What's good for the goose is good for the gander

12/04/06 | by Adam | Categories: Copyright

Link: http://www.engadget.com/2006/12/04/ce-oh-no-he-didnt-part-xx-warner-music-ceo-fairly-certain/

Not really a lot to add to Engadget's comment on copyright infringement by the family of music studio Edgar Bronfman.

 

Review: Philips PET824 Portable DVD Player

12/03/06 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Reviews

Link: http://www.consumer.philips.com/consumer/catalog/tree/PORTABLE_ENTERTAINMENT_GR_CA_CONSUMER/PORTABLE_DVD_PLAYERS_CA_CA_CONSUMER/product/PET824_37_CA_CONSUMER/catalog.jsp?language=en&country=CA&catalogType=CONSUMER&proxybuster=OEH0XYTCGEZELJ0RMRESHQNHKFSEK

Summary: Portable DVD player with an 8.5" LCD screen

I picked this one up to be my seven year-old niece's Christmas present this year. As we're still in the pre-Christmas period, I'm hoping that she won't find this blog and read that. Anyway, the Philips PET824 is a portable DVD player with an 8.5" screen picked up from CostCo for a shade under $200. I compared it to its little brother, the 7" version, which was about $149. The screen on that thing was terrible and the overall dimensions not terribly different. Its bigger brother with a 10" screen was $100 more and looked pretty similar. So I went with this one.

Full story »

 

Mythos, "Eternity"

12/02/06 | by Adam | Categories: Music, Reviews

"Eternity" from 2002 is a mostly instrumental album from Vancouver's Mythos. Slotted into the vaguaries of the New Age section, it's like a rather more relaxed and less electronic version of Delerium. These are not dance tunes but do borrow a lot of the structure and the instrumentation. Most songs showcase complementary (and complimentary for that matter) piano and acoustic guitar -- typically Spanish -- that're a staple of the Mythos style as well as wailing voices who seem to be singing "waaay waaaay waaay" all the time.

I don't normally comment on the cover art of CDs (it's at the bottom of this post) but I love the rather abstract and fantastic artwork on this one.

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The sadly short lifetime of game music

12/01/06 | by Adam | Categories: Music, Copyright, Games

Link: http://agonist.org/ian_welsh/20061130/vista_released_to_business_users_smart_people_will_pass

Ian Welsh over at The Agonist has a good run down on the DRM in Microsoft Vista and what it means. It's a good article, but Vista's not what I'm interested in for this discussion.

There's a brief reference to imbedded DRM on purchased downloaded music. Ian name-checks Jeremy Soule. Soule writes music for games including quite a good score for Black Isle's "Icewind Dale" from a few years ago. He then goes on to demonstrate why the DRM restrictions on music penalise those who buy it.

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Odd Web Page Defacement

12/01/06 | by Adam | Categories: Technology

Link: http://www.randsinrepose.com/

One of my usual stops is RandsInRepose which is a site dealing with project management issues in the IT domain. It's very much a non-political site and rarely has anything to say outside of that particular focus. It's due to that that I was very surprised that it's been defaced today with a Basque ETA hijack. Given the total lack of commonality, there's no rationale for this other than the hooligan knew how to access the server.

Hopefully Rand will get his usual site back up soon.

Update (06/12/01 12:45 pm): Ah, it's back although with no comment.

 

Guide to writing a Ph.D. dissertation

12/01/06 | by Adam | Categories: Technology

Link: http://members.verizon.net/~vze3fs8i/air/airphd.html

I cannot claim to be able to validate this particular article given that I have not, in fact, completed a Ph.D. I do, however have a good friend who has and based on comments over the years, feel the representation is quite accurate. Particularly this bit:

These days, dissertations are produced using word processing programs such as Word or Word Perfect, or computer typesetting systems such as TeX or LaTeX. The former will give you practice in drawing by hand all the symbols that aren't supported, while with the latter you have the opportunity to craft new typesetting definitions to satisfy your university's dissertation policies.

The same author has written other tracts in the same vein of which the one of "How To Write A Scientific Paper" is really quite funny.

(Via Optimuscrime)

 

2,000 year-old analogue computer

11/30/06 | by Adam | Categories: Technology

Link: http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2006/11/2000_year_old_c.html

I heard about this on the CBC this morning and thought "wow". The BBC has a more complete story on the Antikythera Mechanism, but in summary the Greeks built a mechanical gear-based tool for calculating astronomical cycles. This amazes me on two levels: first, there's the incredible scientific and mathematical sophistication of the ancient Greeks; the second is that they were capable of building such complex precision mechanical devices. It's taken since 1902 when the majority of the device was first found to now to try to decide what the parts did; the clincher was a further discovery of parts last year that allowed them create a reassembly of the unit.

