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Comment Mine, mine, mine. (Score 1) 255

This just looks like a land grab to me. I haven't taken the time to actually look it up, but I suspect the area covered by the Apollo 11-17 landings is actually pretty large. If we declare it a national park, we keep other countries from claiming it for themselves. It's real estate investment with no money down!

Comment What's so bad about the start screen? (Score 0) 628

I hadn't used Windows Vista or 7. My work PC ran Ubuntu, because it was simply faster than Windows and worked better. But Ubuntu no longer supports my old laptop, so I switched to Windows 8 in the release candidate stage and bought a copy when it was finalized. It runs clean and fast, with no problems. I'll admit I never use the start screen. When I log in, I just smack Enter once and it's gone. At work there are only about five applications I use, and they're all pinned to my taskbar. When I want something else, I just hit the windows key and start typing. What the heck is everybody complaining about?

Comment ASCAP and BMI both attack orchestras, too. (Score 1) 272

Here's something you might never have thought of.

I'm the conductor of three different orchestras. Ever wonder why we play so much Beethoven, and so little Philip Glass? It's not because we hate new music. Rather, it's because the attendant fees are so high.

For example. I recently had to reprogram a concert featuring orchestral jazz music. I had a 20 minute spot to fill, so I contacted a rather famous living composer I know and asked if he had a piece he'd like for us to play. Well, it turned out that he doesn't even have copies of the parts for his own music. We had to pay $400 to rent the parts from his publisher. We also had to pay an additional $300 to BMI (ASCAP's little brother) for the performance rights. That's all on top of the $800 we paid this year in user fees just to have the right to pay the additional $300 for performance rights to one piece. So the total cost for this one piece: $1500. Total cost to play Beethoven instead, $150.

And on top of all that -- BMI has been stalking one of our orchestras, demanding they pay their membership fees in advance for next season, even though those fees are in "negotiation." BMI "promises" they'll refund the difference if the nationally negotiated fees are reduced. (Fat Chance.)

BMI and ASCAP are both starting to resort to extortionist tactics.

Comment What, no iGo? (Score 1) 696

It seems odd to me that nobody's mentioned the great products from iGo. When you get a new phone, you buy a new tip for the charger. And you can add a splitter to charge multiple devices simultaneously. I keep one iGo in the car, and another in the home, for charging my cell, my wife's cell, my palm pilot, and our iPods.

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