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:: My Urban Eyes ::

All that I see, and then some.
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Learning curve, commence.
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:: Wednesday, April 19, 2006 ::


Apple Sucks


I tried to think of a way to reword the title, but none of the alternatives quite captured my anger and frustration.

Apple's iPod has DRM, or "Digital Rights Management" software. For those who are less tech-savvy (hi, Mom), that means that you can only get at your music the way Apple (and all of the RIAA companies) want you to get at your music. Once a song is on your iPod, you can't take it off. Even if you do manage to take it off, it still has copy protection all over it, so you can't do anything with it.

Ah, but this is to protect the artists from having their music bounced around the internet for free, right? That's what the companies say. But it infringes on my fair use under copyright law. When you buy a CD, you are allowed to copy it for your own, personal, non-commercial use. So if you have an ancient automobile with a tape deck, you are allowed to copy the CD to tape so you can listen to it in your car. By the same logic, when you buy that same CD you should be able to copy it to your computer, ipod, and etc. for your own personal use. Getting your music onto an iPod is no problem, but taking the music off again is.

Why do I care at this moment, and why am I so mad? I don't have a laptop, so my iPod is my only hard drive while I'm here in Japan. It's been breaking every other week (a whole 'nother source of frustration), so I'm taking it to the Apple store in Shinsaibashi to get it replaced under warranty. No problems so far.

So today I'm trying to get my music off of my iPod and burn it to CD (fair, personal use) and then transfer it to my new iPod. But due to all of these restrictions, I can't. The music that I bought and own the rights to is being held hostage by a three by four by three-quarter inch hunk of metal.

And on top of this, some of the music I have is from indie bands--music that the bands encourage distribution of. I tried to burn a CD of such music last week for a friend--can't do it. Music that truly, legally, wants to be free cannot be.

So, needless to say, I'm frustrated, and never buying an iPod (or other Apple product) again. When I go to the Apple store Friday, if I want any of my music whatsoever, I have to pay them to do a data transfer for me. I'm strongly considering getting by on podcasts my last five weeks here--totally doable, but I'm going to miss falling asleep to my favorite tunes.

I'm in rant mode... I hope my argument makes sense. Take a look at this post from Boing Boing for something a little more coherent... and wish me luck in the Apple store.

Labels:


:: Kazen 8:07 PM [+] ::
:: ... 4 comments | backtrack ::



Comments:
Just for reference:
MACINTOSH
Most
Applications
Crash
If
Not
The
Operating
System
Hangs

I hate apple :)
 
me too.... say hello to my little friend...
 
That comment made my decision on getting one. Thanks!! Aimee
 
hey - we were talking about comedy central clips the other night - colbert's correspondance dinner speech is at www.poetv.com if you haven't seen it yet
 
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:: Saturday, April 15, 2006 ::


Because I Owe You Pictures


And then some. ^_^



Engrish found in a dollar store.





Valentine's Day is a whole different monster here. On Valentine's Day girls give chocolate to boys, not the other way around. Some of it is giri choco, or "obligation chocolate", which they are pretty much required to give to co-workers and bosses and things. These chocolates are smaller and store bought. The chocolate that every guy hopes to get is handmade treats, which are reserved for the very special people on a girls gift giving list. In middle and high school Valentine's Day is a big thing--there are lots of "confessions" of love, and lots of talk over who gave what huge handmade treat to whom.

The guys don't get off scot free, though. One month later, on March 14th, the guys who got chocolate are supossed to return the favor. It's called White Day. In reality, not all guys return the presents though, so girls kinda get the short end of the stick.

I decided that if I'm living in Japan, I'm going to go all out with the chocolates. ^_^ These are the packages I made up for my male friends (teachers get them, too). The chocolate hearts I made by melting white chocolate, putting it in a little milk chocolate cup thingie, and drizzling milk chocolate on top, adding the star. The koalas are treats that have chocolate inside, and M&Ms are sprinkled around. My host mom had the great idea to cut cute shapes out of dried mango and put that in, too. All of this is resting on paper easter grass in a muffin cup, with a heart cut out of origami paper standing up in back. I'm really proud of the result, and the guys seemed to like it, too. ^_^

Oh, my return rate on white day? A touch over 50%. Not so bad.





