Lots of blogs are calling for boycotts of AP content. Not me. I'm going to keep using it. I will copy and paste as many words as I feel necessary to make my points and that I feel are within bounds of copyright law (and remember, I've got a JD and specialized in media law, so I know the rules pretty well). And I will keep doing so if I get an AP takedown notice (which I will make a big public show of ignoring). And then, either the AP -- an organization famous for taking its members work without credit -- will either back down and shut the hell up, or we'll have a judge resolve the easiest question of law in the history of copyright jurisprudence.
It’s been noted elsewhere today that this is one of those all-too-rare moments in the ‘sphere where the Left and Right are united on an issue. Everyone agrees the AP is being absolutely stupid, and James Joyner of Outside the Beltway has screen shots of just how stupid they actually are. I’d really be interested in knowing if someone… anyone… has plunked money down for the privilege of quoting the AP. I sorta doubt it, yanno?
One of the recurring themes sounded by ALL of the Democrat candidates during their primaries… and one of my favorite peeves, as well… is the economy is going to Hell in a hand basket. We’re ALL suffering, doncha know. Most of us are unemployed and for those of us who remain employed, well…it’s just a matter of time before our jobs are outsourced to
Ask Americans how the economy is doing, and their answer is stark: It is not just bad, it is run-for-the-hills terrible. Consumer confidence is at its lowest level in almost 30 years. Only 12 percent of Americans think the economy is in good shape. On the Internet, comparisons to the Great Depression are widespread.
But the reality is different. According to most broad measures of how the economy is doing, it's not all that grim.
Soft? You betcha. In recession? Quite possibly. And a crisis in the financial markets has rattled nerves for months now. But so far, the economy is holding up better than it did during the last two recessions in 1990 and 2001. Employers haven't shed as many jobs, the unemployment rate is still relatively low, and gross domestic product has kept rising. Things are nowhere near as bad as they were in the Great Depression, or even during the severe recession of 1982-83. The last time consumers were this miserable, in May 1980, the jobless rate was 7.5 percent and inflation was 14.4 percent. Now those numbers are 5.5 percent and 4.2 percent respectively.
Even the article quoted above (“Why We’re Gloomier Than the Economy” by Neil Irwin in today’s WaPo) only gets it half-right by saying we’re “quite possibly” in a recession. We’re not, if one observes the generally-accepted definition of recession… which is two consecutive quarters of negative growth in GDP. We haven’t quite hit that point, yet. Mr. Irwin goes on to list his reasons why we feel so bad about the country’s economic prospects and cites the real risk of self-fulfilling prophecy… as consumer spending drives the greatest portion of the economy.
I’ll add there’s yet another, greater danger: people will begin to believe what Obama’s saying and…worse yet… that he’ll be able to fix our tired-ass economy (he sez) with Change! and Hope! McCain can’t do the job, coz his Buds in the White House are putting the final touches on “Great Depression, Part Deux” and McCain is nothing but BushCo’s third term, right? That’s the bit that worries me. YMMV, of course.
So… my new camera body arrived yesterday, my lens is supposed to be delivered today, and the memory card is due to arrive tomorrow. Not a bad delivery sequence, that. If the lens arrives on time, and IF it arrives while I’m not at the dentist (I have another follow-up early this afternoon), I should be able to begin playing with my new toy today. I’ll just take the memory card out of my G5 and drop it into the XTi… and Walla! I’ll look like a photographer!
I’ve charged the camera battery, loaded the bundled software on my PeeSee, and given the owner’s manual the once-over, so I’m basically good to go. I don’t think the learning curve will be all that steep with the new camera. There’s a lot of consistency between the new camera’s controls and menu functions and those on the old one. That’s to be expected, as both cameras are Canons. My old G5 wasn’t exactly a “point-and-shoot,” either. One of the reasons I bought that camera four years ago was its versatility… it has aperture and shutter speed priority modes, plus full manual control of all exposure parameters and focus. It just wasn’t an SLR.
But anyway. Cue up Tom Petty, eh? With Eddie, too!