of a hardcopy addiction without any use of the internet.  His addiction mostly consisted of magazines and adult movies versus websites, webcams, erotic e-mails, and other audio, visual, and textual porn.
Why this fact confuses me I do not quite know, but given the age and year that he was first introduced to pornography, it makes sense.
The world wide web is a little over 10 years old and VCRs gained popularity in the late 80s while magazines have been around forever it seems.  So how he avoided being addicted to anything online is more amazing than anything else (if he was addicted 10 years ago).
But Kirk's frankness, unbridled honesty, and love and appreciation for his wife Tammy did not tarnish his star in my eyes.
My main concern before the show was that it would be a case of "there is no such thing as bad or negative publicity" and his integrity kept the show from appearing this way altogether.
I do remember seeing his wife in the audience several weeks ago and today Oprah played a brief segment where Kirk was in the audience and I do not know or remember if it was the same episode.  I never saw him in the audience.  But I believe that the episode where his wife was in the audience was about either Tyler Perry's movie "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" or men being on the down low.
What this has to do with anything would be more confusing but it is only what I think that I saw.
At times, I am very skeptical of Oprah's audience of mostly women than anything else.  I do not believe that Oprah plays towards her audience and that they simply follow who and what they think she is.
But today I knew that while the audience readily clapped for the strength of Tammy (Kirk's wife), there was another segment of women there that would quickly swim around their boat like hungry sharks and tell Kirk "come on over to Big Mama and let me help you off that wagon" and drown Kirk within their cleavage;)
Still I expect a boost to Kirk's CD sales and concert attendance as a result of today's episode.
I believe that there will be many who will flock to see him fall or try to tempt him now that his public confession has been made.
Kirk, do not let them kick you while they believe you are down!!!  Just know that just by being on O versus anything other statements, confessions, and/or admittance on the subject, a bigger bulls eye has been drawn on you.
As a result, you are now in the league of athletes of the various professional leagues and entertainers if you were not already before.  Increase the size of your entourage and bodyguards because there is somebody who will want to use today's episode as a "you heard it first on Oprah", so this new news is not that difficult to believe.
I will personally pray for Kirk and any other man or woman who is or has been entrapped by pornography. 
Clearly, the mental and spiritual residue of porn is like the smoke within one's clothes and body from a nightclub or smoke-filled room and I hope to write a new song about the topic after seeing today's episode.

Intel Announcement That Mentions TiVo's New Application for 2006

There is an announcement being made by Intel that strongly mentioned a new use for a TiVo unit.
Viiv is a new company within Intel that is going to produce a technology that will allow TiVo boxes to move programming from the PC to the TiVo box.
This immediately makes IPTV and downloading of television shows a viable option for TiVo owners.
With this announcement, I can foresee TiVo being sued by broadcast networks for becoming very Napster-like but with video.  But I would hope that by the time the technology is released that the major media companies will see that any moves involving downloading and transfer of anything viewable on TV is a good move versus one to be decimated quickly.
I just wonder where DirecTV will fall into this new equation since as a distribution service provider, DirecTV should not be technically restricted to televisions and home viewing as well.  XM Radio is a great example of how it displaced Music Choice from being a digital music provider to DirecTVXM Radio has aggressively sought to move beyond its initial field of subscribers to being accessible online, within the home, within automobiles, and anywhere else a portable hand unit can be carried.
DirecTV should jump on this same bandwagon with both TiVo and XM Radio and push the envelope even faster.
But a lot of this new distribution and content accessibility has been introduced by Apple's release of the Video iPod.  So thanks a ton, Apple!
One interesting thought that just popped back into my head is the opinion that was expressed on the Motley Fool that Google should acquire TiVo .
With TiVo clearly working to become a bridge between television viewing and the online digital realm, I can easily see Google snapping up TiVo.
This is a better move than when Microsoft acquired WebTV.

Another thought that now resonates to me is that Blockbuster and Netflix better start making some stronger moves as well as any other company whose business primarily involves hardcopy media such as DVDs.  This goes equally if not double for the recording industry.

Other companies mentioned within the press release include Afendis AG,, British Sky Broadcasting, MovieLink, Telecom Italia, VirginMega, Ubisoft Entertainment, Adobe Systems Inc., Ulead Systems Inc., and Sonic Solutions.

So this announcement may preclude Web 3.0 or Web 4.0 after all;) 

Left out of this announcement however are the internet service providers which will be needed for the tons of bandwidth that are going to be needed to keep the system from breaking down and remaining just another lofty digital idea and vision.  Broadband providers need to be kept at the table or quickly ushered to it.

