Saturday, December 29, 2007

"FBI to use digital billboards to catch crooks"

The FBI is planning to use digital billboards in 20 major cities to display each area's most-wanted fugitives, missing people, and high-priority security messages.

The nation's top cop is launching the project through a partnership with Clear Channel Outdoor, an advertising company that's providing the space as a public service, according to an FBI statement released Wednesday. The initiative follows a successful test of a billboard in Philadelphia.

The billboards, which will be placed near high-traffic areas, would enable the bureau to highlight the people it's looking for the most in a given area, whether they're violent criminals, kidnap victims, missing children, or terrorists. Pictures of victims or suspected criminals could be posted shortly after a crime is committed or a child is taken.

The FBI launched the Philadelphia test Sept. 13, displaying "crystal-clear images" of 11 of the city's most violent fugitives on eight billboards and a 24-hour hotline for people to call. In October, two fugitives were captured as a direct result of the publicity.

The billboards later helped catch a suspect in the Oct. 31 killing of Philadelphia police officer Charles Cassidy, who was slain during an armed robbery. The suspect was captured in Florida.

Clear Channel has agreed to provide the FBI with 150 billboards that will be placed in 20 cities: Akron, Cleveland, and Columbus, Ohio; Albuquerque, N.M.; Atlanta; Chicago; Des Moines, Iowa; El Paso, Texas; Indianapolis; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Memphis, Tenn.; Milwaukee; Minneapolis; Newark, N.J.; Miami, Orlando, and Tampa, Fla.; Philadelphia; and Wichita, Kan.

The FBI, which often uses information technology in law enforcement, said the billboards would be "coming soon" to the metropolitan areas, but did not give specific dates.

"Paul McCartney to duet with Ozzy at Brit Awards"

from - by C. Taylor

Sir Paul McCartney is set to team up with a strange choice of singing partner the 2008 Brit Awards – he's to duet with Ozzy Osbourne.

The former Beatle is to receive the Outstanding Contribution To Music award, and plans are being finalised for him to give the show a fitting conclusion by performing Bond theme classic 'Live And Let Die' with the ex-Black Sabbath frontman.

Why Macca needs someone to duet with on the song, and why that someone would be Ozzy, is beyond us – but, perhaps unsurprisingly, it's all Sharon Osbourne's idea.

She tells The Sun, "They go together really well. It will be amazing."

Ozzy is a self-confessed McCartney fanatic though, after voting 'Memory Almost Full' his album of 2007.

"McCartney's a genius. The Beatles were the greatest band ever," he says.

Reports Macca will dedicate 'Live And Let Die' to Heather Mills are as yet unconfirmed...

"Music business ends year on another weak note"

from Reuters via Yahoo - by Ed Christman

Just when it seemed erosion of music sales during the holiday season couldn't get worse, December snowstorms compounded the retail industry's misery.

Album sales for 2007 are now down 15.3% for the year, compared with 2006. But for the four weeks beginning with Thanksgiving week and ending December 26, U.S. album sales were down 20% to 84.2 million units from 105.3 million a year ago, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The last week before Christmas didn't help matters much, with sales totaling 25.6 million vs. 31.3 million units in the same period last year.

The season got off on the wrong foot when Thanksgiving sales failed to ignite due to a lack of new hit titles, with retailers reporting anywhere from 5% to 15% comparable-store declines. And then Mother Nature blew in.

"It just makes things worse in one of those already bad holiday selling seasons," says Rob Perkins, president of Marietta, Ga., chain Value Music.

Snowstorms are to be expected at this time of the year, but a December 5 shooting in an Omaha mall "led everybody into a malaise for about a week," says Mike Fratt, who heads up the six-unit, Omaha, Neb.-based Homers chain.

In Brighton, Mass., Newbury Comics CEO Mike Dreese says sales were down 80% on December 16 -- a decline he attributes to snow and a New England Patriots game keeping people home.

Beyond the weather, a lack of big hits is grated on retailers' nerves. "I was astounded: There was no CD to give as a gift," Dreese says. "I have never seen that before."

The formula for holiday selling success is a plethora of obvious hit titles and a couple of surprise hits, and this year retailers have had few of the former to rely on. But at least one title has far exceeded expectations: Since its October 9 release, Josh Groban's Christmas album "Noel" has sold 3.6 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan; it is now the top-selling album of the year.

Indie retail chains are also citing Lupe Fiasco's "The Cool," Robert Plant & Alison Krauss' "Raising Sand" and Mindy Smith's "My Holiday" as strong sellers. And Fratt reports that Homers has sold "a ridiculous amount" of the Eagles' "Long Road out of Eden" and the Tom Petty "Runnin' Down a Dream" DVD, which, respectively, are exclusives at Wal-Mart and Best Buy.

Eric Levin, who owns the Criminal Records indie store in Atlanta, says this year's dearth of hit titles inspired the chain to move its usual January sale on its top 100 titles up to December 1. That change, he says, has helped the chain increase sales by 8% so far in December.

One bright spot across the board, retailers and wholesalers say, has been online physical sales. Dreese says December will be Newbury Comics' first $1 million month for its Web store.

DVD sales, meanwhile, were flat, though retailers had expected them to be up slightly. And while videogames had a decent December, merchants say, sales could have been better if enough Wii game systems or "Guitar Hero" games had been available.

But for music, retailers say, the message is clear. "Unless we get some innovation put into physical music," Value Music's Perkins says, "we will see a continuing of this bad sales trend."

