Feeding you Links

I pretty regularly run across links and stories I don’t get around to following up on here. So I’m going to try out a new feature in Feedburner which is having a daily item of all the things I clip on Bloglines (my feedreader) go out as a post. Unfortunately no way to automate that for the site itself. If you feedreadering readers hate it, please let me know. I’ll try to include at least a sentence or two from the clip to let you know what it’s about or what I found interesting.

Bad Apples

This is one of many reports this week about Apple sending cease and desist letters to bloggers who dare to show pictures of or (rumour has it) link to sites that feature ways to create a skin for your mobile that looks just like the iPhone. This article quotes from one of the letters

“…the icons and screenshot displayed on your website are copyrighted by Apple,” the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers LLP wrote….

Going after the people who create those skins, ok, that’s a pretty clear violation of intellectual property. But going after the people who talk about it? Hello folks, here in America we have this little thing called the First Amendment. Now I know the Constitution may seem like it’s secondary to proprietary corporate interests, but guess what? It’s not! They didn’t seem so upset about the copyright violation entailed by all those bloggers swooning over the majesty of the iPhone, so I guess it’s only a copyright violation when they don’t like it?
Besides, as Gordon Finlayson writes in the first link above:

When is Apple going to realize that the sort of people who post mods like this are the sorts of fans that have kept the company going for all these years?

I was also more than a little put off by this week’s reports that:

Black Eyed Peas Will.I.Am likes nothing more than rushing straight to the internet after a gig – to catch fans who posts illegal clips of their show on the web.[...] The 31 year old says, “I check MySpace and I look on YouTube to see who posts up phone clips of the show first. They get arrested.”

He may be right that they’re breaking the law, but it’s a very sad thing if one’s immediate response to the high of performing for adoring crowds is to run right home and see which ones you can get arrested. And besides … arrested? This is lawsuit stuff, not “hello, police officer? you need to go arrest BEPfan3398 on YouTube” “yes, sir, we’re right on it, we’ll be subpoenaing YouTube and MySpace immediately to get IP information to track that user down and we’ll have him in a cell by morning.” And where is the economic loss here? Are people not buying BlackEyedPea records because they can get a cell phone video on YouTube for free? Are they skipping the tickets and the merchandise for that reason? I can understand why musicians don’t like this stuff, and I concede that they’ve got some valid concerns, but get a grip, this is just stupid.

Humorous digression

Can I just share a quick laugh that someone was recently led to this blog with the search term “buying a fan.” I’m sure this isn’t quite what they meant, but still…

It’s All In The Shoes

The other day I offered my pithy words of wisdom that you can tell everything you need to know about a person from the knees down. Here’s a fandom that agrees with me:

It’s an obsession that has been gaining traction in recent years, even as overall sneaker sales have grown slowly. There are Web sites, magazines, books, movies and radio shows dedicated to sneaker culture. There have been television shows, such as ESPN2’s “It’s About the Shoes,” which include tours of collectors’ enormous closets.

“I think people are more aware (of sneaker culture), the general public, because of the media and Internet,” said Alex Wang, creative director for Sole Collector magazine and an admitted shoe aficionado.

Sneakers have been a part of urban culture for decades. Run DMC rapped about “My Adidas” in the 1980s, and it remains a part of hip-hop culture with famous sneakerhead artists such as Missy Elliot and Fat Joe.

But sneaker love might be spreading. Everyone from Manhattan business men to Midwestern teens are coming in with a hankering for shoes, store owners say.

You can tell so much about a person by what they have on their feet,” said Andre Speed, 36, at the Portland specialty sneaker shop Lifted. “You might not have the freshest outfit, but if you have the kicks, you are going to get the respect.”

See for yourself, here at Nice Kicks, where they’re blogging shoes like crazy. No forums though that I can find . Or here at the premiere webzine for sneaker fans where they offer this much-used message board. 62,000 messages about skateboard shoes.

Sneakers seem to be about the only form of apparel in which men and boys get a wider color range and more fun selection than women and girls. I have always resented that at age 2 you have to start dressing your sons like mini-dads on casual Fridays (hmmm, should I go for the khaki, maroon, navy blue, or hunter green? BORING!!!), so I’m not surprised to see fandom emerge around the one apparel offering that recognizes that men are creative fun-loving spirits as well.

Apple iPhone

…because I am not immune to object lust (said she of the $20 pay-as-you-go mobile phone)