Yahoo's New RSS feature

A new RSS feature is being announced today about Yahoo! and the press release sounds as if the new feature copies Google Reader offered by Google.
I am for anything that makes gaining personal access to RSS feeds from any computer possible.
One annoying feature of Google Reader has been that adding new RSS feeds requires clicking on the My Subscriptions links versus being immediately accessible while using Google Reader.  The same applies to importing and exporting OPML feeds.
Lately Firefox and MS Internet Explorer have been crashing for unexpected reasons although it usually means that it is time to get another computer since the one I am currently using is choking from the lack of hard drive space on the C drive.
I just read the press release again and it appears that the new feature is not immediately available to all Yahoo! Mail users and is being rolled out over time.
When I see that the new feature is available, I am going to be looking to see how easy it is to add new RSS feeds and determine if the new feature is worth using Yahoo's version versus Google Reader.

Jamie Foxx appeared yesterday and Kirk Franklin appears today on Oprah

Yesterday's broadcast of Oprah with special guest Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx was definitely a keeper.
I heard some samples of Foxx's songs from his upcoming CD entitled "Unpredictable" when he appeared on a local Atlanta radio station WVEE several weeks ago and clearly he has been working on his musicianship a lot longer than many other celebrities who decide to release music CDs for the general public.
I anticipate picking up the CD when "Unpredictable" is released and believe that it will send many seasoned and manufactured artists alike back to the drawing board in order to produce better quality music.
Gospel artist Kirk Franklin is scheduled to appear on today's broadcast to talk about an addiction to pornography.
I just hope that today's show on Oprah yields deliverance versus just an airing of dirty laundry.
From the previews, the potential for after-show remorse and negative repercussions for Kirk are definitely there.
We shall definitely see how it turns out and blog about it after the show ends.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Roney Smith Podcast Episode # 4

Here are the show notes for the Roney Smith podcast episode # 4 .  To receive the podcast within your podcasting software, just use the regular feed address to subscribe.

Episode # 4 was recorded on November 28, 2005

The actual length of the podcast episode is 4:43.

The file size is 4.32 to 4.53 MB depending upon the software used to view the MP3 file.

Opening comments:  Podcasts are going to be shorter in length for easier processing.

Main point discussed.  Tivo account update (links to be located again and provided later)

  1. TV Ad Search Service
  2. Future replacement of our home Tivo unit within our household
  3. First Tivo lasted until internal modem died.
  4. Same box started pixelating within 5 minutes of use with new external modem.
  5. Tivo retracted their own offer with hopes that customers would forget to obtain rebate pricing.
  6. Series 2 or home-network capable Tivo is desired in the future.

Music Credits:  Copyright 2000 Seed Of Life Music (BMI).  All songs were written, produced, and performed by Roney Smith from his first CD entitled "Approximation".

Songs not necessarily in the order of appearance:  "Don't Worry", "You Can Fly", and "Timeout! 2000 - Me And My House (Mega Youth Mix)". Tags:
church christianity blackchurch africanamerican bglo africanamericans minority minorities blackgreek blackgreeks divinenine divine9 blgo blgos blacks roneysmith roney+smith technology technorati skype wysiwysell blogs blogosphere blogpost blogger blogging podcasting podcast yoursinthebond videoblog web2.0 web20 mableton atlanta african+american african+americans consultant diy blackfolk blackfolks black blackentertainmenttelevision ChristianLeadership ChristianFellowship christ ChristianWorldView Jesus Jesus+Christ ministry ministers minister religion Religious urbanleague vlogging vlog

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Surprise Hit & Jewel on XM Radio: Cinemagic

This evening while channel surfing I stumbled across an previously undiscovered channel on XM Radio via DirecTV and it is called Cinemagic (822 on DirecTV).

I was just listening to a composition from the movie "Drop Zone" that I have not ever seen credited to one of my favorite movie soundtrack composers Hans Zimmer.  Whenever you see Hans' name attached to a movie, you know that there is going to be some serious complexity and strategy going on within the movie and soundtrack.

This channel alone may start me to locate some of the movies that I have not seen just to see if the soundtrack's intensity is more intense than the action within the movie alone.

It must be a Hans Zimmer mini marathon.  Scores from Backdraft and Black Hawk Down were just played as well.

A composer named Brian May was just listened to and it was dangerously intense as well.

Looking at the IMDB trivia for the various parties is just as interesting as listening to their compositions.

Check out the channel and enjoy the music whenever you want to really focus or get your "game face" on;)

Saturday, November 26, 2005

DirecTV & XM Radio Recommendation

I would like to see XM Radio recognize its new listeners via DirecTV as subscribers for the online feed of the various programming.

