Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Saturday, February 24, 2007

  Headphone fetish

I don't have any fetishes (that I'll admit to publically). But I have to confess that hot women in headphones touches a chord. Earbuds just don't do it for me, ya know? But princess Leia's ludicrous locks? Mmmm. What is it about muffins around the ears I like so much?

I don't know what is. Maybe it's because every picture of a girl you see with headphones on - she's happy - or intensely channeling her muse - singing.... something....

I don't understand it.




A big thank you to everyone that contributed to ardour this month!. I was losing faith in the long tail, I truly was. Get your headphones on!

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

  Ardour 93% of the way there, please help!

Well, after the initial flurry of publicity, donations to ardour.org sped up... but have now slowed to a crawl. All ardour needs is a few more donations and a few more subscribers to meet its funding goal for the month.

Much progress towards the Ardour 2.0 release has been made in the last month.

Many bug fixes have now rendered ardour2 betas stable enough for day to day use.

A few days back John Anderson's Mackie driver made it into ardour trunk. Now at least two surfaces that speak the Mackie control protocol - the Mackie MCU itself and the bcf2000 - are working.


Me - I've started on an Ardour 2.1 project - the frontier alphatrack - but I still have some major surgery to perform on the tranzport I/O before it's production-ready for 2.0. Thing is, it's easier to rewrite the alphatrack code the way I want, then modify the tranzport code... so that's how I'm doing it. I've got the protocol all figured out, it's just grafting 2006 concepts onto a 1981 I/O layer slowing me down.

Still, the Ardour 2 is never going to get released without funding, so if you're an ardour user - or want to become one - please visit us in the #ardour channel on irc.freenode.org - and/or donate!

The music you save may be your own. Isn't that worth something?

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  What is the sound that rockets make?

Randall Clague wrote in and told me Alan Jensen had the answer: "The Thunder of Heaven"

I like it. Still, methinks "the sound of freedom" is easier to get funding on. Also: enough people dug this rocket engine test pic that a high-resolution version of it is now available as a poster. I doubt we can get to LEO on the revenue from T-shirts, posters, and bake sales alone, but every little bit helps.
 
Monday, February 19, 2007

  converting stock in private corporations

I happen to own a lot of stock in a corporation that is not public. Everytime I turn around, they garner new investment, however. Naturally, although that stock has a (steadily declining through dilution) "value" - the stock is not convertible into dollars, and judging from the way the place is run, and Sarbanes-Oxley - it seems unlikely that they will ever go public. I worked my ass off for that stock, and am more than a little envious of the people whose companies "made it" - the googlers in particular - because I tend to feel that a corporation making it public, or not making it public - is more a matter of luck and intention than actual corporate value.

In a world where stock options are taxable, and the tax on "gifts"preclude people from taking a space trip as a prize, why should employee stock remain forever unconvertible? Shouldn't one of the requirements of incorporation and issuing stock be: to one day, make good on that paper promise - or dissolve? Early corporations had to do this [reference needed], why not now?

Or, if additional investors are found for a corporation, shouldn't the existing and (increasingly unwilling) investors - namely former employee stock holders - get a chance to sell their shares first to the new investor(s) ?

If I could convert my stock - at it's declared face value as of Dec 5th, 2006- I'd be *completely* out of debt and have no worries for a long time. I could have some fun. So I have to admit my motivations are somewhat selfish in this case. BUT:

Wouldn't it make sense to be able to offer that nonconvertible stock - at some point in a private corporation's lifetime - to SOMEONE - at some discount - I'd love to say to the IRS this april 15th - "sorry, I'm low on cash this month, and due to the tax dis-incentives you've provided to my ex-employer for going public I can't sell this stock myself - here - *you* take it. "

Individual current and former employee stockholders in a pre-public corporation are otherwise powerless.

At least the above modifications to the stockholder laws in the US would close the embrace to be purely between the IRS and the corporation and - leave me out of it.
 
David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


Resume,Songs,
My new blog, NeX-6, My facebook page
Orgs I like
The EFF - keeping free speech in the world
Musical stuff I like
Jeff, Rick, Ardour, Jack
Prior Rants - Wireless and Wifi in 2015 - not what I dreamed of Saving wifi! Fixing Bufferbloat! Fighting the vend... Virgin Media - Fixing the epidemic of bufferbloat ... 49... and trying to find my navel Wheels down on mars! Tracking the landing of Curiosity, from Seattle spotting NEOs from around venus's orbit Asteroids as lunar orbit resources SOPA is bad news Departing France for England, then 'home'.
Best of the blog:
Uncle Bill's Helicopter - A speech I gave to ITT Tech - Chicken soup for engineers
Beating the Brand - A pathological exploration of how branding makes it hard to think straight
Inside the Internet Mind - trying to map the weather within the global supercomputer that consists of humans and google
Sex In Politics - If politicians spent more time pounding the flesh rather than pressing it, it would be a better world
Getting resources from space - An alternative to blowing money on mars using NEAs.
On the Columbia - Why I care about space
Authors I like:
Doc Searls
Where's Cherie?
UrbanAgora
Jerry Pournelle
The Cubic Dog
Evan Hunt
The Bay Area is talking
Brizzled
Zimnoiac Emanations
Eric Raymond
Unlocking The Air
Bob Mage
BroadBand & Me
SpaceCraft
Selenian Boondocks
My Pencil
Transterrestial Musings
Bear Waller Hollar
Callahans
Pajamas Media BlogRoll Member

If you really want to, you can poke through the below links as well.

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