Thursday, March 31, 2011

Culture Lesson: Joe Francis

Joe Francis is an American entrepreneur and founder of Girls Gone Wild and its company, Mantra Films. If you're an Old Person, or upstanding Young Person you probably don't know who he is.

Girls Gone Wild is a series of DVDs featuring inebriated, "barely legal" young women who coo to the camera, make out in the shower with other young women, and flash the camera. (Or that's what's featured in the late night commercials.) When I was in college, the camera crew would hang out in college clubs and troll for young women. So I think Joe Francis is gross.

So gross I can hardly write this on my own. As lifted from Wikipedia:


In 2002, Becky Lynn Gritzke discovered that she had been covertly filmed flashing her breasts at a Mardi Gras festival and that the image had been used without her permission on billboards advertising Girls Gone Wild videos and on the cover of a video. She sued Mantra Films and settled for an undisclosed sum under an agreement according to which GGW agreed to cease distributing all material bearing Gritzke's image.[16]
In June 2007, Francis and Mantra Films became the subject of another lawsuit claiming that images had been used without the subject's permission.[17] However, the plaintiff, Ashley Alexandra Dupré better known as the prostitute involved in the Eliot Spitzer scandal that led to his resignation as New York governor in March 2008, dropped the suit after Francis released footage showing her agreeing to be filmed.[18]

[edit] Charges in Florida

In an incident at Panama City Beach, Florida, during spring break 2003, Francis was arrested and then released on a $165,000 bond. He was initially charged with 71 separate counts, including racketeering, drug trafficking, and child pornography. Police confiscated his private jet and other property.[19] At a July 27, 2006 hearing, the judge threw out 200 hours of videotape and hundreds of other key pieces of evidence in the case,[20] and on January 4, 2007 dismissed almost all of the charges, ruling that "the evidence did not support the allegations," and the seized assets were returned. Francis plead guilty to several counts of 18 U.S.C. § 2257 record keeping violation and was fined $1.6M and sentenced to perform community service.[21]
On April 12, 2007, Francis was accused of bribery, possession of a controlled substance, and introducing contraband (cash and drugs) into the Panama City, Florida jail. The Associated Press reported that Francis (in jail for contempt of court) offered a guard one hundred and then five hundred dollars for a bottled water. Jailers allegedly found drugs including Lunesta and lorazepam in the jail cell. This is despite the fact that Francis had disclosed the medication upon his incarceration; the medications were necessary to his health, and his possession of them was otherwise entirely lawful.[22] Francis reportedly faced up to five years in prison if convicted on these charges.[23][24] On March 12, 2008 Francis was convicted on child abuse and prostitution charges after pleading no contest in a plea bargain. He also pleaded guilty to charges related to having contraband in his cell during the time he was held in jail. He was sentenced to time served (339 days) and more than $60,000 in fines and costs.[25]
On March 25, 2008, four women filed suit against him in Florida for filming them while underage, with one girl claiming she had been 13 when filmed.[26]

[edit] Wynn Resorts Ltd.

Francis is being sued by the Wynn Las Vegas casino for $2 million in gambling debt from February 2007. The lawsuit was filed on June 27, 2008 in Clark County District Court. A spokesperson for the casino claims that the debt has been in their collections department and the suit is a last resort to obtain the debt plus costs. In response to the lawsuit, Francis asserted that he had already paid his debt through agreements with the hotel including certain discounts. Francis claims that he was deceived by the hotel and its Chief Executive Steve Wynn.[27] Francis attended a deposition in connection with the lawsuit and tried to invoke the Fifth Amendment with respect to almost all questions asked, including whether or not he owned a cell phone. During the deposition Francis repeatedly took out his cell phone and appeared to answer emails, and at one point took a call. Ultimately, the judge in the case ruled that Francis was liable for the entire $2 million, calling Francis’ conduct “the most ridiculous exercise of the Fifth Amendment I think I’ve ever seen.” Francis is expected to appeal the judge's ruling.[28]