Gaining online access to the same content as long as a person is a DirecTV subscriber should not be considered a major hurdle to XM RadioThe feed could exist through DirecTV's website if necessary.
The motivation for this thought is that when my daughters Rachel and Hailey want to watch children's programming on TV, I have to watch or listen to something else if I am in the same room.  I am usually online since a lot of the kiddie tv gets similar to a Chinese water torture if we have already seen it for the umpteenth time;)
Otherwise if this recommendation is not digestible, I imagine that it will lead me to consider obtaining another DirecTV unit which we never have previously considered.  But the XM Radio option costs more but is more portable.  XM Radio does beat the overprogrammed options of local radio overwhelming in my opinion.  Right now I cannot digest the thought of buying an XM Radio although it does beat local radio options.  There would need to be another unique selling benefit for XM Radio to seem logical to me at the current moment.
Radio stations within the Carolinas (WWDM in Sumter, SC, 99.1 or 99.7 FM "Rocking with the Fox" in Fayetteville, NC, WYNN-FM in Florence, SC, and WCIG-FM prior to its being sold and format change) that I remember have consistently outperformed Atlanta radio stations within their music programming.  There is just a little lack of programming diversity and it sounds as if music directors are listening to other stations and having their on-air personalities play the same songs as other stations.
Clearly everyone is taking the same commercial breaks as everyone else which drives me crazy.
I remember when cable FM was being hyped in the early 80s and has morphed into a better platform with XM Radio.
Now that our youngest daughter is no longer sleeping in her crib and has moved to the same room with big sister Rachel, I may re-inherit a fortress of solitude but on a limited basis.  I know that a home network is coming onto the horizon day-by-day.
When will the perfect balance ever be found? 
Still, I press on since the current lifestyle offers something for everyone within our household;)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

XM Radio and The Holidays, They Won't Stop!

I am still diggin XM Radio via DirecTV this afternoon although it is still some time before considering buying a device to access it away from home, it is da bomb!!!

I am listening to The Flow right now and was listening to The Groove channel earlier and FM radio does not have a thing on these guys!

The main thing that it has me thinking is that I must get my hands on a turntable and digitize my vinyl collection.

The music industry needs rehab from crack since they think that control over how content is accessed is important.

XM has already taught me that you should not have to forget about the content you already have in order to stay current especially if what you had before is already good.

But I guess that this is why they want to limit how much past sales can be replayed in order to keep you buying more;)

Good thing that they cannot charge for oxygen yet;)

I have already heard today several artists and songs that I would not have heard on local radio stations due to the songs not living up the "attack of the clones" mindset that too many radio station managers and music directors must be adhering too these days.

I do wonder how unsigned artists can submit songs to XM Radio for airplay since the demand for new music can only increase.

In the meantime, don't disturb this groove!!!


Thanksgiving in the a.m.

Thanksgiving Day 2005 has started off on an interesting note.  Somewhere close by within our subdivision a home security system was blaring all night long.  You know that it's bad when you start dreaming about hearing the sound within your dreams.

The system somehow turned off a couple of times but started again within 15 minutes.  I do not hear it now.  I imagine that the residents went out of town, but I hope that the rest of the Thanksgiving holidays do not have the same disturbance.

I have added some RSS feeds and links to the sidebar of my blog.  

One new link is to the blog for a multitalented brother named Shavar Ross that I met online not too long ago and his blog and work is something that you should definitely out.  If his name sounds familiar, then you will see why.  Definitely check out Shavar's photography on Flickr which is what first caught my attention.

The RSS feeds that I have created on Digg (its RSS feed is actually this link ) and (its RSS feed is actually this link) also now appear within the sidebar as well.

I also added one nonserious photo of myself as well to lighten up any impressions that might try to hide my smile;)

Otherwise so far today, I am listening to some nice tunes on XM Radio.  One interesting song playing right now on The Flow channel is Joss Stone's "Super Duper Love" from her CD entitled "The Soul Sessions". 

The song makes me think that if I walk outside right now, it might be spring or summer 1968 or 1969 before the assassinations and aftermath violence kicked in.  I expect the Mr. Softee ice cream truck to roll by as well any second now:)

This groove that I am feeling right now should be made mandatory for the holidays sho nuff;)

I am going to call some friends and family and touch base by phone later after dinner.  I do not intend to leave home or drive anywhere unless forced to.

Happy Thanksgiving and tis the season!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Roney Smith Podcast Episode # 3

Here are the show notes for the Roney Smith podcast episode # 3.  To receive the podcast within your podcasting software, just use the regular feed address to subscribe.

