Welcome to the VentureShark FAQ!

Who made VentureShark and why?

VentureShark was created by musicians who wanted to apply the concept of human slavery to the digital realm. The initial business model revolved around the idea that a user could make money by selling stolen goods online. This model has since been abandoned in favor of making venture capitalists and so called ‘Chief Executives’ realise that they too can be exploited for free labour and shaking them down for cash.

Do we really need another Web 2.0. startup with some Goofy Name?

Bitches and Beamers don’t pay for themselves yo.

What do I get for ‘uploading’ executives to VentureShark?

Nearly all of the CEOs and CIOs on Ventureshark has been ‘uploaded’ by users. By ‘uploading’ executive staff to Ventureshark, you share their labour with friends all over the world with the click of a button.

Why bother paying executive wages when you can have free access from any computer (or mobile phone!) with an internet connection?

Where do VentureShark’s executive slaves come from?

Nearly all of the capitalists on VentureShark are ‘uploaded’ by users like you! Visit the uploader and you can upload any CEOs, CIOs you have stashed away. After uploading and some processing time, you will be able to use them on VentureShark anywhere in the world, so long as you have a computer or smartphone with an internet connection.

Can I share the venture capitalists I find on VentureShark?

Absolutely! We have tried to make it as easy as possible to whore any slaves you find on VentureShark. First, you can open the options menu by clicking the button marked with a gear. From here, you can add the slave to a work detail, hand their ass around, dosh out some gruel , or terminate them. Once you open the ‘Share Exec’ menu, choose which medium you’d like to share them through.

My life’s work has been handed to VentureShark, who should I talk to?

VentureShark has a team that is devoted entirely to hostage negotiation. Just send us an email at and we will help you with whatever you need.

If the labour you poured into that MBA was posted up without your permission and you’d like to have it removed, please click here to access our DMCA takedown form — we highly recommend, however, that you contact us first to talk about our protection payment plan. Otherwise it’ll be back up in a week.

Wait, how am I supposed to make a living if you keep giving away my work for free?

You could sell T Shirts at gigs?

– the guys at Abduction Media Group.

AMG is the owner of all intellectual property rights, including all copyrights, patents, trademarks associated with the Service, including all associated software, logos, text, and graphics, but excluding User Content (defined below). You agree not to display or use any AMG intellectual property without AMG’s prior permission.
User Content we take without prior permission. One rule for us, one for you, bitch.

The Queen’s Christmas Message

It being Christmas and all that I am going to try end this entry on a positive note. I promise. We do have to start in a deep pool of bilge because that’s what the Internet is made of.

Another few months brings another half arsed special about piracy care of The Inquirer. All the usual chess moves. The proponent starts by disallowing the word ‘piracy’ and starts congratulating himself on how much assistance torrents provide for all humanity. Sales haven’t gone down? Must be us, couldn’t be the work of the musicians and labels. And here it comes again: Radiohead. Why not NIN? C’mon man it’s like fish with no chips. Radiohead and NIN, proof positive of the glorious future of loss leading marketing.

Maybe if I spell it out again, because none of these experts ever seem to get it.

If you buy a business – a chip shop perhaps – part of what you buy is the ‘goodwill’, which is the existing reputation, custom, location and intangible aura of a successful shop. It’s not all physical goods – and not all goods are physical. A business is worth more than the ‘plant’.

A band also has ‘goodwill’ – the reputation that has been built up over years of market operation. Bands such as NIN and Radiohead had years of record company money spent on building their reputation. When they took themselves online they were successful because of the mainstream record companies not because of their opposition to the mainstream. A band that does not have ‘goodwill’ cannot survive on free downloads and the mythology promoted by those that offer pirate downloads is misleading the poorer bands that try to emulate their idols.

And the worth of a pirate website is based upon the accumulated goodwill taken from the vendors. If you have well known products from Adobe and Steinberg you will have more visitors and more donations / advertising income. It’s a business.

A band such as NIN is able to provide free downloads as a ‘loss leader’ exactly the same way as a department store uses a sale to get customers in, hoping for ancillary sales. Excessive discounting and free give-aways can also be used to cripple competition – something exploited notably by Roche, Microsoft and Walmart. It is not a noble act and shouldn’t be painted that way.

