Category Archives: College Work

This category contains work I completed in the course of study. College work varies from Art School projects to University Law assignments.

Law Journals
Date Created: November 7, 2013  Date Modified: January 6, 2016

I may make this a page at some point, but for now its just a post; links to Criminal Law Journals:

British Journal of Criminology — Oxford Press.
Buffalo Criminal Law Review — State University of New York
Georgetown University American Criminal Law Review — Georgetown’s often cited criminal law review.
Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology — Northwestern University.
New England Journal on Civil and Criminal Confinement — New England School of Law. Abstracts.
The Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law — University of California Berkeley Law School, Boalt Hall.
University of Texas American Journal of Criminal Law — University of Texas publication on criminal law.
Washington College of Law Criminal Law Brief
Western Criminology Review — Western Society of Criminology. Full Text.
National Criminal Justice Research Service – US Gov. Resource

This rant was posted in Journals, Law, LAW150, Links on by .

MCC232 – Skyrim Vs Pool of Radiance
Date Created: September 8, 2013  Date Modified: September 24, 2013

Critically discuss the differences and similarities of Skyrim and Pool of Radiance.

By Byron Levene

Introduction

Skyrim, 2011 (PS3, 360), by Bethesda is a fantasy game, has been one of the most popular and highest grossing video games to date. Although technically not a Role-Playing Game (“RPG”) in the traditional sense, it draws heavily from the RPG genre. Pool of Radiance, 1988 (Commodore 64, MS-DOS), was one of the earlier RPG games and drew its rules more canonically from the board game Dungeons & Dragons (“D&D”)[1]. This essay will critically discuss the differences and similarities between these two games.

Comparing Pixels and Polygons

The D&D rule-set that underpins early RPG’s like Pool of Radiance had a fairly strict style of play; Combat was turn based, as it was with the board game, and battle was played in a different user-interface (or screen) in a top-down 2-Dimensional third-person perspective. A separate interface for movement around the map was used; A simulated 3-Dimensional space, known as bitmap scaling[2] (almost 5 years prior to this “interesting innovation” occurring in Wolfenstein 3D[3]). This gave the player first-person perspective moving within the map. If judging only by geographical characteristics[4], we see how different these two games are.

utmost3
The psudo-3D movement screen
82622-pool-of-radiance-dos-screenshot-caught-in-the-middle-of-a-drunken
The top down combat screen

This “discrete” movement in Pool of Radiance is a stark contrast to the freedom of “continuous” movement in an open world such as Skyrim[5]–where movement and battle take place in the same interface, which draws more from the First-Person Shooter (“FPS”) genre. This real time control that the player has in Skyrim gives a feeling, or greater sense of immersion in the virtual world than the more turn based structure of Pool of Radiance[6].

Using Swink’s model for cataloguing game feel[7] may seem unfair, as real-time interactions were somewhat limited to developers of 1988. The real-time interactions in Skyrim add that much more to the sense of immersion for the player, hitting a sweet spot in the centre of Swink’s model; Pool of Radiance on the other hand does possess a rudimentary form of spatial simulation[8], and any question of polish would have to be taken in account of the 8-bit standards of the day.

Is it Because I’m Khajiit?

Race has always existed as a character’s attribute prior to D&D moving to a virtualised space, once the framework migrated to a virtual platform these race attributes remained. However implicit racial undertones of “Nomads”, with Arabic sounding names depicted in crude 8-bit kefirs[9], as seen in Pool of Radiance were outside the race types that could be utilised by a player as per the rule-set[10]. This is not negating Everett & Watkins claim that:

“…to build explicitly raced characters and worlds were limited by… the screen resolution (4-, 8-, and 16-bit), and processing speeds.”[11]

As we see more explicitly in Skyrim evidence of raced characters; Effectively the plot throws the player directly in a Nords versus Imperials race war over religious worshiping rights. The complexity of such a racially charged world would be beyond the limitations of developers in the era of Pool of Radiance[12]. Advances in graphics, sound and processing power have enabled a more racially charged virtual world, where race in Skyrim will effect how the player is treated by NPC’s.

Attributing this solely to technological advances does ignore the fact that Pool of Radiance is essentially a “barbaric” game, where battle is the only way to progress. Skyrim is a far more romantic approach[13], including raced characters adds a darker element to a game where a player can spend hours picking flowers and catching butterflies.

Artificial Stupidity

Pool of Radiance included Non-Playing Characters (“NPC’s”) that could venture with the players party when moving about the map, and when in battle the NPC would fight on the players side without any input from the player. After battle they would automatically deduct their percentage of the loot, and then reassemble with the players party back in the movement interface. This scripted behavior[14] pre-dates any notion of AI that came later, but the similarities are there.