Episode # 3 was recorded on November 21, 2005

The actual length of the podcast episode is 15:55 versus the 21:08 length of the entire file.

The file size is 3.72 MB (but appears as 3.81 MB within my FTP software somehow).

Opening comments

A.  I have created RSS Feeds for two web services that I use Digg (its RSS feed is actually this link) and (its RSS feed is actually this link)

B.  More podcasts are currently in development that will cover separate topics.  I am being mindful of the impact that more podcasts will have on my career.

C.  New USB Devices recently discovered

    1. Midi-to-USB port to connect midi instruments, sound modules, and drum machines to your computer
    2. Microphone-to-USB port for vocals in music compositions and podcasts

D.  Tivo account update (links to be located again and provided later)

  1. New Yahoo! web deal
  2. Recent announcement of Tivo's support for Apple Video iPod and Sony PSP and its potential impact on television viewing habits

Music Credits:  Copyright 2000 Seed Of Life Music (BMI).  All songs were written, produced, and performed by Roney Smith from his first CD entitled "Approximation".

Songs not necessarily in the order of appearance:  "Don't Worry", "You Can Fly", and "Timeout! 2000 - Me And My House (Mega Youth Mix)". Tags:
church christianity blackchurch africanamerican bglo africanamericans minority minorities blackgreek blackgreeks divinenine divine9 blgo blgos blacks roneysmith roney+smith technology technorati skype wysiwysell blogs blogosphere blogpost blogger blogging podcasting podcast yoursinthebond videoblog web2.0 web20 mableton atlanta african+american african+americans consultant diy blackfolk blackfolks black blackentertainmenttelevision ChristianLeadership ChristianFellowship christ ChristianWorldView Jesus Jesus+Christ ministry ministers minister religion Religious urbanleague vlogging vlog

Roney Smith Podcast Episode # 2

Here are the show notes for the Roney Smith podcast episode # 2.  To receive the podcast within your podcasting software, just use the regular feed address to subscribe.

Episode # 2 was recorded on November 16, 2005
The actual length of the podcast episode is 35:08 versus the 36:38 length of the entire file.
The file size is 6.44 MB (but appears as 6.59 MB within my FTP software somehow).
Opening comments
A.  Social Networking Online:  Before joining a social networking community online, you should:
    1. Have a definite purpose and focus for your participation
    2. Know the audience demographics for the community.
    3. Know or have an idea of the volume of daily users of the community.
A brief list of social networking communities that I have joined include:
B.  Trillian and Instant Messaging software
C.  Skype, Gizmo, Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP), and VOIP hardware 
D.  Review of Google Base
Comparing and contrasting Google Base versus eBay, Craigslist and Overstock
Google Base needs a payment system to compete with PayPal
Google Base needs to allow more search results (50 or 100 recommended versus returning only 10 results per page as it does now)
E.  Ning
Social Networking online is good for purposes involving music, relationships, careers, and commerce which provides a huge benefit of being online versus offline.  Social networking online also gives you a stronger international outlook and perspective.
Music Credits:  Copyright 2000 Seed Of Life Music (BMI).  All songs were written, produced, and performed by Roney Smith from his first CD entitled "Approximation".

Songs not necessarily in the order of appearance:  "Don't Worry", "You Can Fly", and "Timeout! 2000 - Me And My House (Mega Youth Mix)". Tags:

Georgia Aquarium Opens In Atlanta

The new Georgia Aquarium (GA) is definitely generating a lot of excitement here in metro Atlanta especially for people who are interested within education and learning;)

Being that it is the largest of its kind and located within a very accessible location, it is rather mind-blowing to know that it is actually located here in midtown Atlanta.  It is like someone put a franchised Disney World location here in metro Atlanta and it will not take 4 to 6 hours just to get there.

The place is charging Disney World prices however and the prices indicate that for people who live here, it is better to get a season pass versus paying for a single trip admission.

People with season passes were able to visit (GA) a day before it opened to the public this week.

The place has so many different features that are so enticing, you will have to make return trips just to see it all.

One statistic that caught my attention is that one section is as large as football field and 60 feet deep.

(GA) also has an academic relationship with the University of Georgia and has the largest veternarian schools for aquatic purposes and is  virtually an aquatic hospital or ER-equipped hospital as well.

Clearly from a tourism perspective, (GA) is the best thing for Atlanta since the Olympics since it will not be affected by various sports teams' winning (or losing) records.