Indeed, senior executives at two of the major labels say they are forecasting a similar drop in CD sales for 2008. The decline could be accelerated by a continued reduction of shelf space devoted to music. Retail executives say they are unsure how poor sales will affect such matters in 2008, but 2007 saw a number of chains reduce music space to expand other product lines.


"Amy Winehouse ranks #1 on the AP's Top Albums of 2007 list"

And I couldn't agree more! Check out the top 10 below. - Ace:)

01. "Back to Black" - Amy Winehouse
02. "The Bird and the Bee" -
The Bird and the Bee
03. "Finding Forever" -
04. "Once" -
05. "Graduation" -
Kanye West
06. "Double Up" -
R. Kelly
07. "As I Am" -
Alicia Keys
08. "Alright, Still" -
Lily Allen
09. "Good Girl Gone Bad" -
10. "Kala" -

* info from The Associated Press

Friday, December 28, 2007

"Vinyl gets new spin as jewelry"

from by Erin Kobayashi

TORONTO, Canada -- James DesRochers, a self-taught clothing designer and DJ based in Toronto, wanted to merge his passion for fashion and music.

He looked to his extensive record collection for inspiration, deciding that he wanted people to wear actual music as jewelry.

DesRochers began cutting precise, detailed shapes such as horses, pirate ships and skulls out of old and damaged records. His jewelry line, Vling, a combination of the words vinyl and bling, was born.

About two inches in size, the statement necklaces and earrings are large so DesRochers can create intricate details on the brittle vinyl. But the designer also wants people to look closely at the texture of each piece.

"The reason I have that size is because it is easier to see the grooves of the record. I want the wearer to know and see that it is music," he says, though some record collectors are unhappy with him.

"I will get nasty emails from record collectors who think I am destroying vinyl but nothing I use is listenable. All of the records I use for the jewelry are defective, damaged or scratched," he says. DesRochers should know. As a DJ he owns more than 800 records and would simply add a valuable find to his own collection. "Record collecting has a rabid fan base; collectors are not easy to please," he says.

Vling is similar to the whimsical and silhouette-inspired designs of Alex & Chloe and Tatty Devine that have become popular over the years. However, instead of making jewelry out of acrylic and Plexiglas, DesRochers is able to keep costs low by recycling damaged vinyl that would end up in landfills. At $14.99 for most pieces, Vling is also significantly less expensive than the other jewelry lines.

Vling is also entirely made in Canada at DesRochers' Toronto studio. The only material that is not from the GTA is the coloured vinyl from a pressing plant in San Francisco that he uses for limited-edition pieces. He also comes out with new designs every three or four weeks, including a set of three recycled vinyl snowflake ornaments for $19.99.

Available at

"Rosie O'Donnell named Parade Magazine's most annoying celebrity of 2007"

A recent online poll asked readers to weigh in on the biggest pop culture stories and personalities of the year and the votes have been counted.

Nearly 2,000 people responded to Parade magazine's questions and when it was all over, Rosie O'Donnell was voted the "most annoying celebrity?" by 44 percent of readers. What it is about O'Donnell is unclear, but she found herself at the center of several controversies in 2007.
Here are some 'most annoying' poll stats from
Rosie O'Donnell -- 44%
Paris Hilton -- 24%
Ann Coulter -- 16%
Heather Mills McCartney -- 12%
Perez Hilton -- 4%

"Girl gets bizarre note instead of iPod from Wal-Mart"

A little girl thought she was getting an iPod for Christmas but ended up getting a rude surprise. She got the box but when she opened it up, she found a surprising switch: the iPod had been replaced with a bizarre note.

The note reads in part "Reclaim your mind from the media shackles."

Jay Ellis, the girls father, returned the ipod to the Germantown, Md. Wal-Mart store where he purchased it. The store manger told him that another customer returned an iPod with a similar issue.

MyFoxDC attempted to reach Apple for a comment, but got no response.


"For the record - Vinyl discs are making a comeback"

from - by Ron Cassie
Frederick, Maryland - Sunday night, two days before Christmas, two teenagers working checkout at the Best Buy on Buckeystown Pike suddenly find themselves ringing up something they can still manage to get excited about.

It's a-thought-to-be obsolete invention from the late 1800s called a record player.

"These are awesome, you can plug the USB cable right into your computer and make your own CDs," the young man said to his female colleague, examining the box for a better look. "I'm definitely going to buy one after Christmas."

Before actually completing the customer's purchase, he punched in several keys on the store computer, "Look at what it is with our store discount!"

Less than $100.

"Oh my God," the young woman said. "My parents have all these great Black Sabbath albums I can listen to now."

Vinyl is making a comeback.

According to a National Public Radio report earlier this year, in the midst of flagging compact disc revenues, long-playing, vinyl record sales spiked 10 percent last year.

In October, launched a vinyl-only section, stocking it with an ever-expanding number of titles, including releases from Eric Clapton and Neil Young, to the original U2 recording of The Joshua Tree remastered, to Nine Inch Nails, to the soundtrack of the Bob Dylan film, I'm Not There, which, of course, is both an old and new subject itself. even offers several turntable options online and an online forum for questions about vinyl "technology."

Part of the credit for the resurgent goes to the merging of old technology with new technology, highlighted in the story above. Turntables are now available at local stores like Best Buy and Record Tape Traders with USB cables enabling listeners to record their LPs onto their computer. Once there, they can be easily converted into CD or MP3 files.

