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All The Rave 310

Posted by timothy
from the craziness dept.
livegoats writes "No self-respecting culture maven can deny their love affair with Napster. If you weren't spending your spare time in the years 99-00 downloading MP3s like a champ, it's likely you were still in diapers or dancing with wolves. Oh, Napster, we loved ye when. Joseph Menn's All The Rave: The Rise and Fall of Shawn Fanning's Napster carefully chronicles the life of the company -- from its age of innocence, though its battle with the powerful music industry, to its slow unraveling in 2001, a foreshadowing event for the rest of the dot-com world." Read on for Livegoats' review.
All the Rave: The Rise and Fall of Shawn Fanning's Napster
author Joseph Menn
pages 368
publisher Crown Publishing Group
rating 7
reviewer Libe Goad
ISBN 0609610937
summary If you love to read about the dot-com bust -- over and over -- this meticulously researched tome is for you. Keep a drink handy, however, it gets dry in parts.

One thing's certain: Menn, who covered Silicon Valley for the Los Angeles Times, meticulously researched his subject. The book is loaded with facts and figures, but more impressive is the level of National Enquirer-worthy details Menn milked from mountains of transcripts and one-on-one interviews.

Menn's discoveries can be described as nothing less than shocking, at least for anyone who hasn't followed the story blow-by-blow. We learn about Shawn's money-grubbing uncle, John Fanning, whose shady business practices cost the company numerous investors, but also the respect of his own family. Menn writes that at first Shawn Fanning was pleased when his uncle drew up papers incorporating Napster, Inc. Then the elder Fanning told Shawn he would be getting only 30 percent of the company. John Fanning would keep the rest. Shawn was stunned.

Menn also exposes Napster executives' ignorance of copyright laws, the company's pay-off to rapper Chuck D so he would publicly support file sharing and rockstress Courtney Love's flirtations with Shawn, whom she once introduced at an award show as her future husband.

With a boatload of rock stars and other curious characters, you'd think the spectacle of it all would overshadow the book's business patois. Menn attempts, valiantly, to do so, but it's still evident that All the Rave is a long-handed exercise in business reporting rather than a drama-filled account. There is little surprise in the overarching Napster story because most readers will know how the story ends before cracking open the front cover.

If you're still committed to All the Rave, the best reading takes place in two separate sections: the first on the peer-to-peer program's incubation, and the second on Napster's attempt to take on the well-muscled music industry.

In Chapters 1 and 2, Menn introduces Shawn Fanning, an unassuming high school kid who comes from humble beginnings. Though his life doesn't exactly make for a Horatio Alger story, it's interesting to see how Shawn stops pursuing a sports scholarship for college and instead focuses on computer programming.

After his uncle John gives Shawn his first computer, the aw-shucks kid from Massachusetts comes across a brilliant idea, peer-to-peer file sharing, which he develops with the help of friends in several online communities. The story is touching, and it's fascinating to take a behind-the-scenes look at how the program originated, first through Shawn and then as the product of a tight-knit online community.

Techies of all stripes will be amused as Menn attempts to make computer programming jargon edible to the mainstream reader. Just imagine explaining terms like IRC and warez to your grandma, and you'll have a good idea of the language in these beginning chapters. Despite a few cornball explanations, however, it's still refreshing to see past Napster's media hype and to see Napster for what it started as: a labor of love created by a kid who wanted nothing more than to take advantage of the online universe.

Following chapters barrel through the company's beginnings, dedicating much space to vilifying John Fanning, who seems to deserve every bit of consternation the reading public can muster. After the shock of the elder Fanning's behavior wears off, however, you'll find yourself dragging through painfully detailed accounts of acquiring executive and meetings with skeptical venture capitalists. Anyone who isn't utilizing All the Rave as a handbook on how not to run a business can skip to Chapter 7, in which Menn shifts the book's focus to Napster's delicate dance with the music industry. It's a Davey and Goliath tale for the 21st century. To accent the vastness of the undertaking, Menn dishes out a brief history of the music biz, offering such a compelling analysis of the Napster/music industry camps that it could easily be expanded to fill an entirely different book.

