Archive for February, 2006

 

Howard Stern Sued

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

So CBS is suing Howard Stern, his agent, and Sirius Satellite Radio:

NEW YORK, Feb. 28 /PRNewswire/ — CBS Radio today announced that it has filed suit against Howard Stern, his company One Twelve, Inc., his agent Don Buchwald, his agent’s firm Don Buchwald & Associates, Inc. and Sirius Satellite Radio, Inc.

The lawsuit is for compensatory and punitive damages for multiple breaches of contract, fraud, unjust enrichment, and misappropriation of CBS Radio’s broadcast time. It further seeks damages from Sirius Satellite Radio, Inc. for unfair competition and tortious interference with Stern’s CBS contract.

I haven’t read the 43 page complaint, or obviously, Stern’s contract. But let’s try to dissect this one by one:

The 43-page complaint charges:

* Howard Stern repeatedly and willfully breached his written contract
with CBS Radio over the last 22 months of that contract,
misappropriated millions of dollars worth of CBS Radio airtime for his
own financial benefit, and fraudulently concealed his interest in
hundreds of millions of dollars of Sirius stock while promoting it on
the air.

This is the crux of the complaint, and most of the rest of the bullets deal with this. The idea is that Stern effectively “stole” advertising airtime by discussing Sirius on the air while working for CBS. The argument is silly on several grounds. First, Stern wasn’t allowed to mention Sirius by name while on the air. Second, all of Stern’s announcements regarding his move were made on his personal time. Third, CBS could have, at any time, told Stern that he’s not going on the air any more, that CBS would air best-of shows through the remainder of Stern’s contract. Moreover, they would have had an obligation to do so if they thought that Stern was promoting Sirius and thereby damaging CBS on the air. The law requires one to do what one can to prevent damages to oneself before going to court. Given that they could listen to the show and judge for themselves at the time whether Stern was “stealing” advertising airtime and did nothing about it, they don’t have much ground to stand on now. Stern’s compensation from Sirius is beside the point. It is inconceivable that Stern would have been hired with a substantially different compensation package, one that did not involve payment for subscribers who follow him over. Given all of that, this claim is bogus, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it thrown out pretty quickly.

* To this day, Stern continues to breach his contract by refusing to
return property that belongs to CBS Radio — the recordings of his CBS
radio program that, under his Agreement with CBS Radio, belong to the
company.

This one they might win, though it certainly seems like nothing more than sour grapes.

Stern’s site is down, seems to be overwhelmed at the current time, so I don’t have his official response. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see some sort of counter suit here, just as a tit for tat sort of thing. But maybe not. If I were his attorney, I would request a summary judgement for dismissal.

 
 

Valerie

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

Jay and Deb’s new daughter has been home for a week now. Go visit their blog for tons of cute pics.

 
 

$350

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

$350 for what amounts to a speaker is pretty friggin’ ridiculous.

 
 

55 Is Dangerous

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

These guys did something I always wanted to do on the highway. They arranged for 4 cars to parallel each other at the speed limit, 55mph. And they recorded the result on video. They’re a touch pretentious at the opening, but the payoff is hysterical.

Watch A Meditation On The Speed Limit.

 
 

Apple Announcement Tomorrow

Monday, February 27th, 2006

I figured I’d throw my two cents in for a prediction. Let’s start out by saying what it’s not: It’s not a phone or a tablet pc. I don’t think you’ll see a tablet until the current product line is switched over to Intel, though you may see a mac mini and iBook using the Intel chips.

I do think that what they’re announcing is something akin to a boom box, but it will incorporate video. If it is a boom box, I think it will be something akin to the “HiFi” box pictured over here. Though the whole use of the term “boom box” may just be fud. In which case, what we may get are large, flat screen TV’s that can be networked into the home network (wirelessly I hope), and have a jack for an iPod connector.

Apple will NOT be announcing streaming movies for the new TV’s because they have not (to my knowledge) resolved their issue with Burst. However, an iPod jack strategy would fit in will with the Blockbuster kiosk idea floated by Cringely. Basically, Cringely’s idea is that people would drop in at their local Blockbuster, drop their iPod into a kiosk, and rent a movie that they take home with them over a sneakernet.

This strategy is brilliant for a few reasons. First, it avoids the streaming issue with Burst and its patents. Second, it gets people started with the product in a way that they can easily understand and grasp. Third, it is congruent with the piracy that is currently occurring anyway, meaning that tech savvy customers will be able to watch their video libraries on their new Mac TV’s, even without the Burst lawsuit being resolved or Hollywood being mollified. Moreover, it mimics the same strategy pursued with the iPod. Theoretically, you could use it to store only iTunes or music you rip off CD’s you’ve purchased, but in truth it fills a hardware need generated by music piracy. And so it is with the new TV’s.

Which is not to say that Apple isn’t going to roll out an online movie service. They are. Just not right away.

 
 

Death Rush

Sunday, February 26th, 2006

Watch this psycho guy get hippos to charge him while he shoots them point blank in the face. This video is probably not for animal lovers, and is reasonably bloody.

Watch Death Rush.

 
 

Bahhhhhh

Friday, February 24th, 2006

Who says alternative marriages are limited to the West?

A Sudanese man has been forced to take a goat as his “wife”, after he was caught having sex with the animal.

The goat’s owner, Mr Alifi, said he surprised the man with his goat and took him to a council of elders.

They ordered the man, Mr Tombe, to pay a dowry of 15,000 Sudanese dinars ($50) to Mr Alifi.

“We have given him the goat, and as far as we know they are still together,” Mr Alifi said.

Well, at least they’re respecting the sanctity of their marriage, and not getting divorced.

Read more here.

 
 

Dodge Ball

Friday, February 24th, 2006

Found on Flickr

 
 

888-322-2785

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

I keep getting phone calls from 888-322-2785 at all times of the day. I never pick up, and they hang up on my answering machine every time. Google searches seem to indicate it’s associated with an online gambling operation, but even there, nailing down which one it is is difficult.

I have heard that telemarketing firms are calling homes with machines, and then just recording if a human picks up. Then, they have a sense of what time you’re home, and they sell that information to others. That may be what’s going on here. Anyway, they call so damn much, several times a day sometimes, I’m tempted to change my home number.

Surely, someone must have some insight as to who actually owns this damned number. Anyone???

UPDATE: It looks like the gambling website is www.mi11iondo11arboy.com (numbers inserted to confuse search engines). The idea is that you’ll look up the number on the Internet and see who it is, then gamble. I’m filing a complaint with the FTC.

 
 

Tehran Nails It

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006

Not!

Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN – The serious crime of the terrorists who bombed the holy shrines of the tenth and eleventh Shia Imams, Imam Hadi (AS) and Imam Hassan Askari (AS), on Wednesday in Iraq was an insult to the sanctities of all Muslims.

Undoubtedly, it is a new plot which first of all can be considered as the continuation of the disrespectful move of the European newspapers’ that published cartoons of the Prophet of Islam.

Secondly, the offensive act was meant to create division between Iraqi Shias and Sunnis and ignite a civil war, following the failure of the plans of the occupiers of the country.

This is a critical juncture for the vigilant Islamic world. Shias certainly know that such moves are not the work of their Sunni brothers but are directed by the hands of the enemies of Islam.

Meanwhile, the Sunni brothers should also be aware that the same terrorists who carried out the criminal act in Samarra yesterday will probably attack their holy sites in the future.

Yes, it’s the result of European intolerance. You know, reading rhetoric like that makes me wonder if Iran isn’t behind the blast…

Read the whole thing here.