Entertainment

When I read Pat Cadigan’s Synners back in the early 90s I thought about what technological advances would be needed to get there. I understood basic electronics, having taken it in high school, and had been using computers since a 12″ CRT, cassette drive, analog coupler & 4K were a big deal & cost over $1000. So, I had a fairly good idea, except not knowing how we would achieve the flexible TFT screens considering they were encased in glass, and a lot of problems with power & complexity. I also read Sterling, Gibson, Rucker & Stephenson which also influenced my thinking about technical (and social) advances (regressions).

Since then there’s been many advances that move us closer to what was a pure fantasy. Miniaturization of components and SoCs as small as your pinky nail were easily predictable. Tuning audio for a room in seconds was foreseeable, and a lot of ideas I could see coming to shape right on time or even before. This digital world lives in a trans-dimensional plane that can express all possible dimensions by its nature of having no dimensions—what I think of as the “all in none” paradox that got this universe started in the first place. So, aside from imagination of what to program into it, what sort of media people would consume, the only limit was physical. New materials and chemical processes are making the fundamental plane on which our interconnected digital world more flexible and more fantastic. For a very LONG time the race has been to offer flexible displays. This year the first mass market flexible display came out. But still the device it is embedded in, is not. Once someone puts 2 & 2 together at Apple or Google, there will be a product that does to the smartphone what the tablet did to the desktop & laptop.

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We started a new streaming radio endeavor on FCCFreeRadio. Our station’s site KCYX: Radio Kill is all about the show. We are currently on Hiatus. The first show had the classic “first show” gremlins all come out in series. The second week had a new batch of technical gremlins—but such is life with live shows & limited access to equipment. The first show focused on current music with a few throwbacks to early industrial. The total of six shows might be available still, but all that is up in the air at this point.

To not spam people not into the music, I will only post things about music we play or like on the KCYX Page — it also has push notifications. This is a joint-venture between me and a long time friend. We had guests  & plan to have more guests as well. So, check it out if you like music you won’t usually hear on terrestrial radio. The last show had ManifestiV stop in to talk about their tour & future releases.

Shows (should they continue) will play current electro/industrial/goth/darkwave/post-punk/etc. (basically the alternative music that was never labeled “alternative” in its day, but gracenote doesn’t recognize the genres by their actual names).

Thanks for reading.

I love music, but I only know about a 10% of the lyrics of the music I listen ot if that. Sure I can (try to) sing Assimilate but invariably get at least some lines wrong or can’t remember them at all — or the singer is behind an even thicker wall of vocal distortion. So, When I can I look up lyrcis and paste them into my music files.

But with literally hundreds of GBs of music, I can’t take the time to lookup every song’s lyrics and paste them in because it’s at least a 5 step process. The thing is steps 1-3 involves simply looking up the lyrics which I always WISH I could skip. I found a way to do just that using Alfred’s powerpack workflows. If you want to know more, make the jump through hyperspace & I’ll tell ya’ on the other side (assuming we don’t bounce off a solar flare or get sucked into a black hole, kid)…

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Television programs, like music artists, have certain audiences they appeal to, and not everyone will like the an artist or show regardless of the quality of the end product. So, while I can’t say these are the best shows, or any more worthwhile than TV genres I usually avoid (reality TV shows), I can say, these are the shows I like. If you are wondering “why should I care what Noivad watches?” or under what “authority” I share this.

The quick answer is that I graduated with a degree in Broadcast & Electronic Communication (with a production emphasis)—so I know how to make the stuff. That’s not important nor enough reason for authority, but what it means is that quickly deconstructing television shows and movies is easy for me to look beyond the surface (which can be enough reason to watch in some cases) into the substance of a show. I can usually quickly spot potential, and shows with deeper layers or more suspense & less explored subject matter I tend to enjoy. Also, I try to watch all the new shows to see which ones aren’t rehashes of prior shows. (This means you probably won’t find “CSI: Spacepants” joining this line up anytime soon.)

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This past year saw another significant increase in page hits, which is cool in some respect. However I value interaction more, and comments are few and far between. Still people seem to care mainly about music and bluetooth headphones. The great thing is, BT headsets are now in the realm of “very affordable.”

FYI, the prior post generated a few “corrections” as to the song title of Squeeze’s “Another Nail For My Heart.” After a short discussion, and seeing both versions in print, with most favoring the one I thought to be inaccurate, I decided to write the songwriter to ask because it was starting to bother me. After listening to that song for a good 3 decades, I was convinced it was a mistake someone made, who was not familiar with the song. The lyrics said different, while the old saying says something else. It would have been natural for someone, early on, to favor the familiar saying, instead of the more subtle lyric. I alway interpreted it as if the “nail” was either a love song or a drink, or both. Here is a guy heartbroken over a breakup, drinking his sorrows, while the piano player sings  songs, each love song, another nail for the writer’s heart. This is conjecture, unless the songwriter weighs in, but it is my interpretation of it.