This leads to the particular instance: I was pretty disappointed to see that somebody was torrenting a game called Machinarium. This is a point and click adventure with wonderful artwork and great music from Jakub Dvorsky and friends, not long graduated from art school in the Czech republic and running a little design company called Amanita.


You can play part of the game online for free and if you like it you currently pay the princely sum of TEN BUCKS for this, the soundtrack and the previous game. No risk, low cost, no DRM, no excuses. And yet some lamer Robin Hood wanna-be is ‘sharing’ this game to save people from having to pay a shitty $10. That’s just woeful, and all the sweety pie talk of the torrent clowns looks really cheap when you see a small company get kicked in the face like that.

I don’t know these people. I like what they do and it makes me sick to see anyone punished for making art by those who equate their hard drive storage to penis size. So I’m asking you to at least go play the game and maybe buy it for Christmas, because it’s a good thing and needs praise. People say I don’t seem to like anything – here’s something I like.

As I’ve said before I can understand when the goods are rare or abandoned such as out of print movies, or the intention is to make something new out of the old. Hell, even a kid that’s going to one day buy that copy of Ableton Live when she gets an income. But please, dear lord, no more Radiohead.

Oh finally…

the launch is done and the gag is off the mouth.

World’s longest running shaggy dog joke.


Modular and the Festival of Sydney present:


More information and some picture they found in a cupboard that had been sitting there for nearly 25 years at the Sydney Festival site!

Brought to you by BEER.

Social Sciences Drankin’ Game

Oh no! Boring social sciences conference coming up!

champagne party guy

You need a flask of hooch. Let’s play!


  • There are more speakers on stage than people in the audience. SIP.
  • Speaker from university executive makes big show of acknowledging indigenous land ownership – but doesn’t suggest giving any land back. SWIG.
  • Guest can’t be here –
    – has an exhibition in Venice. NO POINTS
    – attending a games conference in Barcelona. NO POINTS
    – running a film festival in Shanghai. NO POINTS
    – in prison in Adelaide SKULL!
  • They will instead speak via Skype. SWIG!


  • Person on Skype is overwhelmed by uncontrollable feedback loop through PA. SWIG!
  • Guest has brought a DVD burned by their students that they didn’t test before the conference. Wastes ten minutes trying to play it. NIP.
  • What is this thing called microphone? SIP.
  • Step through their PowerPoint in design mode, every second slide is [Type Text Here]. SIP.
  • DESIGNED IN CALIFORNIA PRIZE: Guest denounces working conditions in China, while presenting on a Mac laptop. NIP.
  • Speaker is expert in every aspect of media production except how to do it. SWIG!
  • Uses scientific terms in vague, almost surreal babble. NIP. Including ‘quantum physics’ = ‘any magical shit’. SWIG!


To win Mad Minutes the speaker has to state the bleeding obvious followed by a spectacular name drop. Examples:

  • ‘Ideas change over time. As Foucault noted…’ NIP!
  • ‘Film can seem like real life. As discerned by Deleuze…’ NIP!
  • ‘People can see things in different ways. Derrida …’ NIP!
  • OLDE SCHOOL BONUS PRIZE ‘Rich people are less numerous than poor people. Marx says…’ SWIG!
  • Bonus 2x ‘Bruno Latour Multiplier’ for attacking ‘hard science’ while unashamedly aping it with ‘disciplines’, ‘research outcomes’ etc. DOUBLE SHOTS REST OF SPEECH.


  • Speaker tediously details their completely indifferent research conducted in some exotic place. ‘So I have Eskimos fold paper into paper air-planes blah blah’. NIP. Double nip if they thank some death ray corporation that paid the air fare.
  • Research exploits ‘youth culture’. NIP. Research involves ‘online social networking’. NIP. Speaker evokes ‘the cloud’. SWIG!
  • Complex analysis of artworks that comes down to racism/sexism. ‘What would be a misspelling of PINEPAPLE by anyone else is an auto-empowerment of this coloured woman’. SIP.
  • Famous, strongly accented foreign presenter speaks for an hour without anyone understanding a single word they say, but nodding furiously to show that they are hip to the message. FINISH THE BOTTLE.