Bernie Marcus is one of the founders of Home Depot and has personally given over $200 million to fund (GA).  The only potential blemish against him (right or wrong) was his support to ban panhandling within downtown Atlanta altogether.  

But as previous philanthropists have done, nothing can take away the clearly significant impact that his generosity has done within building an aquatic museum, tourist attraction, and research facility all rolled up into one destination.

For this reason, my hat is off to Bernard Marcus and the Georgia Aquarium.  I cannot wait to check it out with my family.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Old School Song That Stumped Me

I am listening to "The Groove" on XM Radio featured on DirecTV while surfing the internet.
I just heard a song that has been sampled numerous times and being the R&B expert I am from my bedroom DJ days from grades 7 through 12, I knew that I could never identify this song if it was a part of some music trivia.
The song is "I Get Lifted" by George McCrae and it appeared on the same album entitled "Rock Your Baby" and the title track was the most popular song of the album.
I know that Dr. Dre had sampled the song for some of his early work with Snoop Dogg.  I think that the sample appears on the album "The Chronic".
I always wondered how he had the presence of mind to go back to an era that is older than most of us (he is the same age as I to my knowledge).
After hearing the original song, I know that his earlier choice of samples come from the popularity of songs based within his hometown than mine and/or family members who were slightly older.
I have an older cousin (6 years older) who would have been this type of musical influence in my life, but I was considered too young to hang with him then.
The next time that we talk I will definitely ask him about some of the songs he listened to within the early 70s.  One song that I do remember hearing once while visiting his house that has stayed with me is "Feel The Need" by Larry Graham and Graham Central Station.
I saw the album cover online not too long ago and knew that it would have never been on my radar screen otherwise.  Ironically, the album photography appears to have been taken in front of a church and I know that Larry Graham is a Jehovah Witness.
I might listen to a couple of previews from this CD, but "Feel The Need" always stayed with me and I know Dr. Dre had an older brother who was murdered (I believe) who clearly played a significant role in his musical development.

Friday, November 18, 2005

VP Cheney Crashes & Burns with Indirect Attack on A Highly Decorated, Former Marine of All Things

The Nation has a blog entry that if true is so sad and pathetic about the mindset of VP Dick Cheney that the latest events should mark a tipping point within the political and historical demise and of the current Vice-President.

At this point in time, I am of the opinion that it would be better for Cheney to resign citing health issues than to continue on the current course of misinformation and attacking of windmills.

I mean the VP is clearly one of the leading proponents of quantum physics, time travel, and mass communications from an alternate reality or Bizarro (if this is the place often mentioned within Seinfeld from a DC Comics reference).

Rove must be riding shotgun and drinking from the same cup of Kool-Aid but at least Rove has enough sense to not be recorded or to allow someone else to take the fall;)

I am not one who is fanatic about politics but when I realized that bureaucracy is one of my biggest pet peeves, the current administration is loaded and flashing its hazard lights beside the interstate of empathy with the rest of America.

Mark my words--before the year expires and 2006 is ushered in, VP Cheney will be reported to have said something so incredible and in poor taste that his own words will force him to resign.

The only way my prediction will fail is if Cheney goes back into the rabbit hole that he occupied in order to allow W seem the presidential cowboy and hero to the rescue in the aftermath of the downed World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks.

If Cheney goes on an extended vacation within 2005, my prediction will still ring true before the next administration is sworn in.

Cheney will indeed have to fall on his sword through his own words versus anything anyone else can do to or for him.

The link above virtually proves it.


Maybe eBay Is Serious About Skype After All;)

CNET News is reporting today that on Monday, Skype and Radio Shack will announce a partnership for Radio Shack stores to essentially sell Skype starter kits consisting of a headset, software, and 30 minutes of calling time.

This move is ingenious and is a huge step up from AOL's past and current practices of drowning of the marketplace with CDs that were and still are often used in derogatory ways.

The move itself makes eBay acquire the Googlesque buzz of not knowing what they are going to do next but with the implied understanding that it is going to be a great move for consumers.

Actually, this move by an eBay-affiliated company slightly startles me into acknowledging that I am pleasantly surprised and now wonder where were these employees and executives when eBay's lack of customer service decisions were made that are still throwing small business owners overboard like slave ships did to their human cargo centuries ago (and may still occur within the underground scene and industry of human trafficking)?

But more than likely this move should be credited to people who were already on or just joined Skype's team and are in a position to make the bonus differential in the final price of Skype (an estimated $1.5 billion) to be paid by eBay.


Waiting for Mr. or Ms. Right May Lead to Waiting Too Long and A Less Fulfilling Marriage

USA Today reported yesterday a recent survey indicates that "the odds for a happy marriage may favor those who tie the knot between the ages of 23 and 27".