From the BBC article:

Writing in Nature, the team says that the mechanism was "technically more complex than any known device for at least a millennium afterwards".
[...]
"When you see it your jaw just drops and you think: 'bloody hell, that's clever'. It's a brilliant technical design," said Professor Mike Edmunds.

Update (2006/11/30): Here's the Guardian's take on it.

 

Not now, dear, I'm blogging

11/30/06 | by Adam | Categories: Silly, YouTube

Link: http://youtube.com/watch?v=12yD8JyaVvY

Yup, another YouTube video. This one's by way of Kottke.

 

Delerium, "Nuages Du Monde"

11/30/06 | by Adam | Categories: Music, Reviews

Link: http://delerium.ca/delerium.html

As of this point, "Nuages Du Monde" is the most recent of the Delerium albums. It's also a good one. And, unlike 2003's "Chimera", it's not copy protected. Yay, Nettwerk! If you've heard one Delerium album, fundamentally you've heard them all: gorgeous female vocals laid over dancefloor/trance rhythms with a strong world beat influence. "Nuages Du Monde" hits all the bases.

Full story »

 

Adam != Ritchie

11/30/06 | by Adam | Categories: Silly, American

Checking through the comment spam this morning I found a rant from one "Emmanuel Goldstein" under the post about the luxury good embargo on North Korea. Now, as much as I appreciate a flame written by a character from Orwell's "1984", I do have to point out that there are in fact two people who regularly post to this blog, and I'm just one of them. Attacking me for something I didn't write simply irritates me. Attacking me under such an obvious pseudonym is even more annoying. Attacking me with a half-assed piece of tripe wherein a clear inability to reason, or even spell, is demonstrated just makes me pity you.

As for what promoted this wonderful diatribe from Emmanuel? Apparently Ritchie posted something on another site that Mr Orwell's protege disliked. Could Mr Goldstein possible be, gasp, a Republican? Apparently.

Anyway, greetings from the Axis of Weasels. Have a nice day.

 

We have a new winner!

11/29/06 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Silly

Link: http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/peripherals/size-matters-whopper-monitor-by-siemens-217667.php

...in the ridiculously huge monitor stakes. Excuse me, I have to go sell a kidney now.

 

Novel ways to overthrow a foreign country

11/29/06 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Politics

Link: http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/11/29/D8LMJCHO0.html

I have to give kudos to the Americans on this one; I don't think I've ever seen an attempt to destabilize a country by refusing to sell it luxury goods. Quote from the piece:

Experts said the effort -- being coordinated under the United Nations -- would be the first ever to curtail a specific category of goods not associated with military buildups or weapons designs, especially one so tailored to annoy a foreign leader.

Frankly, it's a much better idea than invading although I remain to be convinced it'll actually accomplish anything useful.

 

Review: Griffin RocketFM

11/29/06 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Music, Reviews

Link: http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/rocketfm/

Summary: USB powered low-range FM transmitter

As probably noticed in other posts, I'm not much of a fan of Calgary radio. This poses a bit of a problem as I like waking up to music and if my first reaction is that I'd like to strangle the DJ, well, it makes for a poor start to the day. I do however have a very fine collection of music in digital form that I like listening to. The obvious solution is to make my music collection what I wake up to.

Full story »

 

Sources of music recommendations

11/28/06 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Music

Wired News has two articles today on internet music sources. The first by Leander Kahney is about Rhapsody, a retailer in the vein of iTunes, eMusic and Napster. His conclusion: some good ideas, but not ready for prime time. The second is by Scott Gilbertson about music recommendation sites (Pandora, iLike, Last.fm and Qloud.) His conclusion: any one will do.

Full story »

 

Ze Frank

11/27/06 | by Adam | Categories: Silly

Link: http://www.zefrank.com/theshow/archives/2006/11/112106.html

As a follow on from Ritchie's TED linkage, I thought I might point people at the full Ze Frank site. "Ze Frank" is a web comedian; he sticks up brief video skits on a regular basis which take the form of a face-to-face discussion with the audience.

It's great stuff. The link is to a description of the parallels between attending an American Thanksgiving dinner with invading a third world country.

 

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