TufAmerica suing Frank Ocean is ridiculous

Maybe, like me, you’re a fan of “Super Rich Kids” by Frank Ocean featuring Earl Sweatshirt.

Maybe, like me, you were especially delighted by the part at 1:59, when Frank unexpectedly quotes “Real Love” by Mary J. Blige.

A “record label” (really a group of lawyers) called TufAmerica heard that quote too, and now they’re suing Frank Ocean for sampling their property without permission. TufAmerica owns 3.15% of “Real Love.” They acquired this stake by suing Mary J. Blige, whose song samples “Top Billin'” by Audio Two.

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What are some possible innovations for Delicious going forward?

This is a melancholy topic for me. There was a time when my Delicious network feed was the first site I looked at in the morning, my favorite source of news and serendipitous new knowledge, and the primary repository for my short-form writing. Now I barely ever use it.

I started out using Delicious for its intended purpose, bookmarking. Then I discovered that between the tags and the notes field, it was a spectacular notetaking tool. Over time, I built up a network of around a hundred other people. My Delicious use became 10% archiving and annotating links I planned to refer to later, and 90% social linkblogging. The experience became almost Quora-like.

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The Delicious debacle

It’s been an emotional week for me and my fellow Delicious lovers. The hysteria began with a slide leaked from an internal presentation at Yahoo, Delicious’ corporate parent, saying the service was among the ones slated to be “sunsetted.”

After Techcrunch published the slide, the web lit up with the rumor that Delicious would be shut down. It took Yahoo a full twenty-four hours to respond, an eternity in internet time, and when their official statement did finally come, it didn’t exactly put anyone’s mind at ease. They’re keeping Delicious live for the time being, but they plan to… do what? Sell it? The language is vague.

I’ve loved Delicious since I started using it — here’s my full-length rhapsody on why it’s so valuable to me. Watching Yahoo neglect it has been painful, since there’s a lot of untapped potential. For example, two months before Twitter launched, Delicious rolled its Network feature, which lets you subscribe to other users’ bookmarks. It’s basically a more tightly curated and better annotated version of Twitter. I started going back through my bookmarks to see who else was saving them and following everyone who was coming up with interesting tags and notes. The result is my list of a hundred or so Delicious users who consistently post interesting, useful and entertaining links. I look at my Delicious network feed first thing in the morning, before any news site, or Twitter or anything, because its signal to noise ratio is superb. Yahoo had an opportunity to create a robust social network around the Network feature, and they blew it.

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Bitter Sweet Symphony

One of the biggest copyright failures of copyright law ever is the The Verve’s song “Bitter Sweet Symphony.”

The distinctive string sample comes from an orchestral arrangement of “The Last Time” by The Rolling Stones.

Doesn’t sound much like the Verve, does it? Here’s the Andrew Oldham Orchestra‘s version, the sample will jump right out at you twenty-five seconds in.

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The Minus World and the Blue Screen Of Death

When the computer crashes, it seems like it’s frozen. Actually, it’s still working as fast as usual. It only appears to be stuck because it isn’t responding to you. The computer is too busy to take input because it’s in a loop, executing the same short list of instructions over and over.

Computers have become so fast that you can’t see what they’re doing on an instruction-by-instruction basis, so it’s hard to get a feel for what’s going on in a looping failure.  Fortunately, Super Mario Bros has a famous bug known as the Minus World that lets you study an infinite loop in an entertainingly interactive form. Continue reading