I have seen many people who have overlooked the better mate within their face in order to search in vain for someone that they would live happily ever after with.

It almost seems counterintuitive in that a person has to compare their present choice of mate with their past relationships and make a decision based upon the opposing questions "does this person make me happier than anyone else has within my past?" versus "is there anyone else out there that has the ability to make me happier?"

The questions seems to be the same question when in reality there is a fine nuance that leads each question in opposite directions.

Time Magazine article on VP Cheney

Time magazine has an interesting article on Vice-President Dick Cheney and it appears to really get inside his head a little.

He only knows one direction and does not have the humility to reverse course.  Pride always does funny things to people.

The article referred to Cheney as being the training wheels for Bush's presidency and now that Cheney does not appear to have the desire to become president himself, Cheney then becomes a growing liability more than anything else.


The most disconnected dots that would immediately make sense is to somehow discover that Cheney was involved in Sony's decision to affect computers to detect copying of music CDs:)

Cheney is on his way to becoming the most parodied American in being the villainous "Mr. Man" behind the scenes pulling the strings and creating worldwide damage.  As said within the "Wizard of Oz", "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain"!

History will not be kind to you Mr. Vice-President.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Apple Is Being Baked Over Downloadable Music Prices

Red Herring is reporting that Apple will eventually change its pricing structure for songs sold via iTunes its online music store.

If the major labels feel that their content justifies a higher price, then raising the prices will provide a worldwide moment of truth for music creators and lovers alike.

I personally believe that a variable pricing structure will possibly provide more incentive for people to actively search for, buy, and download music from independent artists and labels than currently exists.  So I am all for the variable pricing structure.

There is a ton of really great music that the world has not been oversaturated with since the current music industry food chain is clearly filled with corruption, payola, and other devices with politically correct names that mean the same down and dirty deeds often shown within the gangster era of years gone by as demonstrated within the ability to legally sell and consume alcohol.

Music is indeed the new drug of mankind and clearly older than the world's supposed oldest profession since music provided the mood catalyst for many romantic and physical encounters worldwide.

Scarcity is driving the music industry's preference for a variable pricing structure and they have overlooked the value that Apple and other companies have created through the creation, manufacture, and distribution of devices such the Apple iPod and other digital music devices.

I would normally include Sony within this same breath but since Sony already had its own music division, it was simply doing what it needed to do to sell more music.

But other music labels have not taken Sony's route.

As far as Sony BMG's efforts with the rootkit, I say that they deserve everything that comes their way as a result of attempting to micromanage their customers.

I am just ecstatic that Apple's innovation has introduced to the worldwide music market the hardware devices and distribution system that was sorely needed within the internet age.

Apple's creation of the video iPod is more significant not from the perspective of the physical device, but the fact that the same programming can be acquired via desktop and laptop computers.

Go Apple and even if you raise the prices on some music, the music industry overall will benefit.


Google Base, I Like It But...

Yesterday Google released the beta version of Google Base which a free classified service that takes direct aim at Craigslist and eBay and all for the better I say.

I checked it out for several minutes and noticed that it provides a seamless experience with the rest of Google's offerings.

The only thing missing from Google Base is a payment processing system that would effectively compete with PayPal which is owned by eBay.  The payment processing feature is expected to arrive with a yet to be released service named Google Wallet.

One change that I would recommend is the ability to change the number of results viewed on a single page.  Right now it appears that you can view 10 found items per page during a search.  I would like to see this number increased to 50 or 100.

But overall, I give Google Base a big thumbs up and look forward to using it.  I really like the bulk uploading feature.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A Couple of New Favorite Actors of Mine: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Michelle Rodriguez on ABC's "Lost"

Right now I am watching ABC's "Lost" featuring the second set of passengers of the plane that crashed.

The second set of passengers did not have the red carpet rolled out for them by any means it seems.

I am thoroughly enjoying watching Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Michelle Rodriguez in their roles as leaders of the second set.

I first became aware of Adewale while watching HBO's "Oz" which IMDB lists as a part of his trivia that "Is perhaps best known for his role as the cunning, fierce super-criminal Adebisi on "Oz" (1997)."

He really ripped that role up with the level of strategic and ferocity that he had to portray within the role. 

I first watched Michelle within the movie "The Fast and The Furious".  She really holds down any tough, physical roles that she has to play.

The level of complexity found within this new side of "Lost" is already falling within the ranks of other shows with similar cunning characters and strategy like HBO's "Oz", and FX's "The Shield" and "Over There".

