Blog - Unity Behind Diversity

Searching for beauty in the dissonance

Tagged: funny

Grooveshark Wants To Judge Your Soul

This post originally appeared on Techdirt.

Dante Cullari made an observation on the Music Think Tank Open blog last month that seems to have gone unnoticed: Grooveshark’s privacy policy has a “soul” clause. Unlike other “immortal soul” clauses, I don’t think Grooveshark’s is intentional.

“This [personally identifiable] information may also be kept longer than 6 months by EMG if a user is found by EMG’s soul judgment to be suspect of carrying out illegal, unlawful, or dangerous actions with or in this service. Prior to keeping IP address information for more than 6 months, the user will be notified via email about their suspect status.”

The privacy policy still says that, though Dante also grabbed a screenshot.


Somehow, I don’t think Grooveshark actually intends to judge a person’s immaterial soul for evidence of suspicious activity. But, lest you think it’s a lone typo, the phrase “soul purpose” also appears later in the policy.

“EMG may allow 3d parties to place cookies and other tracking technologies, such as web beacons, clear GIFs, web bugs, tracking pixels on the Site for the soul purpose of allowing that 3d party to record that a User has visited the Site and/or used the Service.”


I think they meant “sole.” Somewhere, in the depths of my own soul, it feels like somebody was relying on spell check a bit too much…

Read the comments on Techdirt.

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Computer Repairman Steals Hard Drive, Tries To Charge Company For ‘Retrieving’ Data

This article originally appeared on Techdirt.

It’s widely known that internal staff are the biggest threat to IT security, but what about your computer repairman? After a hard drive was stolen from Real Living Action Realty in Pennsylvania, the company called Kevin Andrew Lutes, who had done repair work for them in the past, to fix the machine. He told them he could retrieve the files, but the owner later called the computer manufacturer and learned that it’s impossible to do this… without the hard drive. Oh, and the police learned that Lutes’ car — computer repair sticker and all — was spotted outside the office on the night of the break-in. When he returned a few days later with the stolen hard drive back inside the computer and tried to charge the company $2000 for the “repair,” Lutes was arrested and charged with theft. You’d think that with potential access to the machine, he could have done something a little more subtle or sinister, but, lucky for the company, their repairman turned out to be a pretty dumb criminal. Someone should let him know that basing a business model on artificial scarcity is a bad idea…

Read the comments on Techdirt

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News Station Falls For April Fool’s Prank, Turns to DMCA As Remedy

This post originally appeared on Techdirt.

Improv Everywhere, a comedic performance art group based in New York, has a history of pulling off hilarious and impressive “scenes of chaos and joy.” Running “missions” such as the annual “No Pants Subway Ride,” a food court musical, sending 80 people into Best Buy dressed as employees and getting 200 people to “freeze” during rush hour in Grand Central station, these guys are masters of the flash mob and the harmless prank. Last April, in a mission called “Best Game Ever,” they showed up at a little league baseball game with signs, peanut vendors, programs and even an NBC sponsored jumbotron with live commentary and player stats to turn an ordinary event into something extraordinary.

Building on that theme, Improv Everywhere’s latest mission was to create the “Best Funeral Ever,” to pick a random funeral from the obituaries and show up to make it “truly awesome.” It sounds terrible, and the video is pretty horrifying… until you realize it’s from April 1st. The next day, they confirmed it was an April Fool’s joke and that it wasn’t a real funeral — all of the “family members” were actors. Lots of people fell for it (I definitely did at first), but best of all was the local CW 11 news team that covered the YouTube video as if it were a real funeral. Charlie Todd, founder of Improv Everywhere, uploaded a video of the newscast with the following commentary:

So basically the extent of their reporting is watching a video on YouTube and then describing it as fact on air. They didn’t bother to email Improv Everywhere for comment, call the cemetery to verify, or try to get a quote from the”family.” They just watched the video and threw it on TV. Great journalism!

