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I’ve got my hands full prepping for the next Bootie Brisbane (see you there!) so here are some Muppets to amuse you until after the 4th.

Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip – Thou Shalt Always Kill

There is much wisdom in this song.  Listen, learn and enjoy. Or else!

Some of you cadets may have heard the news that Sweden’s Pirate Party has won a seat in the European Parliament. For those of you who haven’t manged to strike a balance between time in the flight sims and your studies, the Pirate Party is not advocating paramilitary acts of naval hijackery. Rather, the party strives to reform copyright and patent laws, preserve personal privacy and increasing the transparency of sate admnistration.

As you can imagine, this is fairly interesting to someone, who, for instance, might be a mashup producer. Every time a bootlegger creates a new work he or she is potentially violating copyright law. That may or may not be the case, and while Girl Talk is waving the flag of ‘fair use‘ in the face of the record labels quite bravely by no means is his continued success (or at least the fact that he hasn’t been buried under a massive pile of litigation) any indication of the state of current copyright law interpretation.

This movement isn’t about making everything free and denying creative practitioners a revenue stream – the point is to make copyright laws reasonable. The current hindrances to new creative practise impede our culture far more than our overprotective laws help artists (but they do certainly help the bank accounts of international record labels).

The Prodigy – Their Law (featuring Pop Will Eat Itself)

In modern times, there is very little in music that isn’t a variation on pre-existing fundamentals of music or that builds upon prior successful works. Every song in the charts today uses the western heptatonic scales, practically every song is in 4/4 time, and it would be a very rare song that uses an instrument developed after the synthesizer. Every song in the charts today is therefore a product of that which has come before it – to turn around and decry sampling as unfair because it is merely more accurate than other techniques is an unfair attack upon technology and musicians who are conversant with technology.

Part of the success of any song is attributable to society itself! Witout the approval of an audience, the creative work would languish in obscurity. To say that society has no right to a creative work may be true, but to say it has no right to a popular work certainly must be false. A great part of the success of a lot of mashups is due to the ‘recognition factor’ of the song – which wouldn’t exist without prior critical success.

Futuristic Sex Robotz – Fuck the MPAA | download

Of course, original artists must be recognized and compensated for their efforts. That recognition just needs to be reasonable, and the process for clearing samples needs to be streamlined so you don’t need a city block of legal offices to craft new works.

I think the jury will be out on this one for some time, but I hope for a future where we see a sliding scale for royalties based on how long it’s been since the commercial success of a song – or maybe some other methodology. Somehow, this has to change for the better before every new work is bogged down in an endless stream of sample clearance requests. I just hope it happens while I’m still in the game.

It really irks me that I’ve got hundreds of gigabytes of storage, only to find that I have way less free space than I ought. In these days of terabyte-sized drives, it’s getting harder and harder to track down where the errant bytes that are taking over your drive. So, I assembled a crack team of data warriors (consisting of, er, myself) to attack this problem.

Come now with me and enter the amazing world of graphical hard drive usage software. These nifty utilities tally up all the files and directories on a drive and display them in a coloured grid. The biggest blocks (or bloc of blocks) on the grid are the biggest culprits, allowing you to easily pinpoint the storage whores on your drives. In my case, I found a massive store of crash logs from an application I’d have never suspected of being such a complete asshat, filling up a folder I’d have never looked in if I was hunting for the whereabouts of my free space manually.

In Windows-land, WinDirStat is your ally here. If you’re a Mac user, GrandPerspective does the same job. Both of these applications are freeware, so there’s no reason you can’t go clean up your messy drives.

GrandPerspective


WinDirStat

Argh. I swear there is some original content just around the corner.  Until then, here’s a couple of videos you’ve probably already seen by now (especially if you’re one Mr. Smarty Pants or a member of his entourage).

Han Solo, P. I.

Han Solo, P. I. – side-by-side sequence comparison

Of course, this has spawned the usual gallery of Youtube clones. Watch at your own discretion, however, as the quality varies wildly.

Er, need I say anything more?

Watch the video above to take a tour through the ‘James Bond villain datacenter’ – a sprawling facility 30 metres underneath a park in Stockholm, Sweden.

The place really earns its James Bond villain cred – not only is it built in a cold-war bomb shelter, but the facility’s backup generators (pimped with some sexy blue lights) are the same model as used in North Korean submarines. Could you get any more villainy packed away into one hideout?

Yes.

The jewel in the crown is a meeting room suspended above the server farm, which can only be accessed via a glass bridge.

Coolest. Workplace. Ever.

BONUS MATERIAL

LeeDM101 – Hot Pursuit (Audio Espionage) | download

Propellerheads – Spybreak!

Paul Kass – Underground Agent | download

Viper Pilot Audio

Looking for music by Viper Pilot? This blog is the current home of Viper Pilot's Munition Works, where he stores all of his mashes and mixes.

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