Adewale and Michelle are definitely going to make "Lost" the show to watch Wednesdays at 9 p.m.

Want Real-Time News and/or Opinions? Try Google's Blog Search

I was just searching Google's Blog Search a few seconds ago and searched for NBC's "E-ring" which is a television show that just finished airing tonight.

To my surprise, there were fresh blogs that were created while the show was still airing.

What is so amazing about this is that there was virtually no delays between content creation and its ability to appear as a search result.

There are a ton of uses for this and I am sure that sports fans would get a huge kick out of this.

Right now I am looking at ABC's "Lost" which features other passengers of the crashed airline that ended up on the other side of the island supposedly.

The concept of another set of passengers is wonderful and ingenious since it essentially adds another layer to the story and extends the show possibly another full season just to explain what the second set of passengers experienced.

With Google's Blog Search, the time delay in getting updates worldwide has just gotten smaller.  With an instant messaging service, it is totally possible to be able to reach the authors the moment they click either the send or publish button.

This is truly dynamic!!!

New Orleans' Crime Goes on Tour

Having home field advantage taken away by hurricanes Katrina and Rita is causing law enforcement problems elsewhere within the nation.

ABC News is reporting that the crime rate within New Orleans has gone on life support while elsewhere the criminal element is trying to crack open new markets.

The poverty and resulting crime within New Orleans has been so terrible that many police departments and citizens have not seen the levels of desperation that former New Orleans residents are bringing to their cities and towns.

As a result, keeping the areas' immune system to crime is slowly being compromised nationwide.

Getting Into College Is Not Even Half The Battle Anymore

Having a support system while attending college is very critical to increasing the probability of graduating.  I know that I personally took my support system for granted since I felt that I had it "going on" while attending college.

My grades in high school told me that I would make it, but I do remember seeing others fall by the wayside and the current statistics makes me wonder if colleges and on campus organizations are doing enough to not allow students from falling through the cracks or not rising to their full potential.

The Associated Press has an article appearing on ABC's website and other places on the internet about the efforts to get students to cross the graduation stage versus just reaching the higher levels of education without completing the process.

I hope that those who are empowered to make a difference are going to step up to the plate even more after reading this article.  Getting help from wherever it may be found is going to be the key going forward.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

XM on DirecTV

My wife mentioned that XM Radio is now fully available on DirecTV.

The interesting thing is that the titles for the various music channels really do not do a good job in describing the type of music played unless you are a current radio programmer:(

But there is a wide variety and multiple channels go deep into any genre that may interests you.

I downloaded a channel guide from XM Radio ( and see that there are other channels not carried by DirecTV.

At this time, the offerings are good but not good enough to make me consider obtaining XM Radio for use outside of the home.


Monday, November 14, 2005

A Grant for the Obvious: Exposure to Cold Air Leads to Colds

Here is one topic that my mother-in-law and I have been on the same side forever and a day while my wife Wyteria has never been convinced.

I guess that my wife is a part of traditional health industry and her RN training and experience prevented her and others like her from seeing that good old wisdom passed down from ages;)

I wonder where is the line where the scientists are standing to receive such grants?

Peace! Tags: health

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Possible Hype on Identity Theft?

Yahoo has an article stating that the situation involving identity theft may not be as bad as previously thought.

The situation is only bad if your credit rating was flawless as it is for a dwindling, small population ferociously fighting to keep it that way.

But for the masses, the issue is somewhat of an after thought.

I read a politically incorrect but often-true statement last night from a new online acquaintance that said her credit must be homosexual since it is hard to get straight;)

Anyone spending a lot of time to steal the identity of most people will end up more disappointed versus shopping at the finest stores built.

Credit reporting has been slack from the very inception of credit bureaus, credit reports, and credit scores.  A new fear is not going to create a problem that sustains the system itself.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Yahoo! 360 Pulls Info From Everywhere!

Within this day and age, you will go crazy thinking that you can remain any past levels of privacy.
With RSS feeds, Google, and even the search engine that Yahoo operates, you cannot remain a hermit within the 21st century any longer.
So with this in mind, I am going on the offensive and create as much content as possible.
I'm keeping my birthday suit private though;)
I do like the way Yahoo! 360 is able to help one keep friends and family updated with as many interests that you would like to share.
With the open source philosophy, you can definitely write once and publish everywhere.
Let's see what happens!  This blog entry is being sent from my Gmail account and most entries will since e-mail is one of the best ways to create blog entries in my opinion.  It should appear on my Yahoo 360 blog if the remote capability works right.

Open Pandora's Box for Free!!!