If you don't want to read at all, you can simply look at the pretty pictures midway through the book. Talk about a yearbook: there are pictures of Shawn's hacker pals, a photo of a wilting Lars Ullrich from Metallica, Jack Valenti and other corporate clowns, smiling like there was something to be happy about.

And maybe there was. In the end, Menn shows how Napster was, like other dot-coms, "little more than a publicly supported pyramid scheme, built on the long-true presumption that an even dumber investor was just down the road."

If you want a solid study on copyright law and running a business, Menn's read will not disappoint. If you're looking for a fluffy piece of literature that will keep you awake into the wee hours, try the one with the bespectacled boy on the cover. You probably know the one I'm talking about -- Harry something or other...


You can purchase All the Rave from bn.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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All The Rave

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  • Wha??? (Score:5, Funny)

    by GuyMannDude (574364) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @12:17PM (#6443548) Journal
    No self-respecting culture maven can deny their love affair with Napster. If you weren't spending your spare time in the years 99-00 downloading MP3s like a champ, it's likely you were still in diapers or dancing with wolves. Oh, Napster, we loved ye when.

    When the hell did Jon Katz start submitting slashdot articles again?

    GMD

    • Re:Wha??? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Kai_MH (632216)
      That's kind of off-topic, yes? Who cares, anyways? The book review is here, and now I must go out and find this book.
      I for one loved Napster, and continue to love Kazaa and IMesh, though they suck compared to Napster. Napster is the one... true... lust... I must have it back!
      • Re:Wha??? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by fyonn (115426)

        while napster was great, I personally preferred audiogalaxy. I found that a lot easier to find more obscure music on, not to mention that it had an open source client and you could use it at work and come home to find the files waiting for you. not to mention the great community that was there, and the suggestions of other tracks to listen to

        I don;t suppose any of the current file sharers work like the old AG did do they?

        dave
    • Re:Wha??? (Score:4, Funny)

      by daeley (126313) * on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @01:04PM (#6443988) Homepage
      No shit. livegoats just made it to my foes list. What a moron.

      Let's see...User number over 600000 and no comments. Hey, it could be Jon Katz in disguise! ;)
    • Forget Katz. I give a hearty "Fuck You" to the nauseating ass-hat "livegoats" for that bullshit introduction. How in the hell does an opinionated smarmy diatribe quallify as a book review?
  • by preric (689159) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @12:19PM (#6443568)
    I've already read this, and would say that's a pretty decent review, once you get around the fact that you just PAID for a book about napster
    • by reallocate (142797) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @12:32PM (#6443729)
      Maybe you oughta shoplift it. After all, that was the napster business plan.
      • no, the equivalent would be xerox-ing all the pages.
        • No, the equivalent is copying the book and standing on a street corner giving it away to anyone who asks.

          Shoplifting is theft. Napster was based on theft. If you took all the CD's you own, bought a CD duplicator, and gave away exact copies of CD's to a global audience of complete strangers, that would be theft,too, of the CD publisher's, maker's and retailers's money.

          Or, it's rather like buying legitimate tickets to the Movie-of-the Week, printing perfect counterfeit tickets, and giving them away free out
        • No, the equivalent would be reading a couple of chapters in the bookstore because the rest of the book is just a filler to raise its price.
      • If we did steal the book, would Crown Publishing Group start printing up versions of the book with the lone phrase "What the fuck do you think you're doing?" printed repeatedly in it?

        • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @02:03PM (#6444540)


          If we did steal the book, would Crown Publishing Group start printing up versions of the book with the lone phrase "What the fuck do you think you're doing?" printed repeatedly in it?


          I downloaded "All_The_Rave_-_Joseph Menn(OCR,PR.V.1.0).pdf" and all it was just 863K of the phrase "What the fuck do you think you're doing?" repeated again and again. Maybe someone OCR'd the wrong book.

          Or it might have been Madonna's little known SEX2 book.
      • Downloading an OCR'd copy over a p2p network is the proper way to pay homage :)

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @01:06PM (#6444008)
      Go to the library. Yanno the library (a govt. institution) has a lot in common with Napster. In fact considering the only reason you need to return a book to the library is so that other people can use it (same thing as sharing the file after you've d/led it) I'd say the library is quite the file sharing program. Too bad the library doesn't bring the books to your house.

