Archive for January, 2007

Dianne Feinstein and several of her… unindicted cohorts… are sponsoring a bill designed to “protect” big recording industry players at the expense of independent bands, people podcasting or webcasting, and pretty much everybody else.

First, they want to require everyone who sends out audio over the Internet or any other medium to use “digital rights management”. Never you mind how. Never you mind the burden on us. All that will be cleared up… later. By fair people. From the music industry.

Second, they want to “level the playing field” by making tiny little podcasts that use public domain or podsafe music, or which have banded together to pay licenses at the current hobbyists’ charge level, pay licenses they don’t need at the same high rate as a regular commercial broadcast station with an audience of millions. Satellite radio is also supposed to get hit up for this, even though most people can’t even get their signal. No doubt, they will try to get broadcast stations to pay more license money just to let you listen live to their signal over the Internet. Again, how this is to be done is left very vague in the senators’ press release. (In the past, the music industry has tried to get everyone to pay for expensive music licenses, just in case they might use music. Sometime.)

Needless to say, all that cruft would make it nigh impossible to continue podcasting this public domain podcast of public domain audiobooks. Even if all these regs were restricted solely to music, imagine the wonderful fun it would be to implement DRM on this week’s chapter of O. Henry’s novel Cabbages and Kings, just because one character sings public domain words to the tune of “The Wearing of the Green”, a public domain song. Churches could not podcast to shut-ins. Teachers could not podcast to students. Independent bands could not promote their stuff so they’ll get on the top 40 in the UK, like several did this year. (Hmmmm. Wonder why this bill is coming out now.)

Please, if you are in the US, write or email your state’s US senators and the bill’s sponsors and complain about this pernicious PERFORM bill. If you aren’t, since this affects your listening, please email the following sponsors of the bill through the Senate’s contact page here, (which also includes phone numbers for their offices and mailing addresses):

Joe Biden, Democrat, Delaware (thinking of running for president)

Dianne Feinstein, Democrat, California

Lamar Alexander, Republican, Tennessee

Lindsey Graham, Republican, South Carolina

Also, please read this article about the real reason digital rights management is important to the recording and movie industries — not to stop pirates, but to make you buy more copies of what you already own.

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Barring people who didn’t renew their copyrights back when they still needed to do that, the US keeps stuff in copyright for 70 years past the writer’s death. So… take a look at the “Life + 70” list from this year’s Copyright Day (ie, Jan. 1) and see if there’s anybody you’d like to read. Via Siris.

You’ll notice that everything by G.K. Chesterton is now out of copyright in the US, so callooh callay! *rubs hands together* Also all of Arthur B. Reeve’s books and stories. (Apparently including the ghost writers’ stuff. Heh.) M.R. James and A.E. Housman are now totally P.D. Rudyard Kipling, too, is FREE AT LAST!

Finally, all unpublished works by those who died in 1936 are now in the public domain in the US.

Btw, also via Siris, be sure to read this Westminster Wisdom post on the Blind Beak of Bow Street and the implications of his work.

* All stuff not otherwise copyrighted and renewed. Alas.

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“The Devolutionist” continues, as Smith sees through the eyes of an Capellan engineer and Billie watches an operation.

Chapter 3: Smith’s Mind Wanders

Chapter 4: New Hearts for Old


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The Lani People continues, as our young veterinarian goes on a job interview — and demonstrates the importance of reading the fine print.

Chapter 2


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Cabbages and Kings continues as we meet Mr. Maloney, a new denizen of Coralio.

Chapter 15: Dicky


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The Ascent of Mount Carmel continues, as St. John of the Cross tells us about rejoicing in moral good.

Chs. 27-29


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The 1811 serial Fatherless Fanny continues with a short but fateful chapter.

Chapter 16: A Proposal.


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In this ingenious 1911 story from the collection The Silent Bullet, a beautiful woman’s looks and life have been destroyed by skin cancer. Her respected doctor is being sued for careless use of his X-ray machine. Where can the doctor turn to find out the truth?

Professor Craig Kennedy and his reporter friend Jameson roam the streets of modern New York before the First World War, fighting new inventions in crime with science and technology of their own!

“The Deadly Tube”


Sorry for putting off reading The Nebuly Coat again. It’s a great novel, a good mystery, and (I think) interesting hearing; but it’s not the easiest book to read out loud, somehow. Also, my sinuses are telling me all there is to know about this weather front moving in, and thus I have a strong wish to contemplate the back of my eyelids. 🙂 See you tomorrow for the next thrilling installment of our Regency-contemporary Regency romance, Fatherless Fanny!

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This week, I’m starting the extremely interesting “Oration 40” by St. Gregory Nazianzen. The speech was delivered on January 6, 381 in Constantinople. (Kinda amusing to be able to date it so exactly!)

Part 1 talks about why Epiphany was called the Feast of Lights back then, all the different and lovely names Baptism had, and why people ought to quit putting it off. It’s a really beautiful lecture, passing from mood to mood and idea to idea as smoothly as quicksilver. (You have no idea how fun it was to read!)

Oration 40, Part 1


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Btw, New Header….

Not much painting done of Mary with reading material in this season. We’ve got the Feast of the Holy Family, the Circumcision of Jesus (now called the feast of Mary the Mother of God), Epiphany (which includes the Marriage at Cana and the Baptism of the Lord), and we end up with the Feast of the Presentation (of Jesus in the Temple).

But if you look closely at that middle picture of the Presentation, with Jesus in swaddling clothes (and I’m pretty sure this wasn’t intentional), Mary looks as though she were carrying a big Torah scroll.

Also, there’s a napkin or something in front of Jesus on the table at Cana. Kinda looks like he’s picking up the check under parental pressure, doesn’t it?

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Against Heresies continues with an interesting talk about what Jesus meant by “No one knows the Father except the Son”, and what the Gnostics say he meant. Also, there’s a discussion of how Abraham saw Jesus’ day and rejoiced, as Jesus said he did.

Chs 6-7, Book 4


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“The Devolutionist” is third in a series of four Dr. Kinney stories, but stands alone. (You do get a brief precis of previous trips carried out in the good doctor’s sky-car.)  Published in 1921, this story uses a scientific telepathy device to carry our four protagonists to faraway places — beyond the solar system!

Ch. 1: “Out of Their Minds” and Ch. 2: “Back to Earth”


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Yes, I’m starting another short sf novel. I can’t help myself! It’s the perfect sf form! (And hey, it’s a 1962 novel that’s in the public domain!)

The Lani People by J. F. Bone has an unusual protagonist — a veterinarian fresh out of school in the far future. It’s another example of a theme that seems to have been in the air in the early sixties and seventies — who counts as human? And how can we live with ourselves, if we define someone human as less?

(This novel is not really themed for very young kids. Remember, teenagers and college kids are the backbone demographics of the sf market… and this novel was definitely written to appeal to older teenage boys. Ahem.)

Chapter 1


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Cabbages and Kings continues, as a New York artist friend of Billy Keogh joins him in Coralio, on a quest to make a dishonest ten thousand bucks with one completely legal piece of art.

Chapter 14: Masters of Arts


Sorry it took me so long to get the podcast going again. I hope you had a good Christmastide!

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Star Hunter concludes, as Ras Hume and Vye Lansor find themselves at the end of their journey and their hopes. Yet they stubbornly fight on….

Chapter 13


Btw, I’m going to be podcasting very lightly for the rest of this week, as my voice and my strength aren’t quite back. But I’m getting there. Next week we should be back on schedule.

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