Several months ago, I heard about a supposedly unique music service named Pandora and I was rather skeptical about the premise of a website being able to determine what music I like by what selections I would make.

I know that Amazon has similar technology in place and recommends various books, movies, music, and more based upon your past purchases or even what pages you visit.

So I then checked out Pandora and it was wonderful.

Pandora does something that I did not expect it to do.

Pandora is the result of The Music Genome Project where Tim Westergren, founder of The Music Genome Project notes on the Pandora website that on "January 6, 2000 a group of musicians and music-loving technologists came together with the idea of creating the most comprehensive analysis of music ever.

Together we set out to capture the essence of music at the most fundamental level. We ended up assembling literally hundreds of musical attributes or "genes" into a very large Music Genome. Taken together these genes capture the unique and magical musical identity of a song - everything from melody, harmony and rhythm, to instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, and of course the rich world of singing and vocal harmony. It's not about what a band looks like, or what genre they supposedly belong to, or about who buys their records - it's about what each individual song sounds like.

Over the past 5 years, we've carefully listened to the songs of over 10,000 different artists - ranging from popular to obscure - and analyzed the musical qualities of each song one attribute at a time. This work continues each and every day as we endeavor to include all the great new stuff coming out of studios, clubs and garages around the world."

What this essentially means for music lovers of all genres is that the DNA of music has been analyzed, deconstructed, and a it is now a little more understandable why we love certain artists and songs versus others.

I entered the name of a band that I have been a fan of since junior high school named Cameo.  The songs that were then streamed included a hit single of Cameo but were followed by songs that also exist within my own collection of vinyl, CDs, and now a few digital downloads.

It is like The Music Genome Project has found one of my favorite DJs from back in the old days when I listened to WCIG 107.1 FM in Mullins, SC. 

It is like someone has captured the heart and soul of on-air personalities like Casper the Master Blaster, Dr. Lovejoy, Super Nunnie, Youngblood the Teenage Legend, Bubbling Brown Sugar (where are you, I miss you), Sarah Angelou (I cannot remember your on-air name at this moment) and Cynthia the First Lady (thanks for being consistent with the many contests that I won) that were the usual suspects of playing great music on WCIG.

I remember that for a school project I interviewed WCIG's station owner Forrest Ramsey who later became the mayor of Mullins, SC.  I was probably in ninth grade at the time.  The experience was one of the coolest that I have ever had at such a young age.

I was more surprised at the how the station looked both old and played the latest music at the same time;)  The FM signal was later sold to another company and the AM signal now plays gospel music (and not too much urban contemporary gospel either).

But back to Pandora.

With the analysis of music done, Pandora connects and plays songs that have a very similar structure.  I probably have heard no more than 5 songs played yet.  Pandora then when I first tried it provided 10 hours of free listening before charging a monthly fee.

I discovered that it was reported on Digg that Pandora is now a free service.  They appear to be an affiliate of both Amazon and iTunes.  So I know that Pandora will be one of my favorite websites to stream whenever I am online.

I just have one suggestion for Pandora and that is to be able to add a song or artist and see how the new selection fits into the choices already made.

Wow---I was going back and forth to Pandora while creating this blog entry and see that this is already a possibility.

I wanted to be able to add an artist like Kirk Franklin or Fred Hammond and see how the combination of secular and gospel artists and songs would work.

I have yet to actually try this, but I am going to by the time this blog entry is complete.

Pandora is already a great tool to create a playlist if you need to DJ an event of your own or just for your listening pleasure.

I am also going to create a choice (called a station) of some obscure artists and songs that I remember to see how they relate to songs available today.  So get ready for an Egyptian Lover station:) 

Pandora is streaming "In My Eyes" by Stevie B and although I did not buy this song while attending college, it is not one that would make me leave a dance floor;)

Technology is really working something wonderful for music, arts, and entertainment these days.

Check out Pandora for yourself and I will be sharing the stations that I create as well.  I would like to be able to post them to this blog and I know of one other blog related service add-on that can do this.

Now if only Pandora was able while driving;)  But I know that internet connected cars are not that far off from becoming a reality in our future.

Pandora had a hard time adding Kirk Franklin's music to the Cameo station.  Since Kirk has recorded under multiple names, I will probably use a song title instead.

But Pandora has already played a song or two that I would not have played on my own if I were the DJ.  This is what radio program directors and media companies totally forgot when they were buying radio stations and consolidating the broadcast industry since the mid 80s.

People want someone who will listen to them to create the local playlists if the listeners cannot create their own playlists.  Putting the listener in the driver's seat as media programmers and program directors is the best move any media outlet can make.