      M.D. Inc
    • by Surak (18578) * <surakNO@SPAMmailblocks.com> on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @01:31PM (#6444219) Homepage Journal
      I've already read this, and would say that's a pretty decent review, once you get around the fact that you just PAID for a book about napster

      I just got it off of Kazaa!
  • Culture maven (Score:3, Insightful)

    by easter1916 (452058) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @12:21PM (#6443585) Homepage
    A few points:
    1) The word maven is very irritating
    2) I used Napster only a handful of times because I regard illegal filesharing as theft
    3) I don't consider myself a culture "maven" but I am into music
    4) Dancing with wolves? What on earth are you talking about?
    • Re:Culture maven (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Copyright infringement, yes. Illegal, yes. Theft, no.
    • Re:Culture maven (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Xerithane (13482) <xerithane@nerdfa ... inus threevowels> on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @12:30PM (#6443702) Homepage Journal
      2) I used Napster only a handful of times because I regard illegal filesharing as theft

      It's not theft, but it is stealing. Theft is removing property, so that every part of the property is removed from it's former position. Steal is to take without right or leave the property of another.

      My grassroots campaign to try to get people to acknowledge they are, in fact, stealing when they download music without license to that media. Join my campaign :)

      3) I don't consider myself a culture "maven" but I am into music

      I consider myself a culture muppet, and I love music.

      4) Dancing with wolves? What on earth are you talking about?

      Jon Katz, describing hippies.
    • 1) agreed
      2) I have never used napster(or any other P2P)
      3) I like music, but can take it or leave it. Silence is often better.
      4) Hehehe
    • by e2d2 (115622) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @12:53PM (#6443917)
      So you only stole files a few times? Hey I only beat a few people up so I'm clean like you..

      The other sick depraved bastards stealing music from the mouths of those poor music industry blue-collar types. Not us though, me and you are the last of our type.

      • by s20451 (410424) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @01:17PM (#6444094) Journal
        I used Napster a handful of times too, but only when I was looking for a specific song off a hard-to-find album.

        Although the law does not technically distinguish between the two cases, I would argue that my use of Napster was not unethical, because if everyone did it, it would not have a significantly negative impact on the production of music, and because the music industry has provided no legitimate alternative. Meanwhile, downloading thousands of songs to avoid paying for music at all is unethical, because the downloader benefits from musicians' work without giving them any possibility of compensation. If everyone did that, the availability of music would likely decrease as fewer people could afford to produce it, and everyone would suffer.

        Your argument, that breaking a law is black-and-white regardless of intention or magnitude, is the sort of logic that puts petty thieves away for life under three-strikes laws. It also implies that legality is the same as morality, and sets up the government as the ultimate judge of correct social behaviour.

        And I think those who download music should consider that because they can do something, it doesn't necessarily mean that they should.
        • What specific album/track could you not find a hard copy of? I find it hard to believe that a song existed on napster yet you could not obtain a physical copy.

          And I think those who download music should consider that because they can do something, it doesn't necessarily mean that they should.

          Oh you mean people like you?
          I used Napster a handful of times too, but only when I was looking for a specific song off a hard-to-find album.

          It's funny that you think they are different. Since you like hyperbole s
          • Well, I am big fan of Beatles and would like to have every song they ever performed. Since Apple records is not kind of enough to release a complete collection or sell tracks on iTunes music store, I have to buy several CDs and then fill in the holes from Limewire. Or do you mean I should pay 45 bucks for a 3-CD collection that has one song I don't have yet. How about early or less popular tracks that only exist on LPs?
            • Or do you mean I should pay 45 bucks for a 3-CD collection that has one song I don't have yet. How about early or less popular tracks that only exist on LPs?

              I don't think the RIAA would care to be honest. They want you to purchase the 3-CD set. They want you to purchase the LP. They don't want you to download the song from napster and the states consider it illegal.

              But I can see your point. That is exactly why record companies need to come up with a way to download all of the individual songs you want a
        • I think this raises some interesting points. Napster in and of itself was not the cultural icon the book reviewer claims. The majority of people using it either didn't know or didn't care about the legality of what they were doing. What Napster did do was force the system to take a hard look at distinctions that had previously been allowed to hang in limbo.