On a certain day each month a shrine in Kyoto has a flea market. Japanese flea markets rock. ^_^ There are all kinds of booths with food, pottery, antiques, and more. I got a kimono here for less than $20! These are one of the few places you can barter for a lower price. There's even a word in Osaka dialect that you use to do so: makete (make it lower).

I'm gonna go make dinner now, so here's a parting shot:



You know, just in case your camera/clock/walkman runs out of juice at three am. -_^

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:: Kazen 2:27 PM [+] ::
:: ... 1 comments | backtrack ::



Comments:
OMG - ok, i'm sure you're already totally aware of this, but i just went on tmbg.com and saw their tribute to "The Egg"... and I know you know what egg they are tributing about.

OOOOh! I'm so excited about them coming to Kville!!! I hope they play some of their old songs, I'm not really up with the new stuff!!!


I LOVE THE PICTURES! They were an awesome surprise when I popped on to tell you abot TMBG
 
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:: Thursday, April 13, 2006 ::


Whatever It Takes... I Guess


I'm not sure how I feel about this, but it deserves a laugh at the very least:

[10:35] Elizabeth: we have the MetroPulse - our free weekly metropaper. and it has ads for our hockey team in it ... well... during preseason, they were selling season tix w/ girls wearing only hockey jerseys
[10:37] Elizabeth: during the season, after all the guys bought season tix, they got the girls to go by having a different pin up hockey player every week... they'd be in the locker room and look like they just finished a rough practice, all sweaty and stuff
[10:37] Elizabeth: and they'ld have their jersey and torso pads off
[10:37] Elizabeth: staring seductively into the camera...
[10:37] Elizabeth: needless to say, all the girls i work with are now regular hockey fans

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:: Kazen 7:48 AM [+] ::
:: ... 1 comments | backtrack ::



Comments:
They need something to make hockey popular. A good percentage of the population here hasn't ever icescated, and the few who have - it's been in rinks. There isn't any frozen water this far south - and definatly not enough for pickup hockey games. So it's not like people can relate to it.
 
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:: Monday, April 10, 2006 ::

Settling In



I've completely fallen into dorm life now--it's nice. There's a computer I can use whenever, there's a bed I don't have to feel guilty for sleeping in at three pm, there's a kitchen I can use as I like. There's also showers I can use at two am, which I do more often than I would like to admit. >_<

Only six weeks left in Japan... I don't quite believe it. There are so many things I still want to do. I don't think I can get to them all (I need to do my homework, too), but I'm going to try to get to as many as possible. There are so many things I'm going to miss when I go home--karaoke boxes, sushi in every convenience store, riding my bike everywhere. On the other hand, when I come home I plan on making a restaurant tour to taste all of the things I've missed over the past nine months. These include big slabs of meat (beef is really expensive here), Reese's peanut butter cups, and my mom's pasta (the only good pasta sauce here is imported). At the same time I'll be hitting up Lee's Market on Central for Japanese food to make my folks. I'm going to try for the best of both worlds... we'll see how it goes.

As for now? Aloe yogurt calls. ^_^

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:: Sunday, April 09, 2006 ::

About Me


My name is Karla and I'm a twenty-something that's currently saving for grad school and happily biding her time in San Francisco. I graduated from the University of Albany with a double major in Urban Planning and Japanese Studies, but I still don't know what exactly it is I want to do. Translate? Radio? Journalism? We'll see.

Okay, that's all nice and well, but what will you find in this blog? Expect everything--from accounts of my travels to rants to well-formed (and not so well-formed) opinions about various topics. Photos are sprinkled here and there, and a podcast, fittingly called My Urban Eyes, is currently on haitus in order to save money for a new mic. :P

I hope you enjoy what you see and hear. If you have something you'd like to tell me or add to the discussion, feel free to write a comment or email me at the address at left.