Skyrim also includes NPC’s that will join the player on their adventure, however with the unification of movement and battle in one interface, the NPC’s have much more autonomy in how they may follow you.

Modern games Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) enables NPC’s a “seeking” and “fleeing” ability[15], and its this seeking that facilitates the NPC to follow the player in Skyrim. This simple act of following was outside the technical limitations of both hardware and software in the time of Pool of Radiance, yet as mentioned above the rules of the game required the party to regroup before movement around the map.

What unties these two different approaches is the end result: NPC’s that are expendable cannon-fodder like bots that can be exploited for the gain of the player, which is part of the “implicit rules”[16] a player will often observe when playing an RPG.

Game Over

By critically discussing the differences between these two games not only gives us picture of the evolution of the RPG genre, but also helps us understand the technical advances that have changed video games from being just a virtual place to play a board game, to virtual worlds where we live out our character’s existence.

Pool of Radiance may seem archaic to gamers of today, but it is a fundamental piece of RPG history which many games drew their influence from; Skyrim, even though made 23 years later, is such a game.

“However, although Baldur’s Gate and Diablo may receive far more attention and interest today than Golden Age classics like The Bard’s Tale or The Pool of Radiance, we must forever keep in mind that these earlier games were their direct ancestors.”[17]

Skyrim diverges in many ways from the traditional RPG format, mixing it with conventions from other game genres, but still owes much of its success to its RPG heritage. If we take this into account, then Skyrim is not a bastardisation of the RPG, but more its modernisation. Even when taking into account all the differences these two games have, there is still a definite lineage linking the two.


References

[1] Apperley, Page 17
[2] LaMonthe, Page 10
[3] Nielson, Page 113
[4] Ibid, Page 137
[5] Champandard, Page 63
[6] Swink, Page 2
[7] Swink, Page 8
[8] Ibid, Page 8
[9] King, Page 174
[10] Nielson, Page 99
[11]Everett, Page 134
[12] Ibid, Page 134
[13] King, Page 175
[14] Champandard, Page 7
[15] Ibid, Page 113
[16] Nielson, Page 101
[17] Barton, online (This quote is referenced from the 2007 online version that later became a chapter in Matt Barton’s 2008 book Dungeons and desktops: The history of computer role-playing games. See bibliography)

 

Bibliography

Apperley, Thomas H. (2006) Genre and game studies: Toward a critical approach to video game studies”, Sage Publications, Melbourne
Barton, Matt (2007),The History of Computer Role-Playing Games Part 2: The Golden Age (1985-1993)”, accessed September 2, 2013, http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/130124/the_history_of_computer_.php
Champandard, Alex J. (2003) AI Games Development – Synthetic Creatures with Learning and Reactive Behaviors”, New Riders, BostonMass.
Everett, Anna & Watkins, S. Craig (2008), The Power of Play: The Portrayal and Performance of Race in Video Games”, MIT Press, CambridgeMass.
King, Geoff & Krzywinska, Tanya (2006) Social, Cultural and Political Dimensions, IB Tauris, London
LaMonthe, Andre (1995), The Black Art of 3D Games Programming”, Wattle Group Press, California.
Neilson, Simon E., Smith, Jonas H. et al (2008) “Video Game Aesthetics”, Routledge, New York
Swink, Steve (2009), Game Feel: A Designers Guide to Virtual Sensation”, Elsevier, Burlington, MA

This rant was posted in Assignment, College Work, Games, Skyrim on by .

Facebook Page Insights
Date Created: September 1, 2013  Date Modified: September 1, 2013

Being web focused, I tend to use Google Analytics to gain visitor information, but in the walled-garden of social we are limited to some extent by what the application itself provides us. Luckily Facebook is improving their page ‘Insights’–a limited version of Analytics, so admins can keep informed of page activity

pageInsights

Just at a glance of the insights opening ‘overview’ page you can already tell that this page receives over twice as much interaction as it does have likes, this kind of extended reach is often overlooked by page admins.

I have uploaded screen caps from the 3 other top-level pages: Page, Posts and People…

pageInsights2

As you can see above it shows the progresson of likes and even unlikes (I wish that feature were available to peoples own profiles!)…

pageInsights3

Posts is a run-down of all the pages posts which can be filtered–I have this filtered by reach just to show you that a page with 1000 likes can have a post reach over 3 times its page audience. (and this usually exponentiates the more users or ‘likes’ the page has)

pageInsights4

And lastly People breaks down our users demographics.

