Lando Calrissian at the thrift shop

I saw this meme on my facebook, couldn’t find it again, so recreated it myself.

Lando wearing solo's clothes, looks incredible

If you have children, or listen to the radio for any other reason, then you’ll find this a lot funnier.

actually, this topic is a genuine Thing – Family Guy’s Star Wars episode poked fun at it:

and the canon explanation is apparently that both Lando and Han are from Corellia, where they always dress like that.

As far as why Lucas actually chose this, the Internet says it’s because Harrison Ford wasn’t going to return for Jedi:

There was also a little problem with the cast members at this time. While Mark Hamill & Carrie Fisher had signed to do 3 movies Harrison Ford was only signed to do 2 movies. Ford had made it known to Lucas that he thought the character should die while in Carbon Freeze because thought it would be the perfect ending for the lovable rogue … to go out saving Leia’s life. That might have been why Lucas “dressed” Lando that way … as a transition to him being the “lovable rogue” after Han’s death.

It took a while but Lucas eventually Lucas convinced Ford to do the third movie making Lando wearing Hans clothes a non issue.

So, yeah, those really ARE Solo’s clothes. And he does look incredible 🙂

20 GB cloud storage for 99 cents (and Lady Gaga)

Lady Gaga, presumably not born this way
I can’t claim to be a big fan of Lady Gaga, especially since her new hit single Born This Way is a straight rip-off of the far more talented Madonna’s Express Yourself.

In fact, you’d probably have to bribe me to listen to Lady Gaga. With, say, 20 GB of disk space on Amazon’s new Cloud Drive serviceWhich, as a matter of fact, is precisely the deal today – for $0.99, you can get the upgrade to 20 GB from Amazon, as long as you download Gaga’s album. This is a good deal despite the forcible auditory abuse, and it ends today, so hurry up!

For 99 cents this is a great deal. 20GB on Amazon Cloud Drive is 4x the size of Microsoft’s SkyDrive and 10x more than Dropbox. The service also integrates with Amazon’s new music service so you can access any music you buy from Amazon on any device, immediately without re-uploading.

Take me out, to the black

This is just really, really cool – the crew of Endeavour STS-130 awoke this morning to the Ballad of Serenity.

And NASA announced it on Twitter – and is even hosting the mp3 for download. Though you can also get it from the Firefly Wiki.

funny comment from the thread at Whedon’s site: “and then the Space Shuttle program was cancelled. Coincidence?”

here’s the lyrics:

Take my love, take my land
Take me where I cannot stand
I don’t care, I’m still free
You can’t take the sky from me
Take me out to the black
Tell them I ain’t comin’ back
Burn the land and boil the sea
You can’t take the sky from me
There’s no place I can be
Since I found Serenity
But you can’t take the sky from me…

NASA Serenity

The Princess Bride audio samples

princessbride_audioNow, these bring back some memories!

I’m not sure when i discovered The Princess Bride, but by the time I got to college I was badly addicted to the movie, and delighted to find a bunch of close friends who were just as insane about it as I was (and pretty much everything else I was insane about, for that matter). This was back in the day when a VCR that was both Hi-Fi and stereo (and 4 heads, to boot) was considered bleeding edge. As it happened, I managed to snag such a godbox for within a college students’ budget and decided to record for posterity my favorite quotes from the movie from my (already) aging VHS copy. These were recorded using an analog mike next to the output speaker of my television; I think I may have also been using an abacus to keep time, though I can’t be sure, as that giant black monolith was really distracting.

At any rate, these WAV files, named under DOS eight-character limits, lived on my 386 PC and then migrated to my 486 as various system sounds for my amusement for a few years, after which they ended up in a folder somewhere that then got passed from system to system like a set of junk DNA, lost in arcane hierarchies of old data. I was motivated to dig these out of the primordial digital slime this evening seeing @musabb live-tweet the Princess Bride as a fresh initiate to its mysteries, and decided that they were too good not to inflict upon everyone else. So, enjoy – and please copy them locally for your own use rather than hitting my host with direct links, so I can afford to send my kids to college someday instead of paying bandwidth overages.