  • Government funded academic denounces governmentality. SPIT AND WAVE BOTTLE.
  • Denounces America in their PowerPoint presentation, wearing blue jeans. SPIT AND THROW BOTTLE.
  • Speaker has body language crossed between Fidel Castro and an angry four year old. NIP. They also wear lots of metal bangles that hit the microphone. SWIG!
  • Social worker haircut. (The proper social worker haircut must look like it was fashionable when the speaker was 20, but has now become an ill formed, over dyed and lopsided memory of the original). SWIG until the haircut looks OK.


  • Inscrutable chart like an underground rail system in Hell makes subject less clear than it already is. NIP.
  • Venn Diagram with completely inane legend. E.g. ‘Twitter’ intersecting with ‘Toilet Training’. NIP.
  • The speaker is shown shaking hands with smiling foreign people. NIP.
  • Speaker is also shown wearing a pith helmet. SKULL!
  • I have no idea what that is, seriously. NIP.
  • Notes are in the original Mandarin. NIP.
  • You’re drunk enough that you can seem to read them. HAVE SOME MORE.


  • Speaker goes over time. NIP. Every speaker goes over time. SWIG for each minute over time.
  • There’s drinks after! Way to go!

Remastering Gigapus

I have nearly finished remastering Gigapus some 15 years after the album was first released.  I say ‘some 15 years’ because it was recorded and rejected several times in the period 1993-1995 and so the timing is a bit loose. Probably I should also not say remaster, as most of the album was never mastered in the first place.

Each time I do a remaster I get a fair few people falling out of trees about how I should never retouch the past and how it was fine as it was and so on. They’re wrong, and I hope I can explain why in this entry. It also is a lot more interesting than just announcing the re-issue.


Gigapus was first demo’ed in 1993 to a disinterested Nettwerk Records who said that it was time I got a drummer and a bass player and then not much useful past that. What they should have said was they were changing their style and just cut the umbilical cord right there and then. As it was it dragged over three versions and a lot of disheartening conversations with Canadians that had just discovered their inner Joni Mitchell.

Version one was done on a Fostex B16 tape recorder with Dolby C. This had been state of the art for The Big Bigot in about 1986, by this time it was a wheezy old relic. You could get a signal up to about 17KHz on a sunny day. All the snap and sparkle would disappear in the Dolby haze. At least I’d managed to get it fixed so it ran at a constant speed – unlike most of Rotund For Success where it wobbles noticeably.

Versions from the following year were done by running all my equipment straight through a mixing desk to DAT. The vocals were part of the sample bank on a ASR-10, along with everything else that wasn’t the Roland Super Jupiter, ESQ-M, Xpander or SY77. That got rid of the tape machine, but keep in mind all those samples fit into 10Mb which is less than a Sound Blaster, and made by the same company. The ASR-10 was a decent machine but not top notch. The rest of the stuff was great analogue gear but not the same as having real multi-track. I’ll give you an example: In Snow, the Super Jupiter was needed to create a certain sound, it could no longer be used for the bass, and the Xpander had to fill in. That was a great machine but it didn’t do basses very well. It also liked to go off key if you looked at it. These keyboards were distinctive, they had a range and they were limited in what they could achieve in one pass.

When the second version got rejected I started to piece together old and new – some of the original tape songs which I thought were OK, and some of the new ones. I also had to quickly rework Dollarex to remove all the samples that might be legal trouble. That album went back to Nettwerk to snub. Around the same time Volition Records had Robert Racic rework Dead Eyes Opened which was never a favourite of mine but certainly paid a lot of bills. They also commissioned Boxcar to rework Heart of The Party, which they did very well.

That track was mastered, but when you load it up in a modern editor you can see that it’s not really quite right. The kick drum is peaking only on one side of the wave form – there’s a constant ‘DC offset’ that is just filling up bandwidth inaudibly. No-one could have done much about that at the time (and no one noticed for over a decade!) but it’s exactly the kind of thing that I should fix now. I also compressed that kick so it’s now more inside the mix than before.

Just turning up the treble can’t bring back the sound that was lost to tape – there’s nothing there. What I did was use an exciter to create harmonics on the existing sounds, which makes waves that are sinusoidal more triangular, brighter and so snares are snappier and strings have more bite. High hats that were buried can be heard more clearly and vocal samples are clearer.