          It's easy to discount your standard of legal versus ethical as a self-serving copout. Your basic argument is that intent and scale should be taken

  • Diapers? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by KillerHamster (645942) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @12:22PM (#6443600) Homepage

    If you weren't spending your spare time in the years 99-00 downloading MP3s like a champ, it's likely you were still in diapers or dancing with wolves.

    Or maybe you hadn't yet convinced your old-fashioned parents to buy a computer...

  • wolves? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sporty (27564) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @12:22PM (#6443604) Homepage

    If you weren't spending your spare time in the years 99-00 downloading MP3s like a champ, it's likely you were still in diapers or dancing with wolves. Oh, Napster, we loved ye when.


    Or using ftp, irc or usenet. Or not using them at all.

    I prefer whole albums myself. Napster never made that easy.
    • Re:wolves? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by retto (668183)

      What abuot Scour? Or just burning the CD?

      In 99-00 I was in college and Napster was blocked there, but Scour and iMesh weren't. I never did try Napster.

      Of course, just coping the CD from someone will a helluva lot easier.

  • by mtrupe (156137) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @12:24PM (#6443627) Homepage Journal
    Its such a shame how we cannot get free music anymore now that Napster is dead. Err, uh. Nevermind.
  • not me (Score:3, Funny)

    by Jucius Maximus (229128) <zyrbmf5j4x&snkmail,com> on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @12:25PM (#6443631) Homepage Journal
    "No self-respecting culture maven can deny their love affair with Napster. If you weren't spending your spare time in the years 99-00 downloading MP3s like a champ, it's likely you were still in diapers or dancing with wolves."

    Or on dialup. 28.8 dialup. On a 5 machine home LAN.

    It is painful living in a rural area, there's still no broadband.

  • I can't think of a better way to find out about a new band than on Napster (the way it was). I heard about numerous bands that I would have had no exposure to otherwise. While I think it is wrong to steal people's work, I think it is really important for music to circulate to its audience -- If Napster could sell ads, why couldn't they just use that to pay royalties? Besides, for the 999th time, no one is paying 18 bucks for a CD with one good song on it.
  • by GuyMannDude (574364) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @12:25PM (#6443636) Journal

    After his uncle John gives Shawn his first computer, the aw-shucks kid from Massachusetts comes across a brilliant idea, peer-to-peer file sharing, which he develops with the help of friends in several online communities. The story is touching, and it's fascinating to take a behind-the-scenes look at how the program originated, first through Shawn and then as the product of a tight-knit online community.

    Did the members of this "tight-knit online community" become employees of Napster Inc. or did Shawn just ditch them once he realized just how big a thing p2p could be? I'm not trolling, I'm asking. I don't recall Shawn giving a lot of public thanks to his computer buddies during Napster's hayday.

    GMD

  • by Jad LaFields (607990) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @12:27PM (#6443655)
    I essentially didn't listen to music before napster. The occaisional random CD, but I (for some reason) never listened to the radio, never watched MTV, etc., and was pretty much entirely out of the loop regarding popular music. Actually even unpopular music.

    Now I have a 20gig mp3 that I quite literally carry around with me *everywhere* and I have a much more diverse music tastes (can listen to rap-rock, baroque, ska, and big-beat sequentially without batting an eye) than I could ever have gotten through normal music-discovering means (radio, MTV).

    Thank you Napster.
  • by saintjab (668572) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @12:30PM (#6443697) Homepage Journal
    And the book isn't even about that. It's more of a post-mortem business analysis; and could/would prove very handy to someone looking to get into internet ventures. This is a great idea becaues it may help to broaden the pulic's (Joe Sixpack's) understanding of what is going on with all this online P2P contreversy stuff. It could prove very beneficial to the cause of P2P supporters; while maybe shedding some light on just how corrupt the music industries tactics can be. I think this is great idea for a book and there should be more like them.
  • But I avoided Napster like the plague. I stuck to my guns and continued to use IRC.

    A buddy of mine told me about it back then, "Hey you gotta check this out! All the songs you could ever want!"

    I found out that he registered the software and created the account using his real name. Makes it easy for the RIAA and the FBI... I wonder how many other knuckleheads have done that?
  • ... people refer to events that happened two years ago as something akin to "back in the days of yore" or as in this case "when loved ye when". Jesus. It was two fuckin' years ago.