"Buying CDs is fading out, to tell the truth," said Chris Wolfe, a bass player and guitarist with the local band Ecstasy the Flower, as he fingered through some used LPs at Record and Tape Traders.

Wolfe, 22, has worked at the West Patrick Street store for two years. He says for most young people the compact disc format began waning years ago because it's easier to go to the Internet and download music for free -- or select singles for individual purchase.

The funny part is that many are bypassing CDs for relatively cheap, LP, "hidden treasures" -- as Frederick sound restoration and preservation expert Steve Smolian, put it.

The quality of the vinyl recording sound, it appears, is being discovered for the first time by younger audiences. So is the experience of listening to one album side, then another -- an idea also previously thought obsolete for a generation generally derided for its short-attention span.

"We do sell turntables and the USB cables are definitely making a difference -- we're sold out right now," Nick Salisbury, a manager at Record and Tape Traders said. "Some of the interest is collectible LPs, but companies are still making them, too. The new turntables have made it easier to move from format to format."

The Beatles, Rolling Stones, classic rock, Coltrane, Jazz, Motown, punk, and New Wave naturally remain popular in the used market at places like Joe's Record Paradise in Rockville. What's more interesting is that emerging artists like Washington-based Georgie James are imprinting their debut albums on vinyl first and then offering a code inside so their music can be downloaded from their website for free.

Salisbury said Record and Tape Traders does a healthy business in new LPs, which major companies still issue, and used LPs. Like many customers, he prefers the "slightly rough" sound of vinyl.

It's a quality, a "texture," that Smolian, 73, appreciates as well -- though he notes that popping and clicking on worn and damaged records can be a concern.

"A lot of LPs have 'a broader' sound, not left to right, but a 'richer' sound," Smolian said. "A great part of it has to do with the equipment. It's 'hum' is in there -- that's part of the charm."

Smolian added that's there software available to "clean up" scratched or damaged LPs for digital recording. Along with the sound quality of LPs, Smolian said he enjoys the larger round albums for other aesthetic reasons.

"I like the size of it, you pick up the album jacket and there is some 'art' to it that's been lost," Smolian said. "The CD is impersonal by comparison, It may look great to a cat, but to me, it looks micro. They don't have a fold-out, a pop-out box, there's a means of artistic expression that's been lost."

Finally, Smolian said, while the CD may hold more space, bands often lack the songs to pull off the longer format. More -- or newer -- doesn't always translate to better.

"They have to dredge up less than wonderful material, 39 minutes maybe on an LP versus 79 on a CD -- I think that's pretty clear."

Matt Jaro, a record collector from Damascus and the treasurer of the Baltimore Vintage Record Club, also said "pops and ticks" can be an issue on older LPs. At the same time, the 62-year old said, the "the sound can be really cool."

"Some people say that that sound's richer because they have everyone playing together and they microphone on each instrument and the whole thing is mixed together right there by the engineer," Jaro said. "Now they hang one microphone in the hall and somebone's singing who is not even in the same room.

"It doesn't have the same presence."

Wolfe, who said that he grew up on Motown and Classic Rock, thinks the USB cable equipped turntables will make older music "more accessible for younger people." He never apparently had to be converted, recalling the first record he ever heard was his dad's copy of Pink Floyd's, "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn."

"I don't listen to music any other way when I'm at home," said Wolfe, who has a 4,000 vinyl album collection. "Everybody's into vinyl these days, it's been revitalized.

"It's more of a warm sound, not digital, not overproduced, and you don't feel like you want to skip to the next track," Wolfe continued. "Just pure analog. You hear it, how it was played, even if there are defects or mistakes, it's a real sound."

"UK : illegal film and TV downloaders could lose their links to the web"

from - by Sam Coates

Internet users who download pirate films or television series could soon see their service suspended as political pressure grows on broadband service providers to stop illegal downloads.

The Government has given notice of its concern at the "huge cumulative effect" of illegal downloads and called on internet service providers (ISPs) to examine ways to reverse the trend.

MPs are also calling for the use of camcorders in cinemas to be made a criminal rather than a civil offence, as nine out of ten pirate films first appear in the market as a camcorded copy.

ISPs are to be brought to negotiations in the new year over plans by film companies to suspend the service of those who break the law.

The UK Film Council estimates that film piracy cost the industry more than £800 million in 2005. Shrek 2 and Star Wars: the Revenge of the Sithwere both available through file-sharing networks before their cinematic release. Several of this year's Oscar contenders, including Atonement, The Kite Runner and I Am Legend, have also appeared illegally online.

The first episode of the revived Doctor Who was downloaded by tens of thousands of fans from file-sharing websites before it was shown on television, according to a report by MPs.

Until now, broadband companies have been deeply reluctant to step in, arguing that it is impractical to monitor the activities of users and would infringe privacy. "ISPs are no more able to inspect and filter every single packet passing across their network than the Post Office is able to open every envelope," insists ISPA, the industry association.

However, this argument has been undermined by developments in France, where an industry initiative backed by President Sarkozy could result in internet subscribers who download music, films and other content without paying for them being banned from having access to the web.

Denis Olivennes, the chairman of Fnac, the DVD retailer, who conducted a review for the French Government, called for a "three-strikes-and-you're-out" policy for individuals found guilty of internet piracy. He argued that ISPs are culpable because they encourage subscribers to take advantage of the amount of free material on the web.

