Three national corporations control nearly all of San Francisco's live music

Jamie Zawinski (previously), who owns San Francisco's amazing DNA Lounge venue, does a postmortem on the announcements from Slim's and the Great American Music Hall that they have "partnered" with Golden Voice, a division of Anschutz Entertainment Group, a $8 billion company that is the world's largest owner of sports teams and events; owns Coachella and ten other large festivals, and is in turned owned by a Fundamentalist, homophobic, climate change denier. Read the rest

Long, funny list of the many flaws in Blade Runner 2049

I enjoyed Blade Runner 2049, though I would have enjoyed it more if it was at least an hour shorter; Jamie Zawinski did not enjoy it for many inarguable reasons, ranging from plot holes ("Why is Leto's character blind? Dude you literally own an eyeball factory") to visual laziness ("Before [Las Vegas] was abandoned, all of its gaudy statuary had been replaced with gargantuan reproductions of the statues from The Korova Milk Bar from A Clockwork Orange. Really? That's all you got?") to all the scenes and scenarios lifted from better movies and made worse ("A love story between two people who are somewhere between 'poorly socialized' and 'not quite real'. Oh wait, that movie was called Her and it was excellent!"). Read the rest

Comprehensive roundup of articles about Uber's awfulness

Jamie Zawinski collected a good 20 different articles, each covering some nasty corner of Uber, a disgusting or illegal or plainly unethical thing someone there did, or some other reason why we should all stop giving it money. Here's a bonus one he didn't include: Tech and the Fake Market tactic, which points out that unlike other freelancer-based services, Uber treats drivers like employees and sets their prices. And guess what: Lyft is awful too! Read the rest

San Francisco's groundbreaking, wonderful DNA Lounge may have to close

Jamie "JWZ" Zawinski was an early Netscape employee; observing that the dotcom bubble that enriched him had gutted the San Francisco arts scene with rising rents, he sank his money into opening the DNA Lounge, which has been a San Francisco institution for nearly 20 years, and has been the location of some of the best times I've ever had in the Bay Area (including numerous EFF fundraisers). Read the rest

Kickstarting a parklet in SOMA's DNA lounge

Jamie "JWZ" Zawinski and the DNA Lounge are crowdfunding a "parklet" -- a tiny park inside a former parking-space -- out front of the DNA Lounge in San Francisco's SOMA. The DNA is a treasure, and Zawinski's plans for the parklet are ambitious and represent a significant improvement to Eleventh Street. They need $10K. Read the rest

Anno NTK: 15-year-old tech news just keeps on getting better

It's been just over a year since Anno NTK launched, a kind of Wayback Machine for the wonderful old-school UK tech newsletter Need to Know. Each week, Danny O'Brien will send you a fifteen-year-old edition of NTK, letting you catch up on the tech news of the late 1990s. This week's is especially grand:

Linus "Bigger than Elvis" Torvalds, accompanied by backing singers Alan Cox and Jamie Zawinski, will be fighting off the screaming teenage fans at Duke University's LINUX EXPO '98 this weekend. You're not there, clearly, otherwise you wouldn't be sober enough to read this. You can, however, glean a vicarious buzz by reading the inevitable flurry of announcements on the Website. Not least among them will be the definitive answer to the "Emacs vs Vi" question provided, not by a Magic Eightball, but by a magic *Paintball* face-off. It's the only way. - Linus! Linus! Marry me! MARRY ME! - looking forward to the cheers: "H-J-K-L, what can we pipe through ispell? VI!" "Give us a '(' - Give us another '('! Give us a '('!..."

Anno NTK Read the rest

JWZ: you don't need to sleep under your desk to succeed in a startup, but if you do, it'll make your VCs plenty rich

Prompted by his being quoted in Michael Arrington's article on how you should view your work at a startup, Jamie Zawinski opines that the reason that venture capitalists tell you that startups should involve health-destroying, life-destroying, brutal work is because doing this will make them rich, not you. He calls this a con. JWZ, who made a tidy sum by being an early Netscape engineer and used it to open San Francisco's legendary DNA Lounge venue, closes with these stirring words: "I recommend that you do what you love because you love doing it. If that means long hours, fantastic. If that means leaving the office by 6pm every day for your underwater basket-weaving class, also fantastic."

Follow the fucking money. When a VC tells you what's good for you, check your wallet, then count your fingers.