    Otherwise Napster Shnapster. Somehow, all the people I know are *still* getting buttloads of free music, and, somehow, I think they will continue to ...
  • If you weren't spending your spare time in the years 99-00 downloading MP3s like a champ, it's likely you were still in diapers or dancing with wolves.

    If you were spending your spare time downloading MP3s from Napster you were in total need of a situation which we humans refer to as a live.
  • it's interesting to see how Shawn stops pursuing a sports scholarship for college and instead focuses on computer programming.

    Sounds familiar?
  • by Wally_bear (146080) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @12:43PM (#6443826) Homepage
    Sure, it's not as big as Napster in its heyday, or even Music City (running Opennap) before the traitors went to other things, but Opennap is still alive and kicking, I exclusively do my downloading from Opennap and Slavanap (ugh) servers.

    As someone already mentioned (fairly cluelessly however) that WinMX is "napster like", it's connecting to Opennap servers and they likely don't even realize it.

    Lopster [sf.net] and Lopster for windows [sf.net] are two clients I suggest, given your preferred OS (not sure what to suggest for Mac honestly..)

    Sure, irc trading has gone on for years, BitTorrent recently, but at least on Opennap you can also chat and have some sort of knit community outside of a Forum.
  • by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @12:51PM (#6443901) Homepage
    Except for a very very small block of time RIGHT before they shut down (during which time they were quite enjoyable to use and featured a wide variety of music) Napster always struck me as having shitty, uber-mainstream selection, annoying users, download speeds that seemed to almost always drop to 0.2k/s or just drop altogether once the file was half-downloaded, a total of zero users who were correctly reporting their (modem or cable?) download type, and an absolutely horrid (at least at first) macintosh implementation. Moreover, finding a full album on napster was absolutely impossible, badly encoded mp3s were everywhere, and WELL, WELL over half of all mp3s available on napster were incompletes-- but NONE were labelled as such.

    I hated napster.

    I spent the entire Napster period downloading mp3s, just as i had for a very very long time before Napster was ever invented-- from search.oth.net and other FTP-search based sources. Yeah, Ratio was a bitch, but at least you KNEW the server was going to stay up for a few hours at least, and you knew nobody was going to put an mp3 in their main collection if it was an incomplete.

    Also, there was this convenient thing in that basically, the majority of ftp servers had a 1:5 U/D ratio set; the vast majority of ftp servers had exactly one file that i wanted to download of about 6 or 7 megabytes; and i had an mp3 of cookie monster singing "C is for Cookie, that's good enough for me" that was 1.5 megabytes. So i could zap up cookie monster, grab what i wanted, and get out quick. What was wierd, though, was that i think i started something; once i started doing this, the cookie monster mp3 started spreading quite a bit. I would sign onto mp3 servers i'd never been on before and find my cookie monster mp3 already there-- and not in the upload folder either, in the actual sorted mp3 collection. Hmmmm.. ^_^

    Uh, and since i see to be admitting to illegal acts above: i downloaded mp3s solely to sample music which i was considering buying or which was not available in america, i was too young to be legally tried as an adult when the events described above happened, i never downloaded mp3s, this post is fiction posted for humorous purposes, i don't even know what an "mp3" is, and i don't own or know how to use a computer.

    Oh, and slashdot claims that this is my 700th post posted with my account, though i notice a lot of my earlier ones aren't in the archive.
    • C is for Cookie became quite popular on my campus network back in '97....it was in rotation on my playlist!
    • I loved ratio ftps, most of them were on cable modems anyway, which means slow download and FAST upload, and me being on a t3, would be mean. I'd up my little song, get what I wanted, then queue up my entire collection for upload and go to sleep, meanwhile filling up the dude's hard drive. He wanted mp3s? Oh I'd give him mp3s....
  • by haa...jesus christ (576980) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @12:53PM (#6443914)
    Uh, you should probably say 'David and Goliath'. 'Davey and Goliath' connotes Napster users as button-down Christians and the music industry as a big dumb dog.

    Okay, it's half right.
  • No self-respecting culture maven can deny their love affair with Napster. If you weren't spending your spare time in the years 99-00 downloading MP3s like a champ, it's likely you were still in diapers or dancing with wolves. Oh, Napster, we loved ye when.