The story was on the news channel’s website too, but was later removed without any explanation or correction. Now, two weeks later, Todd has received a copyright notice from YouTube that his video of the newscast was removed due to a copyright claim from Tribune (the station’s parent company). First of all, it’s pretty silly to try to hide the mistake rather than owning up to it and posting a correction (Streisand Effect anyone?). But beyond that, it’s pretty ironic and hypocritical that the news organization, which used the Improv Eveywhere video without permission or even proper attribution, would send a take-down notice to the owner of the that video who was commenting on their commentary. Todd writes,

It’s OK for them to air content that we shot and own, but it’s not OK for me to upload their footage of the content they took from me? It’s “fair use” for the news to take a video off of YouTube and broadcast it, but it’s not “fair use” for a citizen to expose their poor reporting on his own content?

Fair use or not, Tribune just found a great way to draw more attention to the fact that their “journalists” fell for the prank and seem to be pretty embarrassed about it.

Read the comments on Techdirt.

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The Importance Of Realizing Your Content Is Probably Available Online For Free

This post originally appeared on Techdirt.

We talk a lot about how it makes sense for people to make their content available online for free and adopt business models that take advantage of that, rather than complain about “piracy.” While unauthorized file sharing is usually illegal, it’s pretty silly to pretend that it doesn’t happen or that you can stop people from sharing stuff they like with others. That said, artist Evan Roth has launched an “Available Online For Free” prank-style promo campaign for his new art exhibit (via Urban Prankster) by creating stickers that can be snuck onto products in a store to advertise the fact that… well, they’re probably available online for free. (“Available Online For Free” is the name of the art exhibit and the exhibition book is, not surprisingly, available as a free download.) While it’s probably not a good idea to go around putting these stickers onto products in a store (disclaimer: I wouldn’t recommend it — the pictures are kind of funny… but you likely won’t make friends with the store owner), the campaign is a pretty creative and humorous way of stating the obvious — anything that can be, will be available online for free, one way or another. Making your content freely available online doesn’t mean that you can’t still find ways to sell it, but you need to recognize that this is the lens through which a lot of people see products on a shelf. If you don’t realize that yet, you may be in for a lesson via sticker sometime soon…

Read the comments on Techdirt.

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Problems with the New Translations of the Psalms…

I’ll be covering the real problems with the new translations in the new few weeks (hint: copyright) but, in the meantime, Ironic Catholic suggests that they aren’t all bad…

The Lord is King; thou shouldst not ever forget it;
     the Lord is King, and he can kick your ass.
He is truly smart and knows lots of things;
     that’s how he got to be God.
Mess not with the Lord, neither shall ye piss him off;
     screw around not with him, for his sense of humour has its limits.
Those who fear the Lord are counted as smart persons;
     but those who do not are as dumb as a box of rocks.
I shall offer such worthy treasures unto thee as long as I shall live,
     and not any mindless, trivial, banal pieces of crap that some would have us consider as valid music.
And if I should fail to keep this promise; thou mayest kick my ass, as referred to in verse one.

Read the whole thing

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Ubuntu Christian Edition: Don’t surf the web, walk on it

I found this a while back and it’s pretty old, but I just came across it again recently and had a good laugh. There’s an unofficial Ubuntu distribution called Ubuntu Christian Edition and this blog has a ton of hilarious[ly nerdy] “facts” about it, for example…

  • In Ubuntu Christian Edition, all documents are saved by grace through faith
  • With Ubuntu Christian Edition, you don’t need to surf the web — you can walk on it
  • For 40 days before Easter, Ubuntu Christian Edition works in text mode only
  • Ubuntu Christian Edition has the confess command that deletes your logs and caches
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St. Augustine the Hip

The Confessionz of St. Augustine in a way you’ve never heard them before.

Hat tip to Briana.

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Yet another missed chance to be saved from MySpace

Why is it that I keep finding these things after it’s too late?


Ah well, it’s not so bad after all.

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What I should have done instead of creating a MySpace profile

If only I had thought of this on Monday

Join Myspace

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Mortal Kombat in Central Park

Just one more a capella video… Mortal Kombat in Central Park

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