Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Tracks magazine is no more...

Tracks magazine was a short-lived but excellent music magazine, the closest I've seen to a replacement for the late & lamented Musician magazine.

But Tracks lives on in a website.

They even have a podcast! Sweet!

And they've been acquired by Paste magazine, which is the other good new music magazine that exists these days...

Wil Wheaton

Wil Wheaton has a funny conversation...

On Friday, Anne and I had the following exchange:

Anne: 'Nolan's friend is in the little league all-star tournament, and Nolan's going to watch him tonight.'

Me: 'Uh-huh.'

Anne: 'Depending on what happens in tonight's game, his friend's team may be playing tomorrow —'

Me: 'Is it a round robin, or something?'

Anne: 'It's not like a poker tournament, where you get eliminated on the first day and then you're out.'

Me: *silence*

Anne: 'Oh, wait. I mean, not you, like you, Wil, my husband . . .'

Me: ' . . . who can't make it past the first day of a tournament . . . '

Anne: 'No! That's not what I mean. I just meant that it's not single-elimination, and . . . poker . . . baseball . . . one . . . tournament . . .'

At this point I started laughing so hard I had to stop and compose myself.

Me: 'I know what you mean. That was awesome.'

Anne: 'This is going on your blog, isn't it?'

Me: 'Yes. Yes it is.'

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Hey, I like Visqueen!

I guess it's not too surprising that someone who grooves on Voice of the Beehive and Bettie Serveet would like Visqueen.

Royksopp has a new album

How about them apples?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Eye - Smashing Pumpkins

I never really listened to Smashing Pumpkins. Nothing against 'em, it's just I realized a long time ago that there is way too much good music in the world for me to be able to listen to it all, and Smashing Pumpkins seemed to have a good shot at falling into that category.

This tune I like just because it sounds like it should be the music that we're listening to when Trouble and Her Friends comes true.

A nice quiet Jack Johnson tune...

...with that smooth-rolling voice & finger-pickin' guitar.

'No Other Way' - Jack Johnson from the album In Between Dreams."

John Hiatt has never sounded more like Elvis...

...Attractions-era Elvis Costello, that is. He even ends the song's fade-out by shouting quotes from 'Everyday I write the Book'


From Glenn Philips, formerly of Toad the Wet Sprocket. As great as some of that band's beautiful melancholy (like Come Back Down - Toad The Wet Sprocket)

Monday, July 18, 2005

Web-based RSS aggregators + two great tastes that...

This was a response to an email thread on a mailing list I'm on... but it's come up enough that I should blog it so I don't have to keep typing it over and over again.

There are also a number of web-based RSS readers, aka aggregators. There are numerous benefits to using a web-based aggregator, one being that you can read your feeds from any computer and read/unread status for messages (and your subscriptions for that matter) will always be current. I highly recommend checking out that approach, particularly if you have multiple computers you surf from (eg, home, work, etc). And since they’ll all (AFAIK) import and export an OPML list of your subscribed feeds, switching from one to the other for test drive purposes is pretty painless.

Bloglines is AFAIK the first web RSS aggregator. – I have occasional problems with it where it does not refresh properly and shows me pages full of javascript, or displays only articles from 6 months ago in certain feeds. Might be my account is messed up as I haven’t heard other people have this problem. NetNewsWire Pro - OS X only, sorry Windows & Linux users - can sync with Bloglines.

Newsgator is doing some very cool stuff, in addition to the web version, they have an Outlook plug-in that syncs with the web reader. They have also partnered up with Feeddemon for a full desktop client that also syncs up. I believe there’s a mobile version, too. The web-only version is free; the Outlook plug-in can be demo’d but you need to pay eventually. For many people, especially those who spend lots of time on MS platforms, I think that Newsgator should probably be the first candidate you evaluate for web-based aggregator.

C’Net has a very polished looking one called Newsburst.

Rojo is getting some good buzz lately.

Of course Firefox itself has RSS capabilities and there are tons of RSS extensions for Firefox, but keep in mind that browser-based != web-based.

Safari also does RSS.

And in case any of you are living under a rock, IE 7 will have RSS support; Longhorn will have even more.

I’ve also found that combining web-based "social bookmarking" with a web-based aggregator is a great way to bookmark those links you spot while surfing at home that you want to follow up on later at work; I particulary appreciate being able to annotate each link with some extra text, or a key sentence or two from the page instead of just having to rely on the page title. You can also type in extra ‘tags’ to label what category(ies) a bookmark falls into. As an extra bonus, if you’ve found a bunch of links on a topic and you want to share them with a co-worker etc, it’s as simple as giving them your URL for that tag. For example, here are my links on LUA (least-user-access aka least privilege):

To bring this full-circle back to RSS: any tag bookmark has its own RSS feed. Here’s the RSS feed for ALL users’ bookmarks (remember that "social bookmarking" thing?This is what I'm talking about) that are tagged with “Longhorn”: - if you aren’t up on RSS yet and just want to see the HTML version, here it is:

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Daniel Lanois - Belladonna

Daniel finally makes the solo album I've been waiting for him to make (though Acadie is wonderful in a totally different way). Belladonna is entirely instrumental, heavily guitar-oriented, lush, and kinda spooky sounding.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Debate intensifies over Hot Coffee sex in GTA - PC News at GameSpot

"The retail release of the game does allow for the game's protagonist, CJ, to indulge in blatantly sexual activity with his girlfriends--any in-game activity of that sort takes place behind closed doors and is merely accompanied by suggestive sounds. The Hot Coffee mod lets gamers into the bedroom to watch CJ get in flagrante delicto with a lady and even have control over the participants' actions.

Wildenborg insists that the X-rated code is already in the game and that all his patch does is bypass the game's 'censor flags.'"

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.... hee hee hee...

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Some songs for Melissa to listen to on the Roku...

Full albums - newish stuff from Van Morrisson, BoDeans, Beck, Ben Folds, and Jack Johnson.

Eels' Blinking Lights

Eels new album Blinking Lights is a fantastic double-disc concept album. (Ok, I own the two CD's; I don't know if it's a "double-disc" concept album if you're just streaming it from Rhapsody.)

Just check out the song titles. With any luck that'll be enough to get you sucked in. I listened to the whole thing while catching up on an overdue lawnmowing this weekend (yardwork + iPod + noise-canceling-headphones = quality listening time). Good way to experience it.

1. Theme From Blinking Lights - Eels
2. From Which I Came / A Magic World - Eels
3. Son Of A Bitch - Eels
4. Blinking Lights (For Me) - Eels
5. Trouble With Dreams - Eels
6. Marie Floating Over The Backyard - Eels
7. Suicide Life - Eels
8. In The Yard, Behind The Church - Eels
9. Railroad Man - Eels
10. The Other Shoe - Eels
11. Last Time We Spoke - Eels
12. Mother Mary - Eels
13. Going Fetal - Eels
14. Understanding Salesman - Eels
15. Theme For A Pretty Girl That Makes You Believe God Exists - Eels
16. Checkout Blues - Eels
17. Blinking Lights (For You) - Eels
18. Dust Of Ages - Eels
19. Old Shit / New Shit - Eels
20. Bride of Theme From Blinking Lights - Eels
21. Hey Man (Now You're Really Living) - Eels
22. I'm Going To Stop Pretending That I Didn't Break Your Heart - Eels
23. To Lick Your Boots - Eels
24. If You See Natalie - Eels
25. Sweet Li'l