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Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!

No, that’s not a distress call from the RIAA’s legal team, but rather the day on which all Houston metropolitan and surrounding area geeks gather for the month of May.

This month’s geek gathering will continue to go down at the Coffee Groundz in Midtown Houston at the corner of Bagby and McGowan. We’ve survived extreme chillyness on the back patio in past gatherings, but May will be here and with its entrance, gone the need for geeks to huddle around Pentium 4 laptops for warmth. The Coffee Groundz has a light menu and a full bar. Don’t worry – there’s a gelato bar for the kids. And, of course, coffee, wifi, and a whole lot of geeks from seven o’clock on. If you get there late, you may have to circle once for parking. Just stay off McGowan, as they will tow your car faster than Steve Ballmer can sweat through a blue shirt at a developer conference. I generally give out the website for those seeking details and directions, but this time I want to drive everyone plagued by Fail to the website for some sage advice from Dr. Dwight.


And on the opposite end of the world from the RIAA, you have Miro, a non-profit group that is pushing for open internet TV in High Definition. To that end, they’ve built a free, open source HD video streamer that can play just about any video file out there in addition to connecting to their streaming network of some 6,000 shows. There’s some competition out there in the video arena, even among the free players. The unique thing about Miro is that in a time when money for server space is tight, they’ve chosen not to sell their biological first born to cover the bandwidth bills, but rather make it go spend time with its adoptive family who bought it on the internet for less what Sally Struthers spends on coffee.

Now that may sound a little harsh… What they’re doing is paying their bandwidth bill by letting users adopt a line of source code for a nominal fee. Miro is supposedly the first to try this type of payment model. They’re also unique in that you still don’t have to adopt anything to use Miro’s service or player, and I guess you don’t really have to use the Miro player in order to adopt a line of source code.

In any case, adoptive parents get a real line of Miro code, it’s name along with a cute picture of the code, an official adoption certificate on a Web page where their buddy will grow older, and a widget they can embed on their blog to show off their proud new child to friends and family.

It sounds a lot like a modern day geeked out version of a cabbage patch kid or a 70s pet rock. Except you don’t really own it, like you did the rock.

Since information and open source software want to be free, you’re only choice is to adopt.

Now, when the hippies of the sixties said you should love the earth and take responsibility and ownership of it, the pet rock fad of the 70s probably wasn’t what they had in mind, but I’m sure any currently surviving hippes who had qualms with rock ownership would be OK with rock adoption. And just to cover all the bases the last fifty years, we need a fad for the 90s…

Beanie babies, I guess?

Will I adopt any lines of Miro source code, myself? Not with our own fund raiser coming up, but that doesn’t mean I won’t check out their website to see how cute the infant lines of code are. It’s like, just because I smile at a baby in the park, it doesn’t mean I’m ready to run right home to bring new life into the world.. Especially when I already have hundreds of thousands of legitimate source code kids of my own to feed and maintain. Anyway, www.getmiro.com/adopt/ for adoption details or just to check out the cute newborns.

That’s it for your foster four one one and that’s that for Barret Time.

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