[edit] Federal criminal tax problems

On April 11, 2007, Francis was indicted by a federal grand jury in Reno, Nevada on two counts of tax evasion[29][30] under 26 U.S.C. § 7201.[31]
Francis was charged with filing a fraudulent corporate tax return for a company for which he allegedly is the sole shareholder. The United States Department of Justice asserts that Francis claimed over $20 million in false business deductions on his corporate tax returns during 2002 and 2003.[32] The Los Angeles Times quoted his attorney, Jan L. Handzlik, as saying: "The government has chosen to make a criminal case out of what we believe to be, at most, a civil tax dispute..."[29] A trial date was set and subsequently vacated in the case.[33][34]
On April 22, 2008, a court order was entered changing the location of the case (a change of venue) to Los Angeles, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, as case number 2:08-cr-00494-SJO.[35] At a hearing on July 21, 2008, Francis pleaded not guilty to felony tax evasion. Francis' attorney, Robert Bernhoft, said that tax returns for the businesses were prepared and filed by a former corporate accountant without being shown to Francis. Bernhoft asserts that when the accountant left the companies, the accountant contacted the IRS to report the accounting mistakes with the hope of collecting a bonus from the government Tax Whistleblower Program.[36]
On February 2, 2009, Francis was arrested for failing to attend his court hearing. The following day, he was released to home detention and electronic monitoring on the grounds that he was too sick to attend the hearing.[37]
In September 2009, Francis pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns and bribing Nevada jail workers. The plea agreement reportedly requires him to pay $250,000 in restitution. He would receive credit for the time he has served in jail, and would be subject to one year of supervised release.[38] On November 5, 2009, U.S. District Judge S. James Otero accepted Francis’ deal on the grounds that a key witness withheld information from prosecutors.
“It took us seven months, but in the end we demonstrated that the felony tax charges never should have been brought in the first place. As a result, the indictment was dismissed and the charges were reduced to only two misdemeanors with no jail time." Brad Brian, lead trial attorney, [39]
On November 6, 2009, The IRS filed a federal tax lien in the amount of $33,819,087.14 for failing to pay personal income taxes for the 2001, 2002, and 2003 calendar years.[40] On or about November 18, 2009; Francis himself stated the IRS seized over $100,000,000 in cash from various bank accounts.[41]

Ew! Am I right? He's friends with the Kardashian clan, by the way. In an early episode Kris Jenner called him in jail, and opined that he was a great guy. Now you know why I sighed angrily and rolled my eyes, right?

This guy was parodied in Piranha. That movie's a lot funnier now, right?

Additional Information:
Joe Francis, Wikipedia

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Technology Lesson: How to Reset Authorized Computers

Apple only allows FIVE computers to access your iTunes store account. If you use your friends' computers (which I've done) or go through many computers (also possible), you might reach the maximum amount of authorizations.

Resetting authorization is easy. You can deauthorize a specific machine, or you can reset your number completely. Here's how to reset completely.

1. Turn on your computer, log in if necessary, and start iTunes.

2. Go to the iTunes store and log in to your account. Remember to click your e-mail address at the top left to do this.

From Apple's Help:
If you forgot to deauthorize a computer you no longer own, you can deauthorize all your authorized computers at once. You can use this method once a year.

Choose Store > View My Account, and then click Deauthorize All. If you don't see this option, it's because you don't have five authorized computers.
So no screenshot from me, because I only have four authorized. You will have to authorize your main computer(s) again.

If you want to reauthorize one machine:

1. Turn on your computer, log in if necessary, and start iTunes.


All done!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Technology Lesson: iTunes Views

iTunes offers four layouts, for lack of a better word, for viewing your library. Those views are LIST, ALBUM LIST, GRID, and COVER FLOW. Let's talk about them!

First, you can access your views by clicking VIEW in iTunes:

View options will allow you to choose what you view under these four options:

Yup. Those are my preferences!

