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Hit movie faced copyright controversy

Joss Whedon

Copyright law was complicated enough. That’s why no one knew everything all the time. All the more reason to have been very careful what one wrote. The writing world had zero tolerance for anything like plagiarism and copyright infringement.  According to one of the trending topics the blogger came across this week, today in fact that was exactly what occurred. Joss Whedon and Lionsgate were slapped with a Copyright Lawsuit.

Let’s define plagiarism first which means the practice of stealing someone else’s work or ideas and copying them as one’s own.

Copyright infringement means the use of works protected by copyright law without permission, infringing certain exclusive rights granted to the copyright holder, such as the right to reproduce, distribute, display or perform the protected work, or to make derivative works.

The Bible said one shouldn’t steal in Exodus 20:15, apparently getting inspired by a written work or song was now illegal. The Today Show tried listen to both songs side by side and said the rhythms were similar. In a way, this was against the law. The same applied to the movie and its similarity to the book.

Granted, after reading the Copyright Act of 1976 things became a little clearer. In the above case, there was more than one alleged violation so the wires became entangled in the legal jargon on the court documents. It also opened up another situation that occurred a few weeks ago. Could someone have gotten sued over the inspiration of a 1970’s song “Got to Give it up from Marvin Gaye? Apparently, that was exactly what happened with the other lawsuit against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for Blurred Lines, according to Variety. Things were tangled there too. Instead of paying $10 million, Thicke and Williams had to pay his heirs $7.3 million instead of $10 million.

Pharrell Williams wasn’t being sued over his song ‘Happy.’ Apparently, the Gaye family wrote an open letter making that very clear recently. Pharrell planned to turn this song ‘Happy’ into a children’s book sometime in the future. This blogger still wanted to download the song after getting my new laptop this week because it made me happy to hear it.

Gender equality was no media circus or freak show

Gender equality was no media circus or freak show.

Gender equality was no ‘media circus’ or ‘freak show’

Bruce Jenner

Why is it that people who want to make gender changes to their lives were made fun of by the public? Bruce Jenner was only the second person known by me to have gone through this. Remember Chastity Bono? Now he was known as Chaz.

While there may have been some resistance with him having been reassigned, the only trouble known to me was his appearance on “Dancing with the Stars”, but all was well since then. It bothers me that the media might be making more of this gender reassignment then what was really needed. They turned anything like this into a “freak show”, so to speak. Of course, this was not being helped that he was the stepfather to the Kardashian clan, who made their positive stance with Bruce’s transgender situation. He still rode their coat tail.

The only positives about this situation were that Meredith Vieira had a fourteen year old transgender female on her show a while back, named Jazz Jennings. Maybe, by the time Jaden Smith decided to make that change this wouldn’t have been so much of a stigma. If everyone remembered, it was announced last week that he enjoyed wearing girl’s clothes and being called she. Right now, he was just enjoying the expression the girl’s clothes made.

As a youngster, I wore my brother’s t-shirts and sweaters, because it was necessary for servival. My sister wore a lot of my cast off clothes back then too. As an adult, wearing pants instead of skirts and dresses were preferred because nylons irritated my skin. Doing this didn’t make me any less feminine.

Illinois tornado brought back Terrible Tuesday memories on the anniversary

Illinois tornado brought back Terrible Tuesday memories on the anniversary.

Illinois tornado brought back Terrible Tuesday memories on the anniversary

Illinois weather

With all the focus on the weather on April 8, more was due, April 9 this was on the eve of one of the worst tornadoes in history. Of course, APRIL 10, 1979 would forever be etched it the mind of a lot of Wichitans, at least those that were there. After seeing the effects of last night’s aftermath, it would make me race toward the city limits with no thought of returning.

This EF-4 tornado killed 50 people, left one fifth of the city homeless, and put the region on the map while almost wiping it out.  The newspaper on Okinawa, The Stars and Stripes, showed horrific pictures of the devastation to the city. Back then, my father wanted to avoid Texas all together, especially the border town Del Rio, which had nothing for me medically and Seymour Johnson AFB, in South Carolina. After seeing all the horrific images, the quicker I left the better.