On the other side I added bass to the tracks where the Xpander was used by synthesising lower octaves underneath. That means I can actually turn down the bass because it’s not struggling against the rest of the mix. It’s a bit quieter but you hear it more clearly.

In some cases more precise work was needed. The snare in Tiny Wounded Bird was too loud, a de-esser at just the right spot tamed it back a little bit.

The final step was a multiband compressor/limiter. This catches the frequencies where the sound is too shrill or booming, without harming other parts of the mix that don’t need it. One particular trick I like to do is set a low threshold and a slow attack below 80Hz on the kick drum which lets the snap though but compresses the boom – makes the kick tighter and less likely to confuse the bass.


The original CD never went above -6dB which was standard for the time, but noticeably soft for the last decade. I’ve allowed it up to -1.5dB. More psychological than anything else.

I should mention that Carlos Peron did a remaster of the German version of the album in the mid 90’s which I listened to exactly once. It seems that everyone in Germany had no bass speakers at all, the solution was to turn up the bass ’til it hurt. With all due respect, please no.

For a second disc I’m compiling tracks that were on the original demos, most of them are well known to anyone on the old Sevcom mailing lists. Right now I’m listening through that horrible period after 1996 when the band was dumped and desperate. Mostly live tapes and sketches for live shows, probably best forgotten since the best of it survived as 1998’s Haul Ass.

One thing you will never hear is the appalling 12″ version of Heart Of The Party that was commissioned by Volition in their final moments. At the time the UK was going through a fashion for ‘4 on the floor’ gay anthems. We invited a UK record promoter over to my place to hear the album – his comment was bluntly ‘I really hate this kind of shit’ – simply meaning that it didn’t have a constant kick drum and trance gates that were the fashion. Some unmentionable was hired to create this foulness and may it rest on the bottom of the ocean along with the opinion of that great twat.

Giga++ will be ready soon.

Ten reasons to use Bing!

One. You are less likely to hear Google used as a verb. This one reason is enough, but I give you more!

Two. A worried company is a company that works for you. Sick of reading press about the Google Ideas Hammock hanging in the Google Moss Garden next to the Google 5 Star Staff Restaurant? Just sick of hearing about Google? Does the idea of people carrying on like it’s still the 90’s Dot Com Boom make you queasy? The moment the stock price slips the tiniest bit those dandies will be in cubicles, sweating on your whims. It’ll be a great growing up experience for them.

Three. Google has your search history for the last couple of years on file, and have some intrusive advertising they know you’ll just love. But imagine a world without Adsense. Google have many other less annoying ways to make money – via Blogger, YouTube, Picasa … but they give these away simply to destroy their competitors, who then turn into ad agencies as well. It’s like a virus or a zombie film. This is also the only reason they fund Firefox so don’t be so smug about that. They are as evil as everyone else, yet they claim to have a philosophy. They need a swift kick in the scholars.

Four. First scan everyone’s books, then negotiate a protection racket. Nice work if you’re the Mafia. Likewise for cached pages, street photos … Google doesn’t ask they just go and do it. Just like every other corporation Google uses its monopoly to force control over culture, to which people (especially the EU) are strangely blind. The antidote to monopoly is competition.

Five. Google’s taskbar is spyware crap and I don’t want it no matter how many time it’s bundled at me. Google Updater is far worse, it installs into your OS and if you try delete it, it reinstalls. That’s nasty. How did we deal with Real Networks? We stopped using them. Only by giving them hell will Google stop being the new Real Player. Can you seriously imagine the hide of these guys wanting to store your medical records? They will find a way to sell them. It’s Google.

Six. Cuil was a complete joke. Wolfram Alpha is some kind of demented pocket calculator. Bing is actually usable, which shouldn’t be surprising, but it is. I wouldn’t say it was better, but it’s not noticeably worse. I’ve been running it, no great pain involved.

Seven. In the 1968 film Bing! Richard Burton’s Angel of Death character utters this word every time he hears the waves crashing against the rocks below the cliff-side villa. He explains to Sissy Goforth at one point that “Bing!” is the sound of “the shock of each moment of still being alive”

Eight. The only way to defeat Godzilla is with Mothra. By which I mean only Microsoft is big enough to puncture Google. Stalin VS Hitler – you do not have to love either of them. Hopefully they will beat each other into submission and be so wounded as to give way to other newcomers.