    I saw Napster (and the rest of them) as being for lamers. The fun was the hunt of the file...like a big game hunter in Africa. It was all about anonymous FTP for me. And when Napster was shut down, there were people moaning about not getting their MP3 fi
  • puh-lease (Score:5, Insightful)

    by j4ck50n (548439) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @12:59PM (#6443965)
    "If you weren't spending your spare time in the years 99-00 downloading MP3s like a champ, it's likely you were still in diapers or dancing with wolves. Oh, Napster, we loved ye when."

    No self respecting geek would use Napster EVER, no one I know ever touched it, and we all downloaded MP3's *like a champ*.

    It's called usenet...premium servers please. All of us *in the know* knew that once Napster went under, and it most definitely would, that all the kids hyped up on *free* would be flocking to usenet, flooding the groups with crap posts, begging for instructions and calling everyone *fag*. Sure enough, they did.

    Napster single handedly brought piracy to the masses, made it a household word and brought the ire of RIAA etc. upon us all.

    I cant believe that this story was intro'd like this. Napster is, was and always will be a blight and a bad bad period in mine and others opinions.

    "...in diapers..." man, gimma a freekin break.

    • Okay, you're not directly contradicting yourself, but read the following two sections of your rant.

      1. No self respecting geek would use Napster EVER, no one I know ever touched it, and we all downloaded MP3's *like a champ*.

      2. Napster single handedly brought piracy to the masses

      Apparently, you don't know anyone in the 'masses'. I happen to be a self-respecting geek and I *did* use Napster, in college, when it first came out. I still use Kazaa and Limewire, depending on what I'm looking for.

      I cant
  • Humbug (Score:2, Funny)

    by Jahf (21968)

    If you weren't spending your spare time in the years 99-00 downloading MP3s like a champ, it's likely you were still in diapers or dancing with wolves.

    Or maybe you were just a conscientious person who instead of ripping off your favorite artists (yes, they do get SOME of that money, just not much) were buying their discs and ripping them from legitimately purchased media and thereby also helping make sure that the labels saw how much they were selling.

    Now porn on the other hand ...

    • by jCaT (1320)
      Or maybe you were just a conscientious person who instead of ripping off your favorite artists (yes, they do get SOME of that money, just not much) were buying their discs and ripping them from legitimately purchased media and thereby also helping make sure that the labels saw how much they were selling.

      Now porn on the other hand ...


      How the hell is that any different? I work for an adult company, and I'd say about 25% of my job is keeping people from stealing our content. There's a daily barrage of peo
  • Looking back... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Otter (3800) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @01:01PM (#6443977) Journal
    And maybe there was. In the end, Menn shows how Napster was, like other dot-coms, little more than a publicly supported pyramid scheme, built on the long-true presumption that an even dumber investor was just down the road.

    A few months ago, there was an interview with Shawn Fanning linked here, where he was asked to marvel at how he's not a billionaire. I was marveling that there was a time when it seemed perfectly reasonable that a company with no source of revenue and whose only activity was facilitating massive violation of the copyrights of enormous companies should, of course, be making a fortune for its founders.

    Although the same interview had Fanning talking about growing up on Cape Cod in Hull, MA -- apparently unaware that his home town is nowhere near Cape Cod.

    Menn also exposes...rockstress Courtney Love's flirtations with Shawn, whom she once introduced at an award show as her future husband.

    This might make sense, if you're one of the people always mentioning Courtney Love as a supporter of Napster, except that Love's plagiarized essay actually denounced Napster and supported Lars Ulrich. I suppose that's her being her.

  • WTF? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Chasuk (62477) <chasuk@gmail.com> on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @01:07PM (#6444012)
    Methinks Mr. Livegoat needs to put away the thesaurus when he is writing a book review, at least until the words it recommends fit comfortably within his own vocabulary.

    ... dedicating much space to vilifying John Fanning, who seems to deserve every bit of consternation the reading public can muster.


    The word you wanted was condemnation, Mr. Livegoat. Consternation is the rough equivalent of confusion, which doesn't fit the context of your sentence at all.


    Techies of all stripes will be amused as Menn attempts to make computer programming jargon edible to the mainstream reader.


    Edible? Try intelligible.


    With a boatload of rock stars and other curious characters, you'd think the spectacle of it all would overshadow the book's business patois.


