Monday, August 29, 2011

It's been a while

Hey folks, how goes it? Your old pal ThinkSoJoE here to try and bring some life back to this old blog. This is what I'll be using this site for: Product reviews! Yes folks, I will review ANYTHING from ANYONE - within reason, of course. New CD from your band? Send it this way for review! New film you produced? I'll watch and review it! New product about to roll out in stores? Guess what, I'll tell the world what I think of it right here on ThinkSoJoE Reviews!

Stay tuned for more posts and plenty more info on how you can get your stuff featured here on the site - and keep an eye out for random observations like you'd expect from me!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Re-direct your browsers!

I should've posted this a while back, but ThinkSoJoE's thoughts has a new home. Point your browsers to to keep up with all the latest on thinksobrain's frontman!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

HostNine is obsessed...

This article is going to be posted on as soon as it's transferred to my DreamHost account, but I didn't think I should wait for that to happen. S5P has been hosted on HostNine's service since it was resurrected as a .net in early 2007, but something happened. I didn't pay them, and they suspended the page. Well, so I thought. There was a suspension page in place of the website for a while, I did get suspension notices from them, but on August 22, 2007, I received what would be my last e-mail for nearly three months - a third and final suspension notice.

On December 23rd, a chance click on a link to had a surprising result - the page was live. No suspension page, just the real live Fast forward to January 9, 2008. I check my e-mail when I get to work as I always do, and I have four e-mails from HostNine, each one an invoice for one of the months since the site was to be suspended. I hadn't logged in for a while, so I did a password request, which I received, followed momentarily by a fifth invoice. I decided that I wasn't going to deal with that. I started trying to find the EPP Authorization Code for the site so that I could transfer to Dreamhost. After searching for a while, I go to a live chat session with a HostNine representative named Mike. Well, after sitting around waiting for a rep, that is. Anyways, Mike directs me to send an e-mail to the support department at HostNine asking for the key, and that to take care of the billing issue I'd have to open a billing support ticket.

After e-mailing the support department for my EPP code, I decided to open the billing ticket while I was waiting for a reply. I offered to pay the billing department for two of the five months they were charging me for, as those were the only ones, to my knowledge, that the site was online. As I'm typing, I receive FOUR more e-mails from HostNine, each one with the subject line "HostNine LLC :: Suspend Notice #1".

After submitting the billing ticket, I received another e-mail, confirming that the ticket had been opened. Moments later, I receive two more e-mails - one with the EPP code and one telling me they sent me the EPP code. The last e-mail from HostNine is from their billing department in response to my help ticket. It was instructions on how to cancel my account. Now, it's been about three years since I worked in customer service, but isn't it their job to try and retain customers? I offered a solution to my issue, and all they could do is pretty much tell me to go away.

I should be only a couple of days away from having under my DreamHost account, and I can't wait - then I can put this HostNine crap behind me.

And here's a picture of my e-mail inbox:

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Great Desktop Linux Debate

Yeah, it's a radical jump in topics to go from problems in the recording industry to something like the debate surrounding Linux on the desktop. However, aside from being the frontman of a heavy metal band, I consider myself to be somewhat of a techie.

Now it seems I can't go a day without seeing a post on the Digg frontpage that has something to do with whether or not Linux will ever be a viable alternative to Windows for the every day user. I'm going to throw my two cents into the debate because I happen to be a Linux user myself.

Personally I think the debate itself is stupid. Who really gives a shit. Linux users? Why would they? Linux has been around for over 16 years, and while it's closer than ever to being a viable alternative to Microsoft's expensive proprietary Windows operating system, it's not going to cease to exist if it fails to become widely accepted by the masses by 2008. The developers will continue to develop and Linux will continue marching on, just as they have been since 1991.

I'm a Kubuntu user myself, and while it's great to see the platform succeed, it's not going to kill me if it doesn't crack 20% market share any time soon. Speaking of which, if you're reading this you probably already know this, but the newest Ubuntu release will be available beginning today. Get it here!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Congratulations are in order...