The reason why severe weather was so bad was that conditions were ripe for that during mid March-early October.  This was typhoon season on Okinawa and part of hurricane season in Florida. Hurricanes and typhoons were the same thing. The warm moist air came up from the Gulf of Mexico and often collided with the cooler air coming from the Rocky Mountains over the nation’s mid section affectionately named tornado alley. Hurricanes usually started over water as tropical depressions.

Back then, there weren’t any warning sirens or severe weather alerts beeping on cell phones or weather radios. All of that came after this horrific event. The closest we all came to a tornado was in 2003. There was a gust front that came before the storm from Oklahoma. A gust front was the leading edge of cold air which has descended from a Cumulonimbus CLOUD and is moving horizontally near to the surface into warmer air. There were 90 mile an hour winds that shook my storm windows and knocked me offline at least three times. The damage from the wind stripped some of the siding off of my building and several others in the apartment complex. Several bushes had to be removed and the tree next to mailboxes lost the second of its three branches.

It was nothing that occurred in the nation’s midsection in the last three days or during the 1979 tornado. According to the meteorologist that just retired in 2014, he said that was three funnel clouds, or rotating funnel-shaped clouds forming the core of a tornado or waterspout. that merged into one because he showed a picture during the 10 p.m. newscast. Luckily, all this county suffered was a lot of wind in the last two days and cold mornings due to the front that came through.

By the time I started high school in 1981, the bus driver still pointed to places where the damage still remained from that bad time. The pictures from Illinois and other states didn’t look any better either. Just like back then, the cleanup had begun.

Facebook Messenger WhatsApp compete for top spot

WhatsApp Facebook Messenger

Ok, just about everyone had Facebook Messenger on their laptop, desktop, cell phone and tablet.  It can be a convenient tool when a computer wasn’t handy. Now WhatsApp has added video calling to its list of features. While this was great for Android users, not all had access to this feature. In my case, even though this feature was installed, 10 of my friends had to have it before my having full access.

The price for this app was right at .99 after the second year.  In addition, voice, text, picture, and video messages were easily sent through this feature. Unfortunately, my version of Chrome and Firefox didn’t support the PC version. It never booted on my mother’s laptop or the one used by me.  Not too many of my friends or family used this either. Getting the ten people to use the video calling feature was going to be difficult.

I preferred this app to Facebook Messenger because of the privacy issue. Unless one muted or removed a chat, everyone could see it if using the computer. It was hard to send a friend request while the chat only feature was used. It was discovered while telling someone of my friend’s death and burial last month. At least WhatsApp was private. One was able to see someone typing on there, but unless shared, what was said remained between the chatters.

According to one article, it didn’t have the video or audio capabilities of its major competition. Developers hoped however that by making it a single entity like it was on iPhones and smart phones, it could have a different function also when those features were developed. The biggest shift was that a lot of things including Facebook were now becoming mobile. So far, it hadn’t hurt me not to use the messaging feature unless my cell phone had problems.

Since there was nothing to hide, my need of a locking feature or to hide whether the message sent was seen by me wasn’t necessary except while visiting family and sometime at church. One could enable chat with some friends on FB and appear offline to those on Yahoo Messenger, but again, it was the privacy thing that worried me. People with no bio information were declined by me if they wanted to be friends. Also like the FB feature, chat logs had to be cleared to maintain privacy. Before my desktop was upgraded, some of the icons couldn’t be accessed or used. It already possessed the video call but even that had its problems. My phone rang but the receiver never knew on the other end.

It was interesting to see who the top spot went to see as these apps were owned by the same company.

Was the Apple Watch marketed to the wrong crowd?

Was the Apple Watch marketed to the wrong crowd?.

Was the Apple Watch marketed to the wrong crowd?