In Britain, pressure is growing on ISPs from a powerful cross-party committee of MPs on the Culture Select Committee, who argue that ISPs have accepted in principle that access to unlicensed material should be restricted. In a report on the creative industries, MPs said: "It may be impractical for such businesses to be made legally liable for providing access to certain material, but we believe strongly that the industry should do more to discourage piracy."

The Government welcomed the MPs' report and called on ISPs and film companies to work together.

Some broadband companies have indicated that they are willing to enter negotiations. A spokesman for Virgin Media said: "As a responsible ISP, Virgin Media would always openly negotiate with any interested party or governing body such as Ofcom." He added that a precedent for monitoring users had already been set.

A spokesman for BT said as copyright infringement is a civil, not a criminal, offenceit is "a matter for the rights holders and not for the ISPs".

"Religious community gets rid of 666 phone prefix"

REEVES, La. (AP) —  After decades of living with what Mayor Scott Walker calls a stigma, residents of this southwest Louisiana village are getting a new telephone exchange, one without the biblical connotations attached to their current 666.

Beginning this month, residents and businesses can change the first three digits of their phone numbers from 666 to 749. Walker said he's made the change on his phone; it's set to be official for City Hall Jan. 2, and Walker said he'd had "20" people contact him Friday morning — before 10 a.m. — about changing, as well.

"This boils down to, this is a very, very religious community," Walker said.

There are three churches in town, two Bible and one Baptist, and fewer than 450 homes, he said. In the Bible, 666 is depicted as the mark of the beast, and those taking the mark would be associating themselves with Satan, he said.

"It's been a 40-year battle" to change the number, he said, counting at least four failed attempts.

This year, after a resident contacted the mayor with questions about the prefix, Walker said he polled residents and found overwhelming support for a change. He worked with the phone company, CenturyTel, and the state Public Service Commission among others to make the change. He said he began publicizing the option Sunday, addressing first the local churches and then reaching out to local media.

"It's been a black eye for our town, a stigma," he said. "I don't think it's anything bad on us, just an image."

Walker said one of the biggest hangups he's had, both as mayor and as a lifelong resident of Reeves, is the reaction he's gotten when giving people his number. He describes it as a pause, followed by the admonition: "Y'all have to change that."

"That's what we're trying to get rid of," he said. "This is a good town. ... We're good Christian people."

"Child's Wal-Mart MP3 Player loaded with filth"

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A father gave his 10-year-old daughter a Christmas present that would make Santa blush.

Now Daryl Hill wants to know why an MP3 video player he bought at a Wal-Mart in Sparta was preloaded with p_rn_graphy and expl!c!t songs.

Hill bought three of the players as Christmas presents for his children. He said one of the devices had apparently been returned to the store from a previous owner who loaded $ex clips and songs with lyrics about using drugs.

"Within 10 minutes, my daughter was crying," Hill said Thursday. "I wish I could take the thoughts and images out of her head."

Hill questioned why Wal-Mart Stores Inc. would sell used merchandise as new, which he said violates its own policies.

A company spokesman said in an e-mail to WSMV-TV of Nashville that stores are not supposed to return opened packages to the sales floor and that the matter was under investigation.

Hill said he declined Wal-Mart's offer to replace the MP3 player. He said he has already bought his daughter a new one and is hanging onto the controversial one until he talks to a lawyer.

"New Jersey Bans Sex Offenders From Using Internet"

EWING, N.J. (AP)— Convicted sex offenders who used the Internet to help them commit their crimes will be banned from using the Internet under a measure signed into law Thursday.

The bill applies to people who, for example, lured a potential victim through e-mail or other electronic messages. It also affects paroled sex offenders under lifetime supervision, but exempts computer work done as part of a job or search for employment.

"We live in scary times," said Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey, who signed the bill because Gov. Jon S. Corzine is vacationing in the Caribbean.

Under the law, sex offenders will have to let the state Parole Board know about their access to computers. Those caught using the Internet would face 18 months in jail and a $10,000 fine.

Convicted sex offenders will have to submit to periodic, unannounced examinations of their computer equipment and install equipment on their computers so their use can be monitored.

Parole officers can also order polygraph tests for convicts suspected of violating the Internet ban, said Parole Board Chairman Peter Barnes.

The Parole Board currently supervises about 4,200 paroled sex offenders whose sentencing guidelines call for lifetime supervision — regardless of whether their offenses involved the Internet.

The board last month approved new rules banning those convicts from using Internet social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

The Parole Board imposed the new restrictions after state officials discovered, after subpoenaing several sites, hundreds of profiles registered to convicted sex offenders.

No federal law restricts sex offenders' Internet use. Florida and Nevada are the only other states to impose such restrictions.

Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein, D-Mercer, said the new law provides a needed update to Megan's Law, which requires sex offenders to register with the state after being released from prison.

"When Megan's Law was enacted, few could envision a day when a sex offender hiding behind a fake screen name would be a mouse-click away from new and unwitting victims," she said.

"Madonna's directorial debut to premiere"

from via

Madonna's directorial debut is to premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in February.

Filth And Wisdom, which stars Gogol Bordello's Eugene Hutz and Richard E. Grant, will be shown out of competition, say organizers.

It is not yet known if the singer will go to the German capital to promote the short film.

The Berlin Film Festival runs from February 7-17, reports the BBC.