(also – please – don’t Stumble them, Digg them, or what have you. I prostrate myself upon your good graces)

Incidentally – the audio soundtrack to the movie is probably one of my top five CDs of all time (though I have to count the collected H2G2 radio series discs as one to make it fit). If you are a fan of this movie, and/or of Mark Knopfler, this is essential music.

Seven songs

I was tagged by Willow, to list seven songs I am into right now. In no particular order:

Hail to the Geek by Deaf Pedestrians
Unwell by Matchbox Twenty
Into the Ocean by Blue October
The Ballad of Serenity (Main Theme)
All Along The Watchtower by Jimi Hendrix
The Adventure by Angels & Airwaves
Wish Upon A Dog Star by Satellite Party

I am weighted towards recent songs, mainly because I only really got back into music this past year. I still rarely listen to music, mainly just in teh car, and since moving to Marshfield I don’t do that much daily driving.

I am supposed to tag others with this meme, but I’d rather just invite anyone to list their seven in comments.

UPDATE: Don and Mark chime in – and since Friday was List Day, Mark’s doing a Heist Movie theme, too. Don thoughtfully provided MP3s, shaming me, as I was originally gonna put YouTube links in, but I got lazy.

Sony caves on DRM

the last holdout, Sony, admits defeat:

In a move that would mark the end of a digital music era, Sony BMG Music Entertainment is finalizing plans to sell songs without the copyright protection software that has long restricted the use of music downloaded from the Internet, has learned. Sony BMG, a joint venture of Sony (SNE) and Bertelsmann, will make at least part of its collection available without so-called digital rights management, or DRM, software some time in the first quarter, according to people familiar with the matter.

Sony BMG would become the last of the top four music labels to drop DRM, following Warner Music Group (WMG), which in late December said it would sell DRM-free songs through’s (AMZN) digital music store. EMI and Vivendi’s Universal Music Group announced their plans for DRM-free downloads earlier in 2007.

Given this, what will Apple’s excuse be for maintaining DRM on the iPod? Attention Steve Jobs! Doesn’t music want to be free?

the DRM drama, act VII


In legal documents in its federal case against Jeffrey Howell, a Scottsdale, Ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer.

The industry’s lawyer in the case, Ira Schwartz, argues in a brief filed earlier this month that the MP3 files Howell made on his computer from legally bought CDs are “unauthorized copies” of copyrighted recordings.


In 2007, 83.9 million albums were sold, down 21.4 million from last year. A 20 percent drop in sales is more than a blip; it’s serious trouble.

The industry has been under pressure for years, of course. Back in August, we took a detailed look at trends in the movie, music, and video game businesses and noted that RIAA companies have seen sales drop by 11.6 percent between 2002 and 2006, even as movies hold steady and games are showing sales increases.


the Warner Music Group said on Thursday that it would sell songs and albums without anticopying software through Amazon’s fledgling digital music service. […] Warner is the third of the four major music corporations to reconsider its use of so-called digital rights management software, known by its initials as D.R.M., and offer its catalog in the unrestricted MP3 format. […] EMI Group broke ranks with the other major labels and agreed to sell unprotected music through iTunes in April.

Now, some music executives are privately backing the idea of dropping the software from music sold through virtually every service except iTunes, in order to strengthen Apple’s rivals and potentially diminish Mr. Jobs’s advantage. The major labels have been upset with Apple’s inflexibility on music pricing, among other issues.

Warner’s move comes roughly four months after the industry’s biggest company, Universal Music Group, part of Vivendi, said it would sell music without restrictions through an array of services, including digital stores run by Wal-Mart, Real Networks and Amazon, but not iTunes.


Apple and Fox have indeed (finally) agreed on an iTunes movie deal, and while details are admittedly scant at the moment, chances are Stevie J. will get to the nitty gritty come Macworld. What we do know, however, is that the alleged partnership will enable iTunes users to rent new Fox DVD releases and keep them around “for a limited time,” though pricing figures weren’t speculated upon. Additionally, it sounds like Fox will be spreading its digital file inclusion from select titles to all flicks, giving DVD purchasers a FairPlay protected file that can easily be transferred (read: without third-party transcoding software) to a computer and / or iPod for later viewing.

Apple is betting on the wrong horse here. I’m coming around to the view that Steve Jobs’ famous anti-DRM letter was just a negotiating tactic and didn’t represent any genuine pro-fair-use sentiment.