Nine. Bing Crosby. Smooth.

Ten. No matter what you type in, Google will find millions of useless misleading hits. And you can’t refine the search. Millions of hits is not any better than a hundred useful links. Right now Bing seems to be less likely to throw up any damn garbage it finds. Nevertheless, if they fought it out maybe the quality would get better on both sides.

Really it comes down to this: Google is a cancer. Bing is the chemo. Losing some hair is for your own good.

White Man’s Burden

Thank God that Brian Eno is coming to curate the Luminous Festival at the opera house in Sydney. For a short but terrifying moment there was a chance that a young local person might have decided on what was going down. But common sense has prevailed and we rely on the tastes of 1970s Mother Country.

To Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth Rex V2.0.

We the Humble Petitioners undersigned, your loyal subjects from the far flung antipodean colonies, humbly beseech your Royal Majesty to provide us with the culture that we so obviously lack, for the illumination of our feeble untutored minds. Please be sending an emissary from the Mother Country to guide us through the musical and visual arts of which we know nothing.

Yours, Convicts.

Dear convicts I will send my faithful Father Brian Eno to lead you in matters cultural. Make sure that the pound notes are crisp.

Yours, Queen.


So, tell us, what is coming to Sydney such that we must forgo meat pies to save our pennies? What has the great man decided to bring in his suitcase?

Ladytron. Oh yes, nothing quite sums up 2009 like an 80’s nostalgia band that peaked about a decade back. We have nothing like this here and will be very glad of the instruction. Arse.

Lee Scratch Perry. Why just the other decade, or was it a few decades ago, I was saying to myself that Lee Scratch Perry sure sums up dub music. It’s like that wildlife petting zoo in the city centre for people that don’t want to drive too far. I bet … yes of course Adrian Sherwood will be there. Will he do the same act with the speed and the mixing desk as he did 30 years ago? Will be the same desk and the same encrusted speed?

Laaraji. Yeah that was a great screwing record when I was a kid.

Jon Hopkins. Oh look somebody under 30. What does he do? Cafe Del Mar soundalike? Oh that takes me back to when I used to work in the desktop publishing office and the management girls would put on Cafe Del Mar CDs over and over. And he’s worked with Coldplay! Be still my beating heart. Look he has a VJ. Tick ALL the boxes.

Liberace in his coffin. I made that one up but it would be infinitely cooler that all that rot.

Ah, I could go on, but I go on too much. This stinks of an age group and a mind set, and it should have happened 20 years ago or not at all. This whole thing feels like something that was on the shelf until finally somebody accrued enough power to put it on, unchanged from when it was first outlined in the late 80’s.

I don’t blame Brian Eno – it’s enormously ego boosting, he gets to party with all his old friends, and besides the man is so poor he had to sell his DX7.

Before anyone squeals about jealousy – I have other events in motion and they are not so goddamn sycophantic and mouldy.


Of course the highlight for me will be the installation of 77 Million Bad Paintings which will be running throughout the programme. I am sincerely curious to see if multiple examples of this work somehow lifts it above the extremely underwhelming DVD version on which I spent my pie money.


Student Number n324541
Called into office to discuss attendance. Handed me photographs of themselves on top of the burning World Trade Towers attacked by badly superimposed 3D models of WW2 aircraft, including a Nazi UFO. Asked if I had seen the Peter Jackson version of King Kong because ‘that shit was real I was there’. When I questioned the timing of this event said that I was being culturally insensitive.

Rating: I do not like this student.
Action: Pass on to Head of School.


Student Number n213417
Pitched to make short video documentary on persons with vile eating disorders. Asked if I would agree to be interviewed.

Rating: I do not like this student.
Action: Tell student that they are culturally insensitive.


Student Number n448103
Started by sleeping in lectures. Now sets up glass of water on a bedside table, places their false teeth in it, takes off their dressing gown and slippers and rolls up in four poster bed with luxurious canopy & velvet tassels. This is distracting for other students especially those that are sharing the bed.