LIST VIEW is my preferred view. (I feel like I can see more this way.) This is what it looks like:

ALBUM LIST looks like this:

It lists the albums on the left, and the songs on the right. You can see the album art in the left column of the library. Think of ALBUM LIST as a hybird of LIST and ALBUM GRID.

ALBUM GRID is a gridlike version of COVER FLOW. You see all of your albums laid out neatly like this:

You have to double-click to start your album. If you like listening to music an album at a time, you might like this.

Finally, this is COVER FLOW:

Apple's idea is that you scroll through your digital files like you flip through your albums. It's not nearly as satisfying, so I don't bother.

That was fun, wasn't it?

Additional Resources:
What Is iTunes, Apple

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Technology Lesson:Three Common iTunes Problems, As Solved By Apple

iTunes can cause a lot of frustration for Old People. Using's SUPPORT page, I've highlighted three common problems Old People suffer, or should be mindful of, below:

IPod Doesn't Appear in iTunes
Sometimes you connect your iPod to your computer but you can't see it in iTunes. (This happens to me once a week or so at the office!) From iPod appears in Windows but not in iTunes (abridged):

  • Install the latest version of iTunes

  • Restart the iPod Service

  • Remove and reinstall iTunes

  • Empty your Temp directory and restart

  • Disable conflicting System Services and Startup Items

  • Update, Reconfigure, Disable, or Remove Security Software

You Lost Your iTunes Library

Sometimes you worry that you'll DELETE your music AGAIN, or you run out of space on your hard drive. From How to re-create your iTunes library and playlists:

...Actually, just click that link. Apple provided step by step directions that I would otherwise type out or copy and paste.

Make sure you back up your library before you need to re-create your library. I use an external hard drive to manage my music. This doesn't guarantee safety, but it has made things easier.

Speaking of...

How to back up your media in iTunes
(with a CD or DVD)

It's always good to be proactive. From Apple's How to back up your media in iTunes:

...And Apple's done all of the work for me here, too. Click the link for more. Apple also explains how to restore from the disc you just made!

Additional Resources:
iPod appears in Windows but not in iTunes
How to re-create your iTunes library and playlists
How to back up your media in iTunes

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Technology Lesson: The Three Rs of Your Ipod

Reset, Restore, and Reinstall are the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle of the Apple iPod.

These three terms seem self-explanatory, but seeing as they are Apple's seemingly most common solution, I thought it might be nice to carefully explain to Old People what these words really mean.

RESET This will be the most common "R." When your iPod freezes, or does something it's not supposed to, resetting your iPod will be your first step. RESETTING your iPod is like unplugging and plugging it back in—and it won't cause you to lose your data. Always RESET before you RESTORE.

RESTORE This will wipe your iPod clean. RESTORE will restore you iPod to factory settings, removing your music, media, and personal settings. The implications of RESORING your iPod are a total pain in the behind, because you have to re-load all of your material. It is, however, extremely effective.

REINSTALL If your iPod is corrupted, or just really needs a leg up, you might need to REINSTALL your software. This is also likely to cause the need to add music to your iPod again and reconfigure your personal settings. This will, however, yield positive results, most of the time.

So? The lesson here is to RESTORE with caution.

For specific instructions on how to do all of these things (and more!) with your iPod, visit

Additional Resources:
iPod Troubleshooting Assistant, Apple

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Technology Lesson: How to Reset iTunes Billing

One of the benefits, and disadvantages, of iTunes is that it saves your billing info. When you've entered your info, you won't need to enter again. This happened to me once when I meant to use a giftcard, and I ended up paying for the media instead. I was irritated.

If you want to clear your billing info, this is how.

1. Turn on your computer, log in if necessary, and start iTunes.
2. Go to the iTunes store.
3. Log in to your account. You'll need to click your e-mail address at the top of the screen.
4. Click EDIT PAYMENT INFORMATION. I don't think you need to see my own options, here.
5. iTunes will list your billing address and the last four digits of your credit card. To wipe your slate clean, click NONE.
6. Click DONE.
7. That should be it! If you want to erase the data provided, that's a good idea, too.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Technology Lesson: How to Reset Album Art in iTunes

Sometimes iTunes imports the wrong art for my music. Or, sometimes I've dragged the wrong art. Here's how to reset album art in iTunes.