The court case that I mentioned in yesterday's post is over. The victor? Surprisingly enough, it's the RIAA. While yours truly was hoping for a victory for defendant Jammie Thomas, the jury in the copyright infringement case thought otherwise.

For me, I feel it's a setback to the entire music industry. As I stated in my previous post, I truly believe that the idea of record labels as a whole is just a flawed business model. A fellow heavy metal fan calls the recording industry a "backwards, dysfunctional industry." In fact, before I proceed any further with my thoughts here, I'd like you guys to take a second to click that link I posted in the previous sentence. It's a very good read and I'm very much in agreement with what the writer says.

I feel as though record labels should be done away with. It's my belief that bands can make it without record deals. Self-promotion through the internet is easier than ever, and file sharing has made it easier to expose people to your music.

I envision the future of the music business as such: bands promote themselves via the internet. Albums will be available freely for digital distribution via bands' websites, or in CD form for a small price at shows. CDs had every right to cost $15 - $20 twenty years ago when the technology was new. In these modern times of CD-R and CD-RW, consumers know how much it costs to make a CD, but record labels are still stuck in their greedy ways.

All in all, the recording industry has become nothing more than one more blood-sucking parasite trying to capitalize on the hard work, dedication, and naivety of musicians. I'd like to state for the record that should my band ever sign with a label, it will be on our terms, set up in a way that benefits us before it benefits the record label.

I'm exhausted, and at this point feel as if I continue this diatribe, I will ultimately compromise the integrity of the statements I've made thusfar. As such, I will bid you all a fond farewell for now, and I promise to be back with thoughts on more than just the RIAA.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Record Companies: a story of a failed business model.

Greetings. I'm sure an introduction of myself is due, considering that this is my first post here on my new blog. However, I'm going to skip that formality and save it for another time because I'm in the mood to rant.

I've been reading lately about a legal case between the RIAA and a lady named Jammie Thomas. The RIAA claims that Jammie Thomas used Kazaa to illegally download music off the internet. Normally I don't pay a lot of attention to these kind of things, but a popular story I read on Digg last night caught my eye. Apparently, a Sony-BMG anti-piracy lawyer by the name of Jennifer Pariser believes that ripping just one song to your hard drive from a CD that you purchased legally for backup purposes is illegal. The same article also states that "Pariser noted that music labels make no money on touring, radio, or merchandise, which leaves the company particularly exposed to the negative effects of file-sharing."

Herein lies the problem, and my issue with this whole stance. The fact that record labels make no money on touring, radio, or merch has absolutely nothing to do with file sharing. I'm sorry Columbia Records, Sony BMG, Interscope, and all of the other major labels, all you're there for is to distribute the music and promote your artists, and that's not up for debate here. The issue is that you're supposedly losing money because a girl downloaded a few songs off of the internet. Yet you miraculously still have enough money to take people to court. Except, that's costing you money too.

My two cents: Record companies are no longer necessary. In the digital age, artists don't necessarily need to get signed to a national label to get their music heard across the world. It's my belief that it's a pretty well known fact that most artists don't make any more money from record sales than the record companies make on tours and merchandise. The music fans who want to download their favorite songs or artists shouldn't have to be subjected to lawsuits because record labels are all still using an obsolete business model.

Metallica experienced a severe fan backlash when they sued Napster for the same thing that the record labels are suing individual people for. The problem with that? Metallica didn't need a major label to get noticed - their "No Life 'Til Leather" demo made it from California to New York from people making copies and sharing them with their friends. I'd also be remiss if I didn't point out that the majority of artists who have spoken out against file sharing are artists that have been on top of their respective genres and sell enough records to make money off of it.

So as a counter-point to the RIAA, I'd like to state that file sharing is a good thing, and record labels are unnecessary. A friend once told me that there's nothing that anybody else can do for your band that you can't do for yourself. Smaller bands are learning that, and although they're not making the same money that the top selling bands are, they're still becoming more and more well known through self-promotion. Indeed, children, the day the music dies, it will not be file sharing left standing as the destroyer, but the RIAA and it's affiliated record labels.

And for the record, my name is ThinkSoJoE, and I'm in a band called thinksobrain. Hey look, I can promote a band too!