Archive | January, 2004

Don’t Let That $3 Burn a Hole in your Pocket — Low Hug #10 is out

Aj Michel, appearing many times on the mediageek radioshow as the resident ‘zine queen, has finished issue #10 of her pop-culture perzine, Low Hug. It’s the Technology issue, and it looks like it’s all killer, no filler:

“Human Factors : The Technological is Personal – contributions from Davida Gypsy Breier (Xerography Debt), Delaine Derry Green (My Small Diary), Russ Forster (8-Track Mind), L. Rob Hubbard (Mimezine), Eric Lyden (Fish with Legs), Sean and Malinda (Thoughtworm), Vincent Romano (Off-Line), Jack Persico, Dan Taylor (Hungover Gourmet) and Jeffrey Yamaguchi (Working for the Man) discussing their personal memories of computers, cable television, CB radio and more! …”

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every issue of Low Hug, and I will let you know that I read my first issue (the radio issue) before I really even knew Aj at all. Each issue gets sharper, and the theme for #10 is dear to my geekly little heart, so I’m very much looking forward to reading it.

Spend yer $3 on something that came from a human editor and contributors, not a focus grouped marketing plan.

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Mediageek Zine Review in Zine World

I’ve been advised that there’s a review of the mediageek ‘zine in the new issue of Zine World (#20), A Reader’s Guide to the Underground Press. (Which I haven’t yet seen).

Even when there’s not a mediageek zine review, Zine World is probably the best overall reference guide to zines. The hundreds of reviews are critical but constructive, and the articles are also typically well chosen and a cut above.

My favorite part of Zine World is the news section, which maintains a sharp eye on our nation’s war on dissent and free speech. Editor Jerianne takes particular notice of how kids’ expression is constantly being suppressed in schools, and brings those stories to light. Truly, the suppression of speech and expression in schools is one of the great uncovered issues of our time.

Right after you send off for your copy of Zine World, you can listen to an interview with Jerianne from the June 20, 2003 edition of the mediageek radioshow.

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Make your media — keep your media

I have a pretty large and growing archive of my own media output, such as all the interviews, features and airchecks of the mediageek radioshow. Most of this stuff is on CD-R or DVD-R, with the airchecks on minidisc. I want to hold onto all of it, and not see it degrade into unreadability.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology just released a 90-page report on the proper care and handling of CDs and DVDs which should serve as a guide to all mediageeks looking to hold onto the media they’ve made. Despite what the industry hype would have us believe, CD and DVD media are not indestructible, though certainly more hardy than, say, magnetic tape.

Luckily, they also released a one-page summary of tips so you don’t have to read the whole 90 pages just to figure out what you should and should not be doing.

Of course, one of the best practices to follow, no matter what type of storage media you use, is to make backups. If you have more than one copy, your chances of retaining your work is greatly increased.

Although the backup advice sounds like common sense, anyone whose worked in tech support or any other arena helping non-techies deal with technology will recognize how uncommon that sense can be.

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Senate OKs So-Called Compromise on TV Ownership Limit

One way to shove somewhat unpopular legislation through Congress is to buy it in a bil ol’ omnibus spending bill, since failure to pass such a beast really mucks up the Washington works. So that’s how a compromise TV ownership limit rule got passed by the Senate yesterday.

The compromise limit places a 39% cap on the number of US TV households and one company can reach with the stations it owns. The old limit was 35% and the new limit that the FCC gifted to the big TV networks.

Conveniently, the new 39% limit, while seeming like it’s still better than 45% because it’s less, allows CBS/Viacom and FOX/News Corp. to hold onto a bunch of stations they would otherwise had to sell off, because they’d gambled and acquired more stations than they were allowed.

Of course, they were hedging their bets, because CBS and FOX figured they could jimmy the FCC into raising the limit in their favor, and they were right.

Thus, this co-called compromise is no compromise at all. It’s like asking for 10% raise when you know that realistically you’ll only need 5%.

On yesterday’s Democracy Now, Jeff Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy was on briefly and made a direct connection between CBS needing the Republican gift of a higher TV cap and the network’s refusal to run MoveOn.org’s anti-Bush advertisement during the Super Bowl:

“This provision is a big Bush administration and GOP give away to two of the most powerful media companies and political allies. In the case of Rupert Murdoch, it allows Viacom CBS and Murdoch’s News Corp Fox to hold the number of stations they presently own. They would have been forced to sell if this provision hadn¬ít been worked out in a backroom deal by the White House. It’s not surprising that early this week, CBS refused to sell an ad to move-on.org in the Super Bowl that was going to be critical of the Bush administration. …”

“Don’t bite the hand that feeds you,” is not a hard concept for anyone to get. In the world of broadcasting and politics don’t let anyone tell you it’s not about quid pro quo.

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