Apple Watch

With consumers learning to use technology like the iPhone and the iPad it’s a wonder that people were skeptical about the Apple watch making its debut on the market April 24, especially something with a large price tag to it like Microsoft’s hololens .

In spite of the yawn from things like the iPhone, people were turning to smart phones like those from Samsung. A lot of my friends were still using the Galaxy SIII instead of buying the updated versions out now. As for the iPad, well, other tablets were seen by me at church in the place of Bibles, my pastor uses one during his Sunday sermons. Having two Bible apps on my phone were convenient too.

Even people on the runway in Paris didn’t respond to the newest high tech watch, which could enable the wearer to surf the ‘net, receive phone calls, etc. With the exception of monitoring the heart rate blood pressure and number of steps to burn a few calories, what purpose did this watch serve? A lot of its computer functions could‘ve been done by tablet, phone, or computer. At least the multi-colored dress had a function on the runway.

It’s almost like the operating system Microsoft 8.1. Previous versions of Windows operating systems weren’t totally dead yet in spite of support for Windows XP having ended last year. With Windows 10 debuting this summer, it was a wonder what the rush was anyway? Not everyone was eager to upgrade to Windows 7 or had the funds to buy a new computer.  Luckily for me, my computer malady was as a result of upgrades from the MS site or a renegade third-party. When CDs and DVDs came out, not everyone tossed or sold their VHS, cassette tapes, or vinyl records. As music and movies became digital, CD’s, and DVDs didn’t totally die either. Who would’ve purchased a hololens with a starting price tag of $10,000? This watch was doomed to suffer the same fate. They were better off sold to studios like Lucas Films or the like.

The only reason why handling difficulties were easier on the older computers was because it happened so often back then. For instance, my knowing how to reset the modem/router combo received from the cable company last year didn’t mean I was smart enough to fix my current situation. Certain browsers butt heads with the preferred browser, Google Chrome. Removing these browser protect programs enabled me to surf the web on the other laptop with Windows XP. The updated musical program wouldn’t work on my old laptop, but it thrived on Windows 7.

Hoping the Apple watch would get sales as an accessory on the runway didn’t turn out too well. It might have done better in a different setting that highlighted the latest in computer gadgets.

#TIDALforALL making a big splash during relaunch

#TIDALforALL making a big splash during relaunch.

#TIDALforALL making a big splash during relaunch

JayzTidal

Jay-Z was to relaunch his new streaming video service today #TIDALforALL was attracting more and more support for itself on Twitter. Why was this so important? In spite of the major impact digital music made in the last few years, there were a few tangles in the cord.

The biggest magnet for the new service was Roc Nation.  It offered more than just the usual for the long list of artists flocking to the site to steam their music, especially Taylor Swift’s songs, except her 1989 album. Even though this wasn’t a sealed deal, it would get her music to this site first.  Was it enough to make a big splash in the musical world? Well, right now, it only had 35,000 subscribers that paid a monthly fee of $19.95. Its competitor had over 15 million subscribers. Don’t be afraid for them just yet though.  There was less expensive level at $9.99 a month. There was a better list of terms offered to people getting this service to the tune of two times the return, something not offered by their opponents.

The biggest problem with digital music was that sales weren’t moving fast enough to make it cost effective. There were songs that I myself would love having but the only way to purchase them was to buy the album.  In all fairness though, free services for television, movies and music were better than the Pay-per -view situations offered by Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime Instant Video, and Sling TV Crackle didn’t offer the music services unless it was tied to an older show on television. Its programs were always changing too.

There were no ‘perfect’ sites that were compared in these articles for this blog piece. They all had some major problems that took them out of that running. Sometimes, it was the cost, sometimes it was poor interface quality, lack of current video  titles, etc. What was the consumer was willing to put up with? Granted, Tidal was a new service for musicians and their music, but, they had the money to pay the monthly fee of $20 with all the big name artists signing up. Time Warner Cable offered free on demand TV shows and live streaming video from their site as long as there was a purchased package.

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