"Warner offers DRM-free music on Amazon"

Warner Music Group, a major holdout on selling music online without copy protection, caved in to the growing trend Thursday and agreed to sell its tunes on Inc.'s digital music store.

Until now, Warner Music had resisted offering songs by its artists in the MP3 format, which can be copied to multiple computers and burned onto CDs without restriction and played on most PCs and digital media players, including Apple Inc.'s iPod and Microsoft Corp.'s Zune.

The deal raises the total number of MP3s for sale through Amazon's music download store to more than 2.9 million. Warner Music's entire catalog, including work by artists Led Zeppelin, Aretha Franklin and Sean Paul, will be added to the site throughout the week. The Amazon store launched with nearly 2.3 million songs in September.

Major music labels Universal Music Group and EMI Music Group PLC had already signed to sell large portions of their catalogs on Amazon, as had thousands of independent labels. Most songs cost 89 cents to 99 cents each and most albums sell for $5.99 to $9.99.

Warner Music Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Edgar Bronfman Jr. had been reluctant to follow in the steps of the rival recording companies.

In February, when Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs penned an essay calling on record labels to drop Digital Rights Management from tracks sold on the company's iTunes Store, Bronfman shot back during a conference call with Wall Street analysts: "We will not abandon DRM nor services that are successfully implementing DRM for both content and consumers."

The recording industry had argued that DRM itself is not what makes some songs incompatible with some digital players, but the fact that there are different versions of DRM in use. The companies suggested Apple, whose iPod outsells all other media players, should license its DRM technology to other music services.

Apple didn't budge, and the industry's position began to unravel when EMI struck a deal with Apple to sell DRM-free versions of its music on iTunes. A few months later, Universal announced it would do the same with a host of online retailers — with the exception of iTunes.

In an e-mail obtained by The Associated Press and distributed to Warner employees Thursday, Bronfman noted that selling downloads without DRM would help spur new types of online music applications and foster competition among online retailers.

"By removing a barrier to the sale and enjoyment of audio downloads, we bring an energy-sapping debate to a close and allow ourselves to refocus on opportunities and products that will benefit not only WMG, but our artists and our consumers as well," Bronfman wrote.

Philip Leigh, a senior analyst with the research group Inside Digital Media, said Warner Music's changing strategy is a signal that all the record labels will move in the same direction, including the last major player to drag its heels, Sony BMG Music Entertainment.

"It's not surprising they've chosen to do this first with Amazon," Leigh said. "They don't want to admit to Apple right away that they were wrong. They would rather do it indirectly."

Warner Music did not comment beyond statements in a news release Thursday, but Leigh said it is likely the company is discussing a similar deal with Apple.

Pete Baltaxe, director of digital music at Amazon, emphasized in an interview that the retailer's music store stands out from most competitors like iTunes in that it only sells MP3s, rather than a mix of protected and unprotected music

from AP - By JESSICA MINTZ, AP Technology

AP Business Writer Alex Veiga in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

"TV Exec may be Jamie Lynn Spears' real baby daddy??"

The plot may be thickening folks.... Star Magazine is reporting that Spears family members are allegedly hinting that 18 year old assumed-baby daddy Casey Aldridge may not be the baby daddy after all. What they are alleging is that Mr. Aldridge is being paid off to be the fall guy so potential baby daddy #2 doesn't get thrown in the klink.

These sources allegedly claim that Spears & Aldridge were barely seeing each other as of late, and that the yet unnamed baby daddy #2 may be a substantially older executive who works on Jamie Lynn's TV show Zoey 101. Whatever that is...

Anyway, if true said baby daddy would indeed face statutory rape charges. So, that's the word on the tabloid street. I'm waiting to see her on Maury Povich any day now. - Ace:)

"Jam of the moment: 12/27/07"

OK, I may get a little flack due to the stigma attached to the artist providing my current 'Jam of the moment', but hear me out.

On September 18th of this year Rhino Records released a double CD set titled The Bee Gees "Greatest" Special Edition. While I didn't get my hands on it until today (promo copy) - I must say that I am VERY impressed by the track offered for your listening pleasure below.

It's Supreme Beings of Leisure's remix of "How Deep is Your Love". In essence it can be considered to be a 30 year anniversary remix, as the original version ruled the charts exactly 30 years ago this week - but I know what you're thinking... The Bee Gees? Yes, the Bee Gees, but this remix is done quite well. Nice and subtle.... Warm like a sunny Spring day. OK, I'll stop being corny and get down to business.

The remix is brilliant in my opinion. Check it out below.


Here's what Wikipedia has to say about the original version of "How Deep is Your Love" - Ace:)

"How Deep Is Your Love" is a song recorded by the Bee Gees in 1977. Originally intended for Yvonne Elliman, it was ultimately used as part of the soundtrack to the film Saturday Night Fever. It was a number three hit in the UK. In the U.S., it topped the Billboard Hot 100 on December 24, 1977 and stayed in the Top-10 for a then-record 17 weeks.

The song was ranked #366 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Along with "Stayin' Alive", it is one of the group's two songs on the list.

Google's Top 10 Global Searches of 2007

01. American Idol
02. YouTube
03. Britney Spears
04. 2007 Cricket World Cup
05. Chris Benoit
06. iPhone
07. Anna Nicole Smith
08. Paris Hilton
09. Iran
10. Vanessa Hudgens

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"Charity, Not Paris, Getting Hilton Fortune"


NEW YORK - Hotel heiress Paris Hilton 's potential inheritance dramatically diminished after her grandfather Barron Hilton announced plans on Wednesday to donate 97 percent of his $2.3 billion fortune to charity.