Rating: I do not like this student.
Action: Bring comically large mechanical alarm clock to next lecture, and wind them up.


Student Number n259182
Insists that they are actually Student Number n235620 plus Goods and Services Tax.

Rating: I do not like this student.
Action: Reduce their results by ten percent.


Student Number n673940
Serenades my office with Elvis songs such as You Ain’t Nothing But A Hound Dog and Heartbreak Hotel, wearing rhinestone encrusted white suit and dark glasses. Speaks with near authentic southern USA accent, however in fluent Mandarin. When I ask who he is supposed to be, says he is David Bowie.

Rating: I do not like this student.
Action: Transfer to Audio Production class.


Student Number n649174
Bears an uncanny likeness to Queen Victoria, standing on a wheeled platform. Does not speak (or move) in tutorials, but has attended every tutorial and lecture so far. Essays quite good, camera work stilted but very steady. Good group dynamics: was once seen by me being pushed into a theory class by other students.

Rating: This is a good student and will do well.

First Past The Post

ADVERTISEMENT!!!!1♣ I have finished, well nearly finished, the super duper severed heads video collection and it’s a double DVD called Showbag*. Double DVD because that’s infinitely cheaper than 1 dual layer disc – economies of scale at work. More on this coming up on the old site.

* Yes, aware that there is a band called Showbag. There is probably a band name for every combination of words in the English language. This is God’s way of saying – guys, knock it off already. Have you checked to make sure there’s not an emo band using your surname? Phew!

So I have also nearly finished the minidisc that goes into the snappily titled Album 10542304 box set of different formats. Each of the elements in the box has to follow at least two rules: it should employ contemporary methods that best address the media, and it has to start with a piano. Lucky in this case, contemporary methods include a whole truck load of digital tomfoolery of the kind used by Autechre back in the 90’s. Which makes what was a piano into just about everything you ever wanted, so long as it has little clicking noises.

Autechre and friends working as Gescom recorded their minidisc back in the 90’s much to the pleasure of Sony Corporation, who gave them a resounding testimonial something along the lines of this band should be as popular and as long lasting as our minidisc format. Or maybe something less grim. Anyway, even though I’m not making the same record as they did, there’s only so much difference between gleep, blorp, splat and ticky ticky no matter who does it. Because it’s a very limited genre really and already has its own tombstone on which is written: Post Digital.

Say again?

Yes folks, we are in a Post Digital culture now. Various people have explained this to me and some of them, mostly those that were drunk at the time, made a lot of sense. Post is the word we use for the let down, the realisation that systems won’t take care of everything. Hence Post Modern in essence is the realisation that modernity wasn’t the answer to everything. Which makes sense but is a reactionary stance, no matter the sugar on top. It’s like the wise guy in the film who says, ‘that plan won’t work! You can’t climb twenty feet of sheer metal! I prefer the modern guy who says, ‘Well we have to try anyway!’ who usually ends up eaten by the monster in reel 6.

Post Digital is the failure of digital mechanisms, the skipping CD, the effects unit that overloads and makes splat sounds. It’s every tedious Oval album you wished you hadn’t bought. It’s now built into many digital recording tools such as Ableton Live, where failure can be successfully controlled and automated. In 2008 it’s also the 12 bar blues of electronic music. The rules seem to be pretty much in place and everyone knows them. That’s kind of Post Digital too I guess. But what worries me is that when I use analogue equipment that screws up, is that Post Analogue? Is tape hiss Post Analogue? I mean that makes every record that came out for decades unwittingly post something or other. Like Frampton Comes Alive. Very Post Analogue.

Taxonomy, folks. It keeps the university system rolling along.

Recently I was part of a seminar that also included some performances by academically endowed musician types. I was not one of them, being well known as ‘that fat bastard who does that old 80s stuff’. How little they know. Anyway the genre of the evening was most definitely 12 bar post digital, but to be honest it was the moments that didn’t fit that rule that made it bearable. Forget the names, there was the overall idea that this was a concert on the edge of something current, but only in the times where it leaned back into standards such as melody and rhythm that I found any interest. Lord help us if the fetishes of the 90’s became the new academy. MaxMSP, I have my guns out, I’m a coming for ya.

Are we ready for Post ‘Post’?