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:: Kazen 7:37 PM [+] ::
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Computer Lab Joys



Could someone please tell me why the guy that Skypes home to his hearing-impaired grandma sits next to me in the computer lab every time? Noise cancelling headphones are starting to sound like a good investment. :P

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:: Kazen 10:02 AM [+] ::
:: ... 1 comments | backtrack ::



Comments:
because he knows you're understanding....
 
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:: Friday, April 07, 2006 ::

Finally, a Real Feed!



Get all of your RSS goodness here:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/myurbaneyes

When the podcasts start up again this summer they'll be coming down this pipe as well. Depending on how crazy I get the website will see minor (cosmetic) or major (new domain) changes. Some of them started today--site feed added at left, and podcast info updated. Add the feed into your favorite RSS reader and never miss a beat! (I use the web-based Bloglines myself.)

edit: Got a display issue in Bloglines, but otherwise it should work. If you have any problems with the feed let me know in the comments below. Blogger uses an antiquated ATOM standard, it turns out.

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:: Kazen 10:43 PM [+] ::
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How is This for Nerd Rock?



"I'll meet you at the point of diminishing returns." -Harvey Danger

(They went indie, by the way, and you can pick up their new album, Little by Little, for free at their website.)

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:: Kazen 9:31 PM [+] ::
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Bug Squashing



It's kind of silly for this to be my own monologue, but if I wrote it in paragraph form with the same words it'd look really silly.

[00:19] karla: Oh! Speaking of bugs!
[00:19] karla: The spiders here jump!
[00:19] karla: Quickly!
[00:19] karla: My roomie Georgia and I trapped one under a cup, slipped a piece of paper underneath, and took it to the window
[00:20] karla: Instead of simply falling away when the paper was released, he jumped back in the room!
[00:20] karla: So now he's just sitting under the cup on the floor
[00:20] karla: We feel bad about it... but it's either that or being eaten alive at night!
[00:20] karla: I hope you can see our reasoning.

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:: Kazen 9:26 PM [+] ::
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:: Thursday, April 06, 2006 ::

The Four Scariest Things



A Japanese saying. Thanks for telling me, Sensei. ^_^

Jishin, kaminari, kaji, oyaji
(Earthquakes, lightning, fires, Dad.)

Related story: Sensei is from Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan, where there isn't much lightning. So he totally didn't understand what was so scary about lightning, why it should be number two on the list. Then he came to Kyoto, which every now and then has a Florida-esque torrent, and he quickly understood. ^_^

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:: Saturday, April 01, 2006 ::

Things to Do


For the long, short, and "man, wouldn't that be fun" term.

- go on a road trip, price of gas (and the fact that I neither own nor want a car) be damned
- listen for the things that make good conversation
- catch up with This American Life, Prairie Home Companion, and all of the audio that goes on anyway
- fly
- make nice big things in ceramics
- find more hours in the day, bonus if they're between two and four am
- plan my return to podcasting
- update computer-based flashcards (with fewer tree-related side effects)
- figure out what I maybe could perhaps want to do with the next part of my life
- finish my report for kanji class and prepare for my presentation next week
- cultivate my 16-year old soul

Labels:


:: Kazen 1:10 AM [+] ::
:: ... 4 comments | backtrack ::



Comments:
I'm sorry I missed you on AIM last night!
 
never mind ;-)
 
And here I thought I had a comment of substance! -_^
 
All roads are blocked to a philosophy which reduces everything to the word “no.” To “no” there is only one answer and that is “yes.” Nihilism has no SUBSTANCE. There is no such thing as nothingness, and zero does not exist. Everything is something. Nothing is nothing. Man lives more by affirmation than by bread.
Victor Hugo (1802–1885), French poet, dramatist, novelist. Les Misérables, pt. 2, bk. 7, ch. 6 (1862)
 
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