1. Turn on your computer, log in if necessary, and start iTunes.

2. Select the song or album you want to view. (You can select the whole album under another View, or select multiple songs.)

3. Click FILE.

4. Click GET INFO.
5. Click the ARTWORK tab. In the image below, only one image is available:

If you wanted to delete artwork, click the artwork and click DELETE. If you want to load art, click ADD...

6. This dialogue box will appear:

Find the artwork you want to load, and click OPEN. Upload the work, and bask in your own technological-based glory!

Technology Lesson: Song Info in iTunes

Sometimes my iTunes library has capitalization or spelling errors within! If this is your problem--or, you want to edit information about your media--this is how.

1. Turn on your computer, log in if necessary, and start iTunes.

2. Select the song or album you want to view. (You can select the whole album under another View, or select multiple songs.)

3. Click FILE.

4. Click GET INFO.
5. This is your default response (when you click one song; multiple songs will give you a warning and skip the step 6):

Note that if you click NEXT you'll see the next song:

6. Click the INFO tab. This is what you'll see:
This is where you'd typos or information regarding song or album data. 
7. Click LYRICS. It's a blank box. Most songs don't automatically import lyrics. You can enter your own if you want to. I usually leave mine blank.

 8. This is the last tab, ARTWORK. You can toggle between, add, or delete artwork. We'll look at this in more detail in an upcoming lesson.

When you're finished, click OK.

Additional Resources:
Apple Support

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Technology Lesson: How to Drag Album Art In iTunes

Sometimes iTunes can't find album art for you. Or, you might have a mix CD your daughter made, and the artwork isn't recognized, or you made your own artwork. Here's how to drag artwork to iTunes.

1. Turn on your computer, log in if necessary, and start iTunes.

2. Find the artwork you need. I sometimes use Wikipedia or if it's not artwork of my own. (Which is extremely rare. I don't have the time or motivation for that.) For this lesson I'll drag the artwork for The Suburbs by Arcade Fire.

3. Make sure the artwork display is available in iTunes. It's the little arrow under the column on the left.

4. Toggle the two windows so that the are next to each other.
5. Click assertively on the artwork. Holding your mouse button (or trackpad) down, drag the artwork to your iTunes window.

6. Drag it to the artwork box in iTunes. A green circle with a plus sign will appear when your artwork is above the artwork box, and there will be an outline around the area.

7. Let go of your mouse and let the artwork "drop."

8. You'll see the artwork in the box. Congrats! You're done!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Technology Lesson: How to Load Album Art In iTunes

 Apple's art for artless albums in iTunes.

Most of Apple's iPod had visual displays (and touch screens). These screens allow users to scroll through albums by viewing album art, and display album art while individual songs play. (A user can also scroll through albums in iTunes).

Unfortunately, iTunes won't always import art with each album upload. Here's how to force iTunes to import album artwork.

1. Turn on your computer, log in if necessary, and start iTunes.

2. Click ADVANCED.


4. iTunes will ask you to confirm this decision. iTunes will also include a disclaimer about its search.

5. Let iTunes do its thing. It will let you know when it's completed its search. How long this takes depends on the size of your library and artless media. The above image is what you'll see when iTunes is done. It's possible that some of your music won't have artwork available via iTunes. (We'll discuss how to import artwork manually in an upcoming album.) Click OK to complete the artwork search.

If you want to know which albums did not have available artwork, click the arrow at the bottom of the dialogue box.

If you want to view artwork in iTunes, click the arrow at the bottom of the left column. It's the last icon, next to your shuffle and continuous play buttons. The arrow will allow a box to slide up and down. This is what it looks like without artwork:

And this is what it looks like when artwork is available. Note that I've selected the song "Merry Happy" by Kate Nash, and iTunes is displaying the artwork for her album Made of Bricks:

See how easy that was?!