Yeah, this was probably not the most informative on Facebook Page Insights; but those who know me know my motivation 🙂

Is Generic Theory a Valid Tool at Cataloguing Websites?
Date Created: August 24, 2013  Date Modified: August 24, 2013

This was a fieldwork topic, but I went WAY over the word count and after abridging the text it lost any coherency. Since it wasnt going to be assessed I thought I’d paste it here to account for the few months worth of no new content.

Is Generic Theory a Valid Tool at Cataloguing Websites?

Burnette and Marshal, in defining web genres in Web Theory: An Introduction[1], fail to address the the importance of the underlying technology that structures the content; the Content Management System (“CMS”). By identifying a websites CMS, you can identify its intended function, and by defining a site’s function you can select the appropriate CMS.

Brunette and Marshall ask us to look at the example of the Personal website[2]. At the time when the article was written, events like Yahoo’s shutdown of Geocities[3], the rise (then fall) of MySpace, and the continued adoption of social media users were yet to greatly diminished the market in personal websites; The sole survivor to move against this trend are blogs, the “blog” gave the personal website a CMS.

Blogsites, though not all run the same underlying technology, (WordPress being the most popular[4]), all operate with a similar methodology. Due to the similarities all blogging platforms have, end users still have little difficulty distinguishing a blog from a commercial website due to the presentation of the data in a familiar way, by posts rather than pages; Or as “…a personal homepage in a diary format”[5]. Even taking into the consideration there are nearly two-thousand individual “themes” or designs available or WordPress[6], an experienced web-eye can know the underlying CMS just by the presentation of data.

Burnette and Marshall fail to mention the “wiki”; Wikipedia popularised the concept of a user-generated encyclopedia, and the underlying technology MediaWiki[7], has since been adopted by various other sites–from competing encyclopedias to collaborative web documentation for other CMS[8]. Collaborative authoring had been around before the wiki, but it was the MediaWiki software that created the genre.

One web genre Burnette and Marshal break down further is the Commercial Site, which they have divided into: The “Company/Corporate” website, the “Commercial Trading” site and the “Institutional” Site[9]. If we look at the underlying technology that these types of sites utilise, we can better qualify them than, if we were merely assessing them on a superficial user-end, aesthetic, or content providing basis.

Brunette and Marshal lump together in the Institutional sites sub-category, not just “Government Departments…” but also “…universities, schools, charities and non-for-profit organisations”[10]. The reality is these different organisations have very different needs when it comes to web infrastructure. In the example of Universities, the Learning Management System (“LMS”), a form of CMS, is an integral online application for the day-to-day operations of a university. The LMS functionality could not easily be replicated with any off-the shelf CMS product, and hence why a separate application is needed to carry out the online requirements of a tertiary institution. No mention of this type, or genre of Content Management System is present in Brunette & Marshall’s article, or any mention at all of CMS software.

Burnette and Marshall signify a difference between an eCommerce “Commercial Trading Site” site and that of a government agency “Institutional Site”[11]; Government agencies can have a very broad function to the public, and there are cases where government sites offer eCommerce or web shop functionality. Prior to the recent split of the Department of Environment and Conservation, the dec.wa.gov domain in addition to providing similar content hosting functions of other government domains, also had an eCommerce elmment where camp ground bookings could be made and paid for online[12]. This eCommerce application was entierly seperate from the consumer level CMS that the main dec.wa.gov.au website was powered by (Joomla)[13].

A recurring technology utilised by websites of government departments, and larger corporations is the Microsoft product: Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server (Sharepoint). This software in itself is not technically a web CMS (or EDMS as its often marketed as), but more of a collaborative document portal where online publishing can be performed from within the existing Microsoft Office suite. An example of a Government Website running Sharepoint is the Department of Housing Website[14], not only can public servants, with little to no training on the web have the ability to publish from their familiar office suite, the Sharepoint software includes functionality for wiki’s and corporate blogs.

Content is what drives the web, it’s what brings users to sites; How your content is displayed has to suit the content being served. Developers realised this and created different applications to serve the various types of content in the most functional user-friendly way. If we analyse the choice of CMS adopted by a website, then we already know what genre the site belongs to, without the need to employ any subjective qualities–like look, feel or branding.