I figure, you can strive to be right or you can strive to be accurate. Favoring the former will mean less of the latter, whereas striving for accuracy will often net you being right more often. I was well prepared to be wrong, learn yet another small thing and wait a week while whomever intercepted the message, hopefully passed it on. To my surprise, about 5 minutes later, the songwriter, Chris Difford, answered, and wrote back:

Thanks for the email, it is indeed – for my heart…..

its been many years and it has chopped around on set lists, but from the original this is the real title

many thanks.

Cd

That, in and of itself was pretty damn cool. Sometimes I love the Internet, and being able to reach out and ask someone whose songs you have been listening to for over 30 years a question and get a fast as light answer, definitely falls within the realm of cool. By the way, I will leave readers with my summary, and a new axiom:

You can strive to be right, or you can strive to be accurate, but trying to be accurate instead of being right will get you both more often.

Someone probably already said this. If not, this one is mine. That, and I appreciate people who actually take the time to look things up — unfortunately, in the above case, the info is mostly wrong. Thanks for reading.

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I got a ton of flack from people on Ars when I commented that CD quality audio lost a lot of information that greatly affected a listener’s perception, and MP3 and other compressed audio formats simply made a bad situation worse.

I over-simplified my argument to keep it approachable, and had some wannabe audio experts quoting the Shannon-Nyquist theorem. They must have read ahead or did not understand the geek-speak for what needs to be true for the theorem to be valid. I figure they didn’t even read the prerequisites needed, and do not understand music enough to know that pretty much no music falls into the prerequisite category — having a constant frequency.

Apparently, Neil Young agrees. I was unaware that his hatred of MP3s is probably greater than mine until he announced Pono. Young has been on the road showing off and evangelizing better quality audio. There has been a lot of buzz about it — not just because he is such an iconic figure in music, but because the 3 big music companies (Warner, Sony and Universal) will sign up to support the better quality format.

In my post: 44kHz is not enough. I decided that a good compromise between file size and quality would be 24bit, 128kHz. But Young has decided that the studio quality digital audio woule be supported which is typically 192kHz/32bit. (Apple’s ALAC actually supports up to twice the sample rate, but it is probably future-proofing the format.) My hope is that this will not be yet another failed better quality audio format. The reasoning is two-fold:

  1. I want higher quality audio than what is currently available.
  2. I want the influx of bandwidth consumption to wake up consumers, and have them apply pressure to the communications companies* to increase speeds so that even a slow connection could stream 1–2MB/s.

See http://techland.time.com/2012/10/01/pono-neil-young/ for an article and video of Young and Letterman talking about Pono. So all in all, this is good news.

Update: I have since found bandcamp for the lossless CD quality audio, which will have to do until more albums from artists I follow are available on HDtracks.

*The telecoms monopolized our internet access landscape about a decade ago, after G.W. Bush overturned the laws that prevented de-facto monopolies. The laws that were repealed forced the telecoms to open up their lines (the cost of installation was funded by the government in many cases) thereby flattening the bandwidth speed increase curve. This lead to many smaller ISPs dying and fewer jobs in every region of the country. In turn, since there was little to no real competition, there was little-to-no incentive to increase internet speeds. The same 6Mbps connection has been offered for $40 or more the last half decade. But that is another topic.

App.net might look like just another social service to some. And, in fact, it currently looks very much like Twitter was when it started: It is just a lot of tech-savvy people talking freely and enthusiastically about app.net and whatever strikes their fancy: No celebrities promoting themselves, no ad-spam, no fake users, no incredibly stupid posts—although there are some stupid posts, there’s no one stupid enough to post public calls to kill government officials as one woman who has disappeared did. App.net is just a lot of signal with very low noise.

I get at least a few invites each month to join a new SoNet. The invites usually get a tossed into the trash almost immediately. Few get me to look at the site. But that’s usually it. Even if I do sign up the to site, I often let it languish and simply forget about it until they start spamming me to use their site, “log in with…” or want me to link my other SoNets to it.

Paying not to Share but Selectively Share

App.net is 180° away from ll of these sites though, because their interests align with my interests:

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I just saw the mini post it notes today on ThinkGeek (https://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/supplies/ba1d/). I wish I had thought of a few of those sayings. Oh wait! I did…

An old CDT friend loved these so much he stuck them on his walls.

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A good friend who went to a screening told me it wasn’t worth seeing, but it is kind of a tradition for us now. So, we went anyway. We saw it on the official opening day: Friday 11AM and the theater was half full to our suprise. I checked out the Rotten Tomatoes score and saw a 95% Movie-goer and a 92% Critical Rating. (It was up one more point per last I checked). So, I figure maybe my friend was being too harsh.

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