That wealth includes $1.2 billion Barron Hilton stands to earn from both the recent sale of Hilton Hotels Corp. -- started by his father Conrad in 1919 when he bought a small hotel in Cisco, Texas -- and pending sale of the world's biggest casino company, Harrah's Entertainment Inc.

That money will be placed in a charitable trust that will eventually benefit the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, raising its total value to about $4.5 billion, the foundation said in a statement.

Barron Hilton, chairman of the foundation, intends "to contribute 97 percent of his entire net worth, estimated today at $2.3 billion, including the created trusts, at whatever value it is at the time of his passing," the foundation said.

Paris Hilton was not immediately available for comment on her grandfather's plans for his fortune.

Jerry Oppenheimer, who profiled the Hilton family in his 2006 book "House of Hilton," has said Barron Hilton is embarrassed by the behavior of his socialite granddaughter Paris and believes it has sullied the family name.

Barron Hilton, who is 80, has not commented on Oppenheimer's remarks.

The foundation supports projects that provide clean water in Africa, education for blind children, and housing for the mentally ill. Its aims, based on Conrad Hilton's will, are "to relieve the suffering, the distressed and the destitute."

"Speaking for the family as well as the foundation, we are all exceedingly proud and grateful for this extraordinary commitment," said Steven Hilton, one of Barron's sons and president and chief executive of the foundation.

Conrad Hilton established the foundation in 1944 and when he died in 1979 left virtually all of his fortune -- including, according to media reports at the time, a 27 percent controlling stake in Hilton Hotels -- to the charity.

But Barron Hilton challenged the will and after a nearly decade-long legal struggle reached an out-of-court settlement to split ownership of the shares with the foundation in 1988, The New York Times reported.

The hotel group was sold for $20 billion in October to private equity firm Blackstone Group, while the acquisition of Harrah's -- of which Barron Hilton was a board member until 2006 -- is due to be completed by Apollo Management and TPG Capital in early 2008.

Paris, a symbol of celebrity privilege in America, gained notoriety in 2003 when a home video of her having sex with a boyfriend was posted on the Internet.

She parlayed her notoriety, fueled by tabloid headlines about her partying lifestyle, into a celebrity career that has included a reality television show, a book, a music album, and film roles. Then this year she spent more than three weeks in jail for violating probation in a drunk-driving case.

"Man gets breast implants in leg to enhance tattoo"

from - by Jesse Perez

We've all heard of man-boobs, but heres a kind of man-boob you may not be familiar with.

Lane Jensen, a body art enthusiast, has had two small breast implants surgically inserted into his leg, to make a tattoo of a buxom beauty appear more real in all the right areas.

Brian Decker, owner of Pure Body Arts, performed the unusual surgery which only took 45 minutes to complete. Lane said he felt nothing more than a "small bruise", and was very impressed with his brand new miniature breasts.

Off the wall says: This man can quite literally say that he is now both a "leg and breast" man.

(Image from and

"Where are they now? The scary twin girls from Kubrick's The Shining"

from - by Timothy Sexton

Perhaps only Stanley Kubrick could have made the most terrifying scene in all of film history using only three kids and a Big Wheel.

Lisa and Louise Burns were real-life twin sisters who played the unfortunate victims of an earlier psychopathic caretaker of the Overlook Hotel. The bizarre appearance of the young girls and their disturbing British accent stamped them indelibly into the nightmares of countless generations of filmgoers.

Where are they now?

How do you top one of the all-time great movie debuts in cinematic history? One way is by never making another movie. Neither girl apparently made another film or even appeared onscreen again except in a VH-1 "Where are They Now?" episode devoted to kids who appeared in horror films.

Instead, both girls went the academic route. Lisa has a degree in Literature, while her sister went on to become a microbiologist.

"12 inches of hard plastic :You too can be an Action Figure!"


Ever wish you could have your very own customized action figure? Well, you can. Custom Action Figures ($425/1st, $40 for each copy) from Hero Builders will make you into a 12" plastic warrior, complete with glasses, clothes, tattoos, weapons, and any other personalization you'd like. Plus, you can get a talking figure for the same price — extra copies of those will run you $50 each. Finally, you can kick Skeletor's ass yourself, using nothing but your plastic fists.

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"Florida record shop holding its own - for now"

from - photo & story by Steve Liner

Collectors, purists aid in vinyl's comeback

Tucked away far west on Tharpe Street in an industrial section characterized more by mechanics' shops than retail stores is LP's Music and More.

Owner and manager Leo Percy presides over the shop he and his wife, Delbra, have owned jointly since 2002. Inside is an assortment of more than 13,000 vinyl record albums and 7-inch "45s" (a reference to the speed at which a turntable rotates to recreate the music), cassette tapes, compact disks, 8-track tapes, an assortment of turntables, amplifiers, speakers and even 8-track playback units. Percy even has a couple of vintage stereo consoles — remnants of an original supply of "about 40" he had when the shop opened.

As tough as small business is, said Leo Percy, this may be among the toughest to keep going. Last month, he said, he informed his landlord that December might be the last month for the store.

"We're barely hanging on," Percy said of the past few months when income did not meet the business's financial needs. "This month we've made enough to pay the bills."