References

[1] Burnette, R., & Marshall Web Theory: An Introduction – 2003, Page 90
[2] Ibid, Page 94-95
[3] Yahoo Quietly Pulls The Plug On Geocities – April 23rd, 2009 http://techcrunch.com/2009/04/23/yahoo-quietly-pulls-the-plug-on-geocities/
[4] WordPress is Powering 14.7 Percent of Top Global Websites http://www.cmswire.com/cms/web-cms/wordpress-is-powering-147-percent-of-top-global-websites-012492.php
[5] O’Reilly, T O’Reilly Network: What is Web 2.0 – 2005
[6] http://wordpress.org/themes/
[7] http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki
[8] The community collaborative documentation of the populr consumer web CMS, Joomla, wuse MediaWiki to power its documentation subdomain http://docs.joomla.org/
[9] Burnette, R., & Marshall 2003 Page 94
[10] Ibid, Page 94
[11] Ibid, Page 94
[12] “On 1 July 2013 the Department of Environment and Conservation separated to become two agencies. This campgrounds website is now administered by the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) although “for an interim period the domain name will remain as dec.wa.gov.au/campgrounds and references to ‘DEC’ and ‘the Department of Environment and Conservation’ will continue to appear.”
http://www.dec.wa.gov.au/campgrounds/
[13] “ The Department of Parks and Wildlife and the Department of Environment Regulation commenced operations on 1 July 2013 following the separation of the former Department of Environment and Conservation.” http://www.dec.wa.gov.au/
[14] http://www.housing.wa.gov.au/

I’m actually glad I didnt submit it

This rant was posted in Assignment, College Work, MCC315, Web on by .

LAW150 – Assignment – Byron Levene – 30188908
Date Created: October 4, 2012  Date Modified: November 4, 2012

Notes from author: This assignment can be downloaded from Scribd with its original formatting. This assignment has not been marked at this point.

I’m using my LegalCSS plugin shortcodes for the Names of Acts.

It is the purpose of this essay to outline advice to the plaintiff, Ace Hi Fi, on potential action against AZ Hi Fi, and the third parties of Planes R Us, and Adventure Air, who were under contract by AZ Hi Fi to provide aerial advertising services, in respect to a special events order obtained by Ace Hi Fi under Part 2 of the Major Events (Aerial Advertising) Act 2009 (WA) (‘MEAA’). Three individual events must be examined here. The action of Planes R Us, under contract by AZ Hi Fi, to fly aircraft displaying advertising material as defined in MEAA section 3, near the venue on the first day of the event; The knowledge of potential actions of Planes R Us to fly aircraft dropping flyers, under contract by AZ Hi Fi, over the venue on the last day of the event; And the actions of Air Adventures, under contract by AZ Hi Fi, to fly jetpacks displaying advertising material over the venue on the last day of the event.

Planes R Us Fly near venue of first day of event.

The action of Planes R Us, under contract by AZ Hi Fi to fly a banner advertising AZ Hi Fi on the first day of the event, does meet the requirements of aerial advertising as defined under the MEAA . However, in order to satisfy a breach under section 11 of the MEAA, the aircraft must be “within sight of a specified venue…”, as we have no definition of “within sight” in MEAA, we will to refer to its ordinary meaning in an dictionary . The Macquarie Dictionary defines within as:
“in the compass or limits of; not beyond: within view, to live within ones income.”
And sight:
“range of vision: in sight of land.”
It being the case that the aircraft displaying the aerial advertising in question could only be seen with the use of binoculars, therefore outside the unassisted visible range from the venue, and not meet the meaning ordinary meaning of “within sight”.

Further information would be required to confirm if this act by the Planes R Us aircraft was in fact exempt, in that it may be the case an event order was taken out by AZ Hi Fi, in another location adjacent to the venue at the same time .

Due to the Planes R Us aircraft being out of visible range, and the possibility of another event order covering this flight, no action for this incident can be taken under the authority of MEAA 2009, with the information provided.

Planes R Us Dropping Flyers Over the Venue on the Last Day of Event.

The planned action of Planes R Us, under contract by AZ Hi Fi to fly over the venue on the last day of the event and drop 100,000 flyers, satisfies the definition of aerial advertising in MEAA, and no information has been provided that permission has been given by the event organiser for this action . It also can not meet an exemption for ‘…another specified event at another specified venue.’ , as this action is to take place at the specified venue required of the original event order taken out by Ace Hi Fi. Regarding the exemption allowed for “…an emergency; […] or in, provision of emergency services.” There is no indication this is applies from the information supplied.

It is important to differentiate between the actions of Planes R Us, and those of AZ Hi Fi in relation to this event. In relation to the Planes R Us, under contract by AZ Hi Fi to fly the planes over the venue on the last day of the event, this would meet the criteria of “…within sight of a specified venue during the specified time…” , and therefore meet criteria for an injunction.

