Saturday, 30 March 2013

The ethics of free downloading

Humble apologies here at Caroline's place  but I do feel a rant (not a grnat!) coming on today.
Every so often you'll find on most forums a set of individuals posting a series of highly pious comments on a topic that has not one hint of grey between the black and white rigidity of their take.
Take downloading for instance.
No one can dispute if you take something currently available for free, you are depriving the owners -the record company- and artists money potentially although you may well recall taping your friends albums and if you liked it, then you'd buy your own copy in the days of lps and tape recorders.
But when it gets more complex is when a recording (or version) isn't actually available new because if you bought a used cd then the label and artist still are not getting anything  from the sale  and if you downloaded it for free at that level regardless of what the law may in certain territories say, it's the same outcome. The only person who makes any money from selling a used cd is the vendor.
What then if there is no cd out of a title but someone has 'digitized' the old tape or lp version that is out of print. Is there anything wrong with downloading that to listen on your iPod or replace a unavailable new damaged copy?
I wouldn't encourage people to download for free everything but the picture isn't so clear cut especially as many labels sit on catalogues that they show on balance sheets as assets and yet only issue a tiny fraction of them yet they will take  a person to court alleging they lost $***** amount of sales from it! If you have to download for free something, please consider attending a show or buying authorized merchandise so you share some love with your favourite musics creator.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

No room at the inn

Just a bit tired after battling with snow this morning but I thought I'd write this up as shot as I'm feeling right now while the idea is still fresh.
How much space do you think you might need to live in in 2013? Well I think we'd agree you need a place to prepare food in, a separate space for living and maybe studying in  and a bedroom perhaps.
Now ideally if you were to work from home you might have a requirement for dedicated work space.
Note so far in we've not mentioned children, carers or if you're like me with a physical disability our specific needs.
Why I am talking about this today is because the UK government, specifically the Department of Work and Pensions has brought in a measure of how much space people of working age who need help to pay rent for properties owned by Social Housing Providers alone should be allowed. Part of the reason given is they believe too many people are in property that is 'too big' while others who may need it are left waiting.
Astonishingly, the one portion of the population who are more likely to living in accommodation bigger than their needs - single elderly people remaining in property allocated when they themselves had children who have left - are excluded presumably not to lose the older vote.
The chief problem with the policy is that in Great Britain, very few Social Housing projects did build property of two bedroom or smaller as the focus was the 'nuclear family' of 2 adults and 2.4 children and most private property isn't either. The main provider of the small amount of smaller properties are Private Landlords who do (and are) charging significantly more per room which is subject to a financial cap for people who need help to pay for it.
The way this new policy is supposed to work is if you have more space you're said to require then you pay something like 14% per room extra unless you move, which will come from your regular income such as your wages if you're working or welfare benefits if you're not.
The reason you had help to pay the rent was precisely because you didn't have enough to pay for a place to live and you're expected to make it up when you find out there's nowhere smaller available!
Note this is also effects those in work too - so much for the supporting workers not shirkers mantra  the Tories had been peddling for the last 6 months - and although extra space had been belated recognized for families with disabled children and serving soldiers, no consideration is given to either separated people unable to afford to move out of a home so former partners are expect to share a single bedroom, those with sleep disorders are expected to sleep with those who don't (a recipe for a bad nights sleep and much edginess) and the needs of disabled adults with mobility problems and specialized equipment such as scooters, reclining beds, lifts etc.
Also ignored are the needs of children from split families who stay over a few days per week as part of continuing parental rights access programs.
It may not be good if one partner is living a life in a different gender and the other has issues with it (You're not dressing like that in MY bedroom).
The real solution would be to build more social housing for rent including smaller properties that would help the construction industry out rather than supporting private housing building and threatening to offer state backed mortgage guarantees to support private home ownership but then you know the Tories would only look after their interests didn't you?
Maybe they'll bring in a window tax to go with the bedroom one.

Sunday, 17 March 2013


Just in at H&M is this. I most say I really like it.


Sunday, 10 March 2013

Back to the 60's

There's a kinda connection between the last post and this in there somewhere but I was rather taken with this sleeveless dress.
Apart from being the kind of dress that's never really out of style it fits closely at the top but has a nice flared out feel in the skirt. It's easy to wear with a jacket and a few simple accessories.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Gettin' Ready (Temptations Pt 2)

Just taking a bit of time out from the guests here today (shh) to type a few words to say thanks for the unexpected birthday wishes.
A few things I had ordered as being very poorly last week I hadn't gotten stuff  organized as well as I'd normally would, have yet to arrive.
One being a kind of follow on from last weeks entry in that around 2001 I'd built up my collection of studio Temptations albums liking Motown rather a lot in a series of two albums on one cd that were issued in the UK from "Meet The Temptations" to 1975's "A Song for You".
That series, most desirable in it's own way missed a few albums from the early 1970's out (Sky's The Limit, Solid Rock and 1990) that I ended up getting in high quality downloads from iTunes.
That left a classic album from 1966still missing from the collection.
This one was the home of "Beauty Is Only Skin Deep" and "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" which was covered by the Rolling Stones on their It's Only Rock and Roll album of 1974.
Well this should be coming tomorrow in re-issued cd form although like most things now, I'll rip it to iTunes for listening to on the go.