So, the shop and its collection will survive at least through January "and hopefully beyond, if we get enough support."

Even if the storefront is lost, he said, he will maintain the collections. In fact, that is where LP's Music and More found its beginning: Leo Percy's passion for rock and roll and the collection it spawned.

It all started in the late 1960s when Percy's father returned from Vietnam and gave his son the gift of "The Ballad of the Green Beret" by Barry Sadler. A copy of that same album is in the store today, used to test equipment.

"I know each song by heart," Percy said. "I can listen to it and tell if a turntable is turning too fast or slow. I know how it is supposed to sound."

Technically, LP's Music and More buys and sells recordings. In its time the shop has handled records that spin at 16 revolutions per minute (rpm), 33 1/3, 45 and 78 rpm. In the shop now there are no 16s ("I've only seen this speed used by the military," he explained.) or fragile 78s ("If you drop them, they will break."). The majority of titles are on LPs, long-play albums.

Vinyl records are making somewhat of a comeback lately among collectors and music purists, who believe the analog recordings sound better due to a richer tone not evident with digital versions. And LPs are prized for the artwork on their covers.

The price for record albums is set based on the condition of the record and its cover, combined with the rarity and demand for it. The oldest recordings in his shop are from the Diamonds from the late 1950s, and Dion and the Belmonts from the late '50s and early '60s, Percy said.

Never much of a financial success, the shop has survived on word-of-mouth referrals and support from regulars. Now it faces a real peril of closing.

"Every time the cost of gas goes up, business goes down," Percy said.

To add to the trouble, the college students who were once both good customers and good at telling friends about the store are now grown and no longer in town.

Customers range in age from 8 well into their 60s, but Percy refers to the 18- to 55-year-olds as the "core."

Will his passion for the music overcome the growing technical differences in this world of digital music? There is a glimmer of hope. Mentioned as one of the fastest growing electronics trends today is a computer interface that will allow consumers to digitize their own record collections at home. That should increase the call for albums at the shop in 2008, Percy said.

If so, LP's Music and More might make it to see another Christmas.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

"Jokester 'sends' holiday greetings from afterlife"

ASHLAND, Ore. (AP) - Even in death, Chet Fitch is a card.

Fitch, known for his sense of humor, died in October at age 88 but gave his friends and family a start recently: Christmas cards, 34 of them, began arriving - written in his hand with a return address of "Heaven."

The greeting read: "I asked Big Guy if I could sneak back and send some cards. At first he said no; but at my insistence he finally said, 'Oh well, what the heaven, go ahead but don't (tarry) there.' Wish I could tell you about things here but words cannot explain.

"Better get back as Big Guy said he stretched a point to let me in the first time, so I had better not press my luck. I'll probably be seeing you (some sooner than you think). Wishing you a very Merry Christmas. Chet Fitch"

A friend for nearly 25 years, Debbie Hansen Bernard said, "All I could think was, 'You little stinker."'

"It was amazing," she said. "Just so Chet, always wanting to get the last laugh."

The mailing was a joke Fitch worked on for two decades with his barber, Patty Dean, 57. She told the Ashland Daily Tidings this week that he kept updating the mailing list and giving her extra money when postal rates went up. This fall, she said, Fitch looked up to her from the chair.

"You must be getting tired of waiting to mail those cards," he told her. "I think you'll probably be able to mail them this year."

He died a week later.

"Scantily dressed Santa arrested outside Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Some gifts from Kris Kringle are better kept wrapped.

A man in a Santa hat was arrested Sunday night for investigation of drunken driving after he was spotted outside Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood wearing a wig, a red lace camisole and a purple G-string, police said.

"We are pretty sure this is not the Santa Claus," Deputy Chief Ken Garner said.

The suspect was booked into jail after his blood-alcohol level measured just above the state's legal limit of .08, police said. He was later released on $5,000 bail.

The man, who is 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 280 pounds, also wore black leg warmers and black shoes. His car was towed to an impound yard, police said.

Monday, December 24, 2007

"Retro video : Crazy Eddie Christmas Sale"

Looking for a last minute Christmas gift? No worries... Head over to Crazy Eddie's. His prices are indeed insane. Oh yeah, you'll need a time machine to do so. - Ace:)

"Scientists inscribe entire Bible on head of a pin"

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israeli scientists have inscribed the entire Hebrew text of the Jewish Bible onto a space less than half the size of a grain of sugar.

The nanotechnology experts at the Technion institute in Haifa say the text measures less than 0.01 square inch surface. They chose the Jewish Bible to highlight how vast quantities of information can be stored in minimum amounts of space.

"It took us about an hour to etch the 300,000 words of the Bible onto a tiny silicon surface," Ohad Zohar, the university's scientific adviser for educational programs, told the Associated Press.

The Technion's microscopic Bible was created by blasting tiny particles called gallium ions at an object that then rebounded, causing an etching effect.

"When a particle beam is directed toward a point on the surface, the gold atoms bounce off and expose the silicon layer underneath just like a hammer and chisel," Zohar said.

Zohar said the technology will in the future be used as a way to store vast amounts of data on bio-molecules and DNA.

The tiny Bible appears to be the world's smallest.