It should also be noted that AZ Hi Fi, having fore knowledge of the event order in place and choosing to ignore the restrictions by procuring the services of Planes R Us to make this fly-over. Being that the flight was not conducted by AZ Hi Fi directly, this would constitute “attempting or conspiring to contravene section 11”.

As this action satisfies a breach of the event order, the event organizer does have the option to apply to the Supreme Court to seek an injunction restraining both AZ Hi Fi and Planes R Us from engaging in this activity.

Jetpacks flying over stage on last day of event.

The potential of Air Adventures, under contract by AZ Hi Fi to fly Jetpacks over the stage on the last day of the event satisfies “within sight of a specified venue during the specified time in relation to a specified event conducted at the venue…” being that this would occur over the stage while the event is at its climax.

The shirts worn by the Air Adventures staff would display the name of AZ Hi Fi, which falls into the definition of advertising as defined in the act, and that the shirts are not the normal branding of Adventure Air, this would also satisfy the definition of aerial advertising as defined in MEAA.

Being that this action on behalf of AZ Hi Fi, by Adventure Air meets the criteria for an offence under MEAA, the event organizer has the option to seek an injunction to restrain both AZ Hi Fi and Adventure Air from engaging in this activity.

Remedies

As outlined above the criteria has been met to apply to the courts for an injunction to restrain AZ Hi Fi and Planes R Us form flying over the venue on the last day of the event and dropping flyers advertising AZ Hi Fi. Another order could be sort to restrain AZ Hi Fi and Adventure Air from flying jetpacks over the stage on the last day of the event.

Section 14 (1) of MEAA allows action for damages under a breach of section 11, however these are limited to any “…loss, injury or damage, or damages in respect of loss, injury or damage. As no loss has occurred, due to the breeches of section 11 being future acts, no damages could be sort under this section.

Section 14 (2) allows “…recovery of future losses as a result of the potential loss of sponsorship of an event.” As there has been no indication that the plaintiff, Ace Hi Fi has lost sponsorship of the event, no action can be made for future losses under this section.

Giving consideration to the above, Ace Hi Fi would likely be granted the injunctions to restrain: 1) AZ Hi Fi and Planes R Us from dropping flyers over the event on the last day, and 2) AZ Hi Fi and Adventure Air from flying over the stage on the last day of the event.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Cook Catriona Robin Creyke Robert Geddes and David Hamer, Laying Down the Law (LexisNexis Butterworths, 8th ed, 2012).
Butt Peter and David Hamer (eds), LexisNexis Concise Australian Legal Dictionary (LexisNexis Butterworths, 4th ed, 2011).
The Macquarie Dictionary (3rd ed, 2001 at 27 September 2012).
Interpretation Act 1984 (WA).
Major Events (Areal Advertising) Act 2009 (WA).

Game Design Doc
Date Created: September 21, 2012  Date Modified: October 7, 2012

I was on Scribd earlier for an unrelated reason and thought I would have a look at the stats on my acount; the document that recived the most hits winning its own post:

Game Design Document iCricket

This rant was posted in Assignment, Digital Distribution on by .

[VIDEO] El Lupe Live Recording
Date Created: November 28, 2011  Date Modified: May 6, 2012

Back when I was a student I aspired to work in the glamours world of the music industry, needless to say that didnt happen, but here is one of the many gigs I filmed at the time.

It was shot on a Canon XM1, but as you can see this upload has been thru the codec blender (blame the producer, not me. I didnt upload it)

More info can be found on the producers MySpace page (Im mentioned by name on this site…)

Essay: Digital Distribution
Date Created: September 16, 2011  Date Modified: September 21, 2012

READERS NOTE: This is my original work was originally posted on my no-longer active Murdoch blog on April 14th, 2010.

I have decided to post my MCC124 essay here on the blog so you may comment and critisize it. Its fairly short of the required 1500 words so I dont expect to be given a high mark for it. Before I paste it into here I would like to share a quote from the song “Evolution” by 311:

Evolution has expontential timing it’ll be
Half as long til the next breakthrough that
blows are mind
It’s up to the people to brave on with
experimentation
Move forth the species by using our
imagination

But can we handle it
Could we dismantle it
Or should we fear the void and just be
para-paranoid
If it’s understood it could be used for good
and would
If you will believe in all we can conceive

Describe the impact of piracy, p2p and/or file sharing on the digital distribution of media.

In 2007 Radiohead, a popular musical act released their seventh studio album, In Rainbows in a way not seen before from such a well known musical, act: They made their album available to download, at a cost decided by the consumer, from the bands website—as well as making a hard copy available to be purchased by fans in conventional music stores1. It was big music conceding defeat in the digital distribution war.

