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The 404 449: Where we're not gonna sweat it

Be careful. The CIA is monitoring this broadcast.

Today's Beck's Beer Audio Draft Pick is the Works Progress Administration (WPA) WPA

Back in April of 2008 BJ (before Justin), motivational speaker James Arthur Ray guest-hosted The 404 Podcast and Jeff, Wilson, and Randall spoke to him about how to grow your own meat--no lie. Anyway, the show left a sour taste in The 404's collective mouth, and more than a year later it turns out that Mr. Ray is a big phony, not unlike Balloon Boy Sr.

Turns out that three people died in Arizona at a spiritual retreat "sweat lodge" organized by the self-appointed guru. It's a very sad story, and our hearts go out to the families of the victims. And James? Shame on you.

Oh, and surprise! The personal information you put up on the Internet is no longer private. According to this Wired Danger Room blog, a branch of the CIA has begun heavily investing in Visible Technologies, a software firm that monitors social media, including blog posts, Internet forums, online videos, radio reports, and so on. Luckily, Facebook is currently immune to such companies due to its closed architecture, but Twitter, Amazon, and YouTube are all fair game.

This report is definitely worth reading, but we're not surprised. Actually, we thought there was already a system set up to spy on our Web activities: it's called GOOGLE, and it's not doing such a great job at keeping our information private. The company is under suspicion of accidentally posting transcribed voice mails from its Google Voice service. Although this issue might actually concern me if my entire voice mail box weren't filled with concerned messages from my mother...

Today's Beck's Beer Draft Pick is Works Progress Administration (WPA). WPA

We're doing three Beck's Beer Audio Drafts this week to make up for the one we skipped last Friday due to Wilson's absence, and Wilson's pick for today is Works Progress Administration, a country outfit comprised of some of the most recognizable names in country music, including Glen Phillips from Toad the Wet Sprocket, Sean Watkins from Nickel Creek, and Benmont Tench from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

The songs of the day are called "Good as Ever" and "Always Have My Love," and although Jeff and I aren't huge fans of the country music genre, we can definitely appreciate the musical talent of this supergroup, and Wilson chimes in to explain the difference between country-pop, country-rock, and a million other sub-genres. The band is currently on a West Coast Tour, so be sure to check out the WPA Web site for more details.



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