The previous smallest known copy of the Bible measured 1.1 x 1.3 x 0.4 inches, weighing 0.4 ounces and containing 1,514 pages, according to Guinness World Records spokeswoman Amarilis Espinoza. The tiny text, obtained by an Indian professor in November 2001, is believed to have originated in Australia.

photo by Ariel Schalit

"Platterpus Records finds fondness for vinyl online"

from - by Anna Marie Kukec

When a photographer and musician met five years ago, they didn't expect something as common as vinyl would lead them into a business partnership.

Peter Kuehl, 40, of Schaumburg and Christopher Grey, 41, of St. Charles own Addison-based Platterpus Records (, an online vinyl record store.

Vinyl LPs and 45s are hardly high-tech but they're the center of a global business that has been growing thanks to the Internet. Avid fans worldwide are seeking certain artists or songs that just aren't available yet on CDs.

Most Platterpus customers are from the U.S., Japan, Korea and United Kingdom, they said.

"A lot of college kids are buying the old vinyl because their parents had them. They've become very retro," Grey said.

The two men met about five years ago when Kuehl was photographing Grey's suburban band, the Swizzlesticks. The two men and their wives became friends. Kuehl later helped photograph albums for posting on Grey's eBay record store, Shades of Grey.

Then Grey saw a Louisville, Ky.-based business, Platterpus Records, was posted for sale on eBay. Grey convinced Kuehl of its possibilities.

In April, the men rented a U-Haul truck and drove to Kentucky to buy out Platterpus. They loaded up 25,000 albums and added them to Grey's 50,000 already being stored in a warehouse behind his graphics business in Addison.

"Vinyls are making a comeback now because of a lot of younger bands have been recording on both vinyl and on a CD," said Kuehl.

When you purchase vinyl albums today, they often come with a CD or a coupon to go online to download the music to MP3 players.

Platterpus sells albums from the 1950s through today at prices ranging from $2 to $250. Some rare albums have fetched much more.

The partners recently sold the Marvelettes' "Please Mr. Postman" from the 1960s for $90; a jazz organist Rhoda Scott album also from the 1960s for $250; and a Patti Smith LP, "Radio Ethiopia," signed by the singer-songwriter for $1,200.

While not all vinyl albums are keepers, others are melted down to make quaint dishes that are filled with candy and sold as gifts, the men said.

The old-time music and gifts are expected to reap about $80,000 in sales this year, they estimated.

And they're in the market to buy and sell even more records in the coming year and upgrade their Web site to be more interactive.

"This business is a definite connection with my youth," Grey said. "Vinyl was a big part of my life growing up and listening to something good and enjoying it all. It's just been great."

The partners also made a promotional video that has been active on YouTube ( It shows a young girl trying to reach for a cookie jar in a top kitchen shelf. She's finally successful when she climbs on top of a stack of vinyl record albums.

The tagline then says: "Let's see an MP3 player do that."

photo by Tanit Jarusan

"Apple to launch iPod with automatic volume control"


Amid concerns of hearing damage for iPod owners, technological giant Apple is set to introduce a line of the popular music-playing devices that will automatically decrease their volume, the London Daily Mail reported Sunday.

A new patent reveals that the next iPods and iPhones will be able to automatically calculate how long a person has been listening and at what volume before turning down the sound level, the Mail reported.

The device will also be capable of calculating the amount of "quiet time" between when the iPod is turned off and when it is restarted, making it possible for volume to be increased again.

Currently, iPods are capable of playing music at over 100 decibels when anything over 70 decibels is considered unsafe, the Mail reported.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

"Kate Moss lawyers-up to stop release of raunchy home video"


If she didn't already regret dating Pete Doherty, Kate Moss has new reason to dislike her troubled ex.

Doherty, the drug-addled British singer whom Moss was engaged to, is reportedly in negotiations to sell the couple's story to Britain's ITV2 network, and the sale would include the pair's private home videos for broadcast. Page Six reports that the documentary would be titled "Kate & Pete: A Love Story," and that Doherty stands to make $1 million from the sale.

According to Page Six, Moss is furious with Doherty's actions, and has her legal team working to block the release of the home videos.

"Kate is furious with Pete," a Page Six source said. "She has contacted her lawyers and plans to get an injunction to stop the production. Some of it is really raunchy stuff Kate believed would never be seen by anyone else."

Doherty and Moss' erratic relationship ended for good last summer after years of on-and-off romance. During their relationship, Moss was famously photographed doing lines of what appeared to be cocaine in Doherty's studio, leaving many blaming Doherty for being a bad influence on the supermodel.

"Florida Cops: Parents tried to sell baby in store parking lot for $30"

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — A couple was charged Friday with trying to sell their 2-month-old baby for $30 in a store parking lot, authorities said.

Robert G. Ellingson, 23, approached two people in the PetSmart parking lot and offered them a beer. When they refused, he offered to sell his child, Escambia County Sheriff's officials said.

"At first they thought it was a joke," sheriff's spokesman Glenn Austin told the Pensacola News Journal. "But then the mother yelled to the group that they were trying to sell the baby. And one of them called us."

Ellingson and Maghen Duvala, 25, the baby's mother, were each charged with four counts of child neglect. They were being held in Escambia County jail — he for $27,000 and she for $15,000. It was not immediately known if they had legal representation. They were expected to make a first appearance Saturday.

The Department of Children & Families took custody of the baby, whose name was not released.

Authorities said the couple also tried to sell their baby in a bank parking lot a few blocks away an hour earlier. They are each charged separately for that incident by Pensacola police with one count of child neglect.