The distribution of media through piracy, even p2p is not a new phenomenon. Video piracy was widespread with the consumer availability of VHS recorders, software piracy plagued developers since programming shifted from hard-coded chips to the floppy disk, and music piracy was no different2. With technological advances come new methods of breaking the law, it must follow then that legislation needs to keep up-to-date with emerging technological trends.

Digital distribution of music was not a new concept for the music industry3 in 2007, the time this white surrender flag was waved. By 2007 the case of Napster was long in the past and Apple’s iTunes store was now five years old. The music listening public had made their choice and it was up to the artists and record labels to catch up—people were not going to stop downloading music, (no matter what the cost?).

Not so much that’s it was the musicians themselves, as most of them shared their voice with the people in the battle cry for digital distribution, Acts as diverse as pop music’s Moby4 and Prince; New Metal band Slipknot; and the anti-establishment political rap group Public Enemy5 had been long advocates of digital distribution; In the case of Public Enemy, this stance put them up against their own label: Def Jam6. The record label, the face of the enemy.

Recording companies were the biggest opponents of digital distribution, primarily because it was seen to undermine their position in the music industry heavyweights, the generals and brigadiers leading their elite squads of musical acts in the pursuit of money and fame. The record companies saw digital distribution as synonymous with piracy and responded with legal actions against its proponents—both those end users downloading music, but also those that put in place the infrastructure to accomplish this.

Sony was one recording company that had tried, and failed horribly to counter digital distribution in 2005 with their DRM software7. People who had brought compact disks legitimately, were the casualties, a root-kit installed on a users computer once the CD was inserted into the optical drive, making the users computer vulnerable to malicious code. It was the wrong approach, for the kids of generation Y, downloading music was seen as a rebellion against an over-zealous corporate establishment8. Punishment for rebellion would only prove counter productive.

Apple, makers of designer electronics, had taken a different tact. Unlike Sony, Apple did not see digital distribution as a threat to their existing business model. Apple may not have had the massive back catalogue of music it owned rights to, but it did have dominance over the MP3 player market, so the choice to embrace digital distribution with its iTunes store could be seen as less of a risk. By October 2007, Apple had secured rights to distribute “digital” boxed sets from 1970’s super group Led Zeppelin9, people would still download music, even if they did have to pay for it.

Legislation was seen as something that needed to be brought into line with the emerging technologies, legislation that was fair to both user, creator and publisher. After the Napster case hit US courts, a “Digital Recording Act” was proposed10. Without a legal framework corporate interests would still look at digital distribution with an eye of mistrust, they needed a guarantee of return-of-investment on their stockpile of music11.

What the success of the Apple model of distribution, over Sony’s DRM failure taught musicians was that the old paradigm of selling music was becoming obsolete, and it followed that the record companies themselves were obsolete. Artists could do away with the corporate drill, and take on their own means of getting their music to their audience. Bands had taken on this endeavor before, as militant anti-government rap group Public Enemy had done. But popular music had yet to free itself from the corporate hierarchy—that was until an internationally known pop band Radiohead released “In Rainbows”, in its first month online over a million copies were downloaded taking US$3 million, from 40% of those users choosing to pay. At an average of $6(US)12, proving digital distribution can still be lucrative for the artist.

What the significance of In Rainbows had to the digital distribution of media was not a technological one, but a larger cultural paradigm shift. Indy bands, and militant rappers had embraced the technology before, but this was confined to smaller sub-cultures. The mass adoption of digital distribution had been proven effective, and it wasn’t until In Rainbows was this acknowledged by anyone from within the corporate music mainstream. This act meant not that the battle lines had been redrawn, but that the war was finally over.