He's telling you the story of, "If you bust your ass and don't sleep, you'll get rich" because the only way that people in his line of work get richer is if young, poorly-socialized, naive geniuses believe that story! Without those coat-tails to ride, VCs might have to work for a living. Once that kid burns out, they'll just slot a new one in.

I did make a bunch of money by winning the Netscape Startup Lottery, it's true. So did most of the early engineers. But the people who made 100x as much as the engineers did? I can tell you for a fact that none of them slept under their desk.

Read the rest

HOWTO take pictures at a club/bar/venue

Jamie Zawinski, who owns San Francisco's DNA lounge, has some practical advice for people trying to shoot photos in dark venues, bars and clubs. In addition to tips on composition and lenses, he's got a lot of good solid stuff on bar etiquette:

Stop standing still. We know your photos are the most important thing in the world, but you're pissing off all the other customers by blocking their view with the enormous piece of gear you keep holding up. Especially if you're tall. Or have a ridiculous hat. Move around! Don't stand in any one spot for more than a minute. You will get a wider variety of photos, and you won't irritate the people whose view you're blocking if you weren't there long.

Also, keep your elbows tucked in. You don't have to hold your camera like you're impersonating a windmill. The less space you take up, the fewer people you will piss off.

Don't post photos where people look like crap.

This really should be obvious, but if a photo is unflattering or otherwise no good -- if the subject is making a stupid face, or the lighting accents their zits or whatever -- don't post it. Why do that to people? You're not Diane Arbus. Some photographers think "but people want to see pictures of themselves, so if I took it, I should post it!" but that's not actually true. For candid nightlife shots, people only want to see good pictures of themselves. If you don't have a good picture of them, you'll just make them feel bad.

Read the rest

Today is Run Some Old Web Browsers Day!

It being the tenth anniversary of Mozilla, Jamie "Founder of Mozilla Project" Zawinski has declared today "Run Some Old Web Browsers Day!" He's mirroring a bunch of lovely old pages from ", the Internet Web Site of the Mosaic Communications Corporation" for your antique browser pleasure.

* Trivia Question #1: Do you remember why through exist?

* Trivia Question #2: Do you remember the behavioral difference the browsers exhibited when they were talking to a Netscape web server?

* Trivia Question #3: When was the <HYPE> tag implemented, and what was its origin?

* I had originally planned on re-hosting these web sites on an SGI Indy running Mosaic Netsite Commerce Server, just for maximal comedic value... and to see how long it took before someone Øwned it, since there must be someone out there who still remembers how to launch an assault on Irix 5.3. Unfortunately, that wasn't possible for political reasons explained below.

Link Read the rest

Warner Music attacks specialized web-browser

Jamie Zawinski sez,

PearLyrics is a program that displays the lyrics of the currently-playing track in iTunes: it gets the lyrics from the ID3 tag in the MP3 file, or if they aren't in there, it searches for them on a few different web sites, and then saves them into the MP3s.

It's very handy: I managed to use it to download the lyrics for almost half of my music collection in one fell swoop.

Except that the author got a "Cease and Desist" letter from Warner/Chappel Music, who seem to think that his program -- which is, basically, nothing more than a specialized web browser -- is somehow in violation of their copyrights.

But, the author doesn't have the time or money to risk a lawsuit, so he panicked and pulled it.


(Thanks, JWZ!) Read the rest

Jamie Zawinski's "scrmabling" script

Jamie Zawinski has written a perl script to convert blocks of normal text into text where letters excluding the first and last are "scrmabled," to prove the point that legibility is only marginally affected by altering spelling of words, provided that first/last letters are left intact.

# Premssioin to use, cpoy, mdoify, drusbiitte, and slel this stafowre and its # docneimuatton for any prsopue is hrbeey ganrted wuihott fee, prveodid taht # the avobe cprgyioht noicte appaer in all coipes and that both taht # cohgrypit noitce and tihs premssioin noitce aeppar in suppriotng # dcoumetioantn. No rpeersneatiotns are made about the siuatbliity of tihs # srofawte for any puorpse. It is provedid "as is" wiuotht exerpss or # ilmpied waanrrty.

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Great snarky photo-caption

Curmudgeons like the infamous and accomplished Jamie Zawinski are one of the things that I love about the Internet, 'cause they pop off photo-captions like this one:

Dear Japanese people:

Please stop exploring your sexuality. It really freaks us out.

Love, American People.


Discuss Read the rest