    Patois, which means roughly the same thing as jargon or lingo, is nonsensical in this sentence. The spectacle of rock stars overshadows jargon? Really?


    An informative review, if one can overlook these bloopers.

    • Re:WTF? (Score:3, Funny)

      "Self-respecting culture mavens" can't be bothered with petty things like understanding the twenty-dollar words that they throw into reviews. See, "livegoat"'s email points back to gamegal.com, which is, like, this game review site, OK, but, see, it's, like, for gals! Or written by a gal. Or something. Let's look at their profiles page [gamegal.com], shall we?

      Atchly, looks like "Libe Goad" is a real person, according to their site, and helped make kozmo.com the success that it is today. And she has degrees in Journalis

  • No self-respecting culture maven can deny their love affair with Napster. If you weren't spending your spare time in the years 99-00 downloading MP3s like a champ, it's likely you were still in diapers or dancing with wolves. Oh, Napster, we loved ye when.

    Does Slashdot have the equivalent of the Bulwer-Lytton Awards [bulwer-lytton.com]? Maybe we should.

    Let's see... what was I doing at the cusp of the millenium? Oh, yeah, that's right... I was working, not figuring out ways to waste my employer's bandwidth downloading old A

  • If you love to read abou the dot-com bust--over and over--this meticulously researched tome is for you. Keep a drink handy, however, it gets dry in parts

    Where does that fit on the usual 1-10 scale?
  • It will be placed on the MIT campus, etched forever into a block of marble:

    The Server of the Unknown File-Sharer

    I'm thinking a sculpture of a nice server, with space for extra hard drives, and A cable modem or ISDN line beside it. Instead of an Eternal Torch, we can have orange LED modkit lights, and instead of a changing of the guard, we can have a rebooting of the system every 24 hours.

    Napster's height coincided with my immersion into the internet, and I have fond memories of downloading 3.5 MB son

  • by istartedi (132515) on Tuesday July 15, 2003 @01:20PM (#6444120) Journal

    Pitchman: I have a 19-year old programmer who wants to promote a system that distributes other people's copyrighted works and will probably give rise to all kinds of troublesome legal issues, but he does it on the Internet so it's really cutting edge.

    VC: Here's a truckload of money.

  • All my MP3's are rips from personally owned CDs, or a few I downloaded from MP3.com legally. Of course, I'm also working with an Internet company that didn't spend thousands on ergo office chairs, uses an XP style design and development process and actually has had a product for a couple of years that makes revenue.

    Guess I'm square.
  • ...to its slow unraveling in 2001, a foreshadowing event for the rest of the dot-com world.

    Wait! You mean the rest of the dot-com world is going to unravel? I thought it was a secure place to be. I mean, it's now mid-2003 and Napster is still the only dot-com to bust, right?
  • its slow unraveling in 2001, a foreshadowing event for the rest of the dot-com world.

    Not sure which 2001 you lived through . . . the dot-com world's "unraveling" was well underway by then.

  • Napster and it's ilk were never and are still not anything but mass distribution of culture of the lowest common denominator.

    I seriously don't get why people are so thrilled to download Britney Spears, Puff Daddy or REM. Music you can get at your local supermarket for a fiver anyway.

    If people were using it to get hold of that 100 copies Aphex record, the latest Tom Jenkinson smasher months before it's released, or even hard to get classical/contemporary music like Ligeti or Ruyichi Sakamoto, then I would

  • Loved it, I found all kinds of hard to get tunes. Mainly from european users, but the stuff I was looking for was from bands that no longer existed, record labels that were bankrupt and by and large I was replacing my rapidly wearing out tape collection...so again, who was I stealing from? No one as ar as I could tell...
  • As someone who never touched Napster (or KaZaA or whatever) and considers so-called "filesharing" to be blatant theft of service, I reject your premise outright. Thank you, please drive through...
  • Anyone who's seen "The Italian Job" knows that Shawn Fanning didn't come up with Napster - Seth Green did. Fanning stole it from Green after he fell asleep, thus, 'Napster'.

    You cannot defeat the real Napster! :)

    ps The Italian Job is a fun movie. Go see it before it's gone! C is for Charlize (Theron), and that's good enough for me...

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