References

  1. Wikipedia, “In Rainbows” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Rainbows
  2. Kembrew McLeod, 2005, “MP3s Are Killing Home Taping: The Rise of Internet Distribution and Its Challenge to the Major Label Music Monopoly”
  3. Sean Ebare, 2004, “Digital music and subculture: Sharing files sharing styles”
  4. Moby, “Napster” 2001 www.moby.com/journal/2001-01-29/napster.html
  5. John Borland, 2000, “Rapper Chuck-D throws his weight behind Napster” news.cnet.com/2100-1023-239917.html
  6. MTV News, 2000 “Public Enemy Leaves Def Jam, Will Distribute Next Album Online” www.mtv.com/news/articles/1427080/19990114/chuck_d.jhtml
  7. Molly Wood, 2005, Cnet News, “DRM This!” www.cnet.com/4520-6033_1-6376177-1.html
  8. Carrie James, 2009 “Young People, Ethics and Digital Media”, Page 53, MIT Press
  9. Apple Co, (Press Release) 28th October 2007, “Led Zeppelin Digital Box Set…” http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2007/10/23itunes.html
  10. Raymond Shih Ray Ku, 2001, “The Creative Destruction of Copyright: Napster and the New Economics od Digital Technology”, University of Chicago Law Review.
  11. Jeevan Jaisingh, 2004, “Piracy on file sharing networks: Stratergies for recording companies”, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology.
  12. Wired Magazine, 12.18.2007, “David Byrne and Thom Yorke on the Real Value of Music”, http://www.wired.com/entertainment/music/magazine/16-01/ff_yorke?currentPage=all#ixzz0jlXr4Ley

New Media and Democracy: Cleanfeed, Titstorm and the state of the Internet
Date Created: September 15, 2011  Date Modified: September 15, 2011

READERS NOTE:This was originally on my Murdoch blog but it for some reason did not import when I migrated the content over..

The way New Media has changed the political landscape is one for much debate, politicians, public servants academics, journalists and the general public each have their own roles and expectations with what they want to achieve and how technology will change the way governments are run.

On one side we have the politicians, who are embracing Web 2.0 technology–in particular social media, to get in touch with their constituents and financial backers. If we look at the 2008 US presidential election we see that Obama raised more campaign contributions than any candidate before him–and this was largley to do with how he used Web 2.0 to reach a much broader audience.

In Australia, Senator Kate Lundy has set up a Governmnet 2.0 taskforce to assess how technology can change the way governments communicate with the public.

Interest groups too are taking on social media as a way of lobbying support for their cause, Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) have not only a Facebook presence, they also have a wiki where members of the public can contribute ideas on issues that the lobby group is focused upon: Internet Censorship, 18+ Games Legislation, etc.

Other groups–for example Anonymous, use various forms of new media to reach their target audience. Altho Anonymous’ actions differ greatly to that of EFA, even if there end goals are largely the same. Early this year members of Anonymous sent a clear message to the Australian Federal government, and began what they call “Operation Titstorm”, which involved Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on government websites. Below is a short video that many of you may have already seen, its a warning message from Anonymous to the Federal Government.

One of the main targets in this attack is Senator Stephen Conroy, the minister for the Internet and Digital Economy. Below we have an interview of Conroy from the ABC television show Hungry Beast.

Anonymous’ actions, the DDoS attacks on government websites have be criticized by EFA as being counterproductive. The EFA, being a legitimate lobby-group, fear that the actions of Anonymous will alienate the general public from their cause. This could be for many reasons, one being how Anonymous is portrayed in the mainstream media–as a ill-formed group of sexual deviants, as this clip from the ABC show QandA:

The above clip also demonstrates a clear lack of knowledge about new-media by both politicians and members of the old media. If governments are to effectively deal with issues arising from new-media, a far better understanding of how new media (and user created content) work. The discussion in is dominated by the issue of child pornography, which is NOT what Operation Titstorm–AND the proposed internet cleanfeed are about. Having debate hijacked by the issue of child-abuse means the real issue of politicaly imposed censorship is being pushed to the side.

Its not just EFA and Anonymous groups of alleged “hackers” that are weighing into this debate, Journalist sans Frontiers (Anglais: Reporters without Borders) have been critical of the federal governments plans since they were first proposed–now there opposition is gaining momentum, with the ABC reporting that Australia has been placed on an “Enemy of the Internet” watchlist. Having JSF behind the anit-cleanfeed movment gives more validity, as they are a legitimate lobby group that wont resort to militant counter-productive tactics as well as exposing the issue to the world’s journalists and media-content creators. Internet giants Google and Yahoo have also recently voiced their opposition to the proposed filter, and this is in the wake of Google’s decision to pull out from China due to censorship issues.

The Australian model for a great firewall or cleanfeed has been proposed in other jurisdictions, with the EU looking at enacting similar measures–and coming against opposition from abuse survivors.

The more that the issue of cleanfeed gets discussed in an inteligent manner in the mainstream media, the less likely the government are to enact such draconian legislation against the publics will.

Tute – Week 13 – Music and Sound Design
Date Created: May 12, 2010  Date Modified: May 12, 2010

Jackie asked us what her favorite quote from the readings was. When I first attempted the reading (cos it has really small print that i cant read cos im really old) one quote stood out to me

Adorno argues that popular music reinforces the hegemony of early 20th century industrial capitalism…

My notes in the margin of my reader next to that paragraph are:

In soviet Union, Music listens to you!

