"It was an insult to my intelligence to see those [Internet] companies bid up to billion-dollar valuations without any profits. It was only natural that they would go out of business."
—--John Zappa, inventor of ticker-tape TP


Circuit City/Amazon, Disc-Burning Wars, Russell Simmons, Dylan and Dot-Com Bathroom Tissue

The trouble with shopping online, for some, seems to be the time it takes to pluck the physical item you’ve bought and paid for out of the ether. Brick ‘n’ mortar electronics retailer Circuit City and e-commerce behemoth Amazon.com are addressing the problem jointly with a new agreement that will allow Amazon shoppers to order online and pick up their new gadgets immediately from their local CC store (CC already offers this service on its website). The revolutionary deal will give more consumers than ever before the convenience of both shopping from home AND shlepping to the store to pick up whatever it is they’ve bought. Sounds perfect for people who miss long checkout lines or just plain need to get out more.

Hewlett-Packard is unveiling the first rewritable DVD+RW drive for PCs today, and frankly, it’s about time. Though there are many different DVD burners on the market, this is the first drive employing the DVD+RW standard, meaning that there are now three DVD rewritable standards, including DVD-RW and DVD-RAM. Users will be able to record video to the disc, play it back in a regular DVD player and then re-record on the same disc. It also burns audio CDs and CD-RWs. The $600 DVD-writer will be in stores next month, just in time for holiday sales. Later this year, H-P will begin incorporating the drives into its PCs. In the meantime, console yourself with Sony’s new line of ultrahigh-speed CD-RW drives, which can burn a full 700MB CD in about four minutes—perfect for the on-the-go CD copier. There is also a model with a slot for Memory Sticks. The new line comes with Sony’s new Power Burn software, a phrase we’ve been hearing around the office.

Brilliant Digital Entertainment
, that is. The Def Jam founder/hip-hop impresario has joined the board of the 3D technology/content creation and distribution company, which makes sense, since Simmons is a partner in Digital Hip Hop, an L.A.-based digital production joint venture with Brilliant Digital. Brilliant’s 3D animated Web music video platform, which was introduced in a video for Def Jam rapper Ja Rule. Other artists who have used the platform include Sum 41, Ludacris and Lady Luck. "Brilliant uses the Internet to bring the same type of innovation that MTV provided during the early ’80s," said Simmons. "Now if we can just get Adam Curry on the board, we’ll really have something."

’s WindowsMedia.com has scored exclusive free-download rights to a track from Bob Dylan’s highly anticipated follow-up to his Album of the Year Grammy-winning "Time Out of Mind." The track, called "Po’Boy," is available for free download at www.WindowsMedia.com/previewv2/bobdylan through September 20. Dylan’s 43rd album, "Love and Theft," will street September 11. The free downloads will be accompanied by an offer to pre-order the album (until its release, anyway) and will time-out after one year. Although the album has received all the critical encomia one would expect, as of this writing, Soy Bomb had yet to weigh in.

Digital Club Network
, in the news of late for its association with AOL Music, has cut a deal with concert promoter Terrapin Presents to make available main-stage footage from Terrapin’s recent "Gathering of the Vibes" festival, which took place in Red Hook, NY from June 29 to July 1. Over 24 hours of Vibes music by artists like Bruce Hornsby, Les Claypool and John Scofield can be grooved to, along with virtual handfuls of reds and orange sunshine, on DCN.com. Meanwhile, soon-to-debut satellite radio company XM Satellite Radio is doing a little street-level marketing by sponsoring an electronica stage at San Diego’s early-September "Street Scene" festival, billed as California’s largest music gathering. XM will make its commercial service available in San Diego, along with Dallas/Fort Worth, beginning September 12.

Frank Zappa’s second cousin has discovered a clever way to cash in on the Internet stock bust. John Zappa is currently marketing toilet paper printed to look like tickertape and featuring the stock prices of struggling dot-coms. Zappa’s novelty TP, which features publicly traded companies such as Yahoo, Amazon and BroadVision on its "roll of shame," sells for $9.95 a roll. "It’s not my intention to hurt anybody, but I’m a realist," Zappa told CNET. "It was an insult to my intelligence to see those companies bid up to billion-dollar valuations without any profits. It was only natural that they would go out of business." Some critics have called Zappa’s novelty passe, as many people have already been using their stock certificates like this.