Im guessing that the former quote is the one that Jackie was refering to in the tute, the latter Im refering to the difference between the western pop music that renforces the former and Russian music that evolved seperate to western popular music. Sure Russian pop music uses some of western musics styling, but it also has roots in the older, more traditional Russian music–more ochesteral, more… “Operatic??”.

The reading also quotes T. Rose’s “A Style nobody can deal with: Politics, style and the post industrial city in hip-hop”:

… hip-hop artists use style as a form of identity formation which plays on class distinctions and heirachies by using commodities to claim the cultural terrain. Clothing and consumption rituals testify to the power of consumption as a means of cultural expression.

this kinda reflects what I was trying to achive in the lab with our Cool-Edit Audition excorsize…

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This rant was posted in Hip-Hop, MCC129, Mp3, Music on by .

Week 12 – Tutorial
Date Created: May 4, 2010  Date Modified: May 4, 2010

Has a Game ever made you cry?

Yes. I admit to crying when playing. Im not rerefing to crying when the old commodore64 use to cheat and I would die prematurely, or when that fuc… bloody ghost would appear in bubble bobble. No I am admiting to crying as an emotional response to the plot. And it was not in days of antiquity when I was a kid on 8-bit tech, It was much more recent than that.

Fallout 3, I was am still to July in my late 20′s. Early in the game you encounter Maggie, a young child living in the town of Megaton, she lives with a character called Billy Creel. When you talk to Maggie she tells you a story about how her family were killed and how Billy found her, this is told with child-like naivety, you can read between the lines of dialogue and see a story of a young girl whos parents have been murdered–by Billy, and a child kept as a trophy, subject to whatever abuses can be imagined. Its a sad moment, I cried.

However nobody else in the tutorial descussion admited to crying in a video game–they all could site instances that the game narrative created an emotional response, but to bring to tears–NONE. Perhaps its that I was adding in my own experiences dealing with sex abuse victums that struck me so much about that moment, or perhaps I am more emotional than those in my class. I put the question to a friend [via SMS] who has knowledge beyond the irratic functioning going on inside my head. I mean I am someone with diagnosed mental/emotional/general problems, it could be that Im just being a big wuss.

Games that had an emotional impact on me? shitloads, so many Im not listing them, but the closest to what your talking about (and springs to mind) is the scene in FF8 where you have to save Rinoa(?)from drifting out into space…

I then inquired if ts just me who is overly emotional (tho not in those words). The response was yes.

UPDATE

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Image Correction Made Easy
Date Created: May 3, 2010  Date Modified: January 7, 2013

Curves, Historgam, Selective Colour, Replace Colour, Channel Mixer, Gamma, Brightness and Contrast–So many ways to correct colour in photoshoop, however as I am the worlds greatest photographer, I never need to use these… SURE!

I took this pic when I was still getting use to the DSLR, its of my friends dog whos name I cannot divulge. As you can tell its overexposed.

I used Gamma to make it look less washed out

This pic of Perth hip-hop MC Xzact, was one I took on 35mm back when I was doing intro to photography, the scan is too bright but I never knew untill I brought an LCD monitor.

I adjusted the black by using curves–now you can see the grainyness of the film, and how dirty my lense was.

Lab Week 12 – Annimation
Date Created: May 3, 2010  Date Modified: July 16, 2013

Ok, Im being real lazy this morning. We are meant to do some simple annimations in Photoshop, but Im not really a keyframe kinda guy–Im more of a tweener who is learning the joys of moving off the timeline and doing all annimations with ActionScript… its easier and creates a better end product, and also smaller file sizes. This wabbit I knocked up in Macromedia Adobe Flash CS4, it was my first animation using CS4–tho I have done a few using MX 2004. Man that was a culture shock.


This rant was posted in Animation, Flash, MCC129 on by .

Texas George Roughs.
Date Created: January 28, 2010  Date Modified: January 28, 2010

Im spreading out some of the posts that have more images, so things arew ordered a bit better. I have mentioned Texas George before, below are the roughs:

This rant was posted in Flash, Ink, Texas George on by .

DeviantART
Date Created: January 18, 2010  Date Modified: October 13, 2013

I have added a few more pics to my devianArt profile, and drew (lol) some attention to the search for your rights cause in the process…


John Howard Ciggarettes by ~byronlevene on deviantART

I have also been making updates to my personal site, which contains content from a couple of my blgs–including this one. Feel free to check it out

This rant was posted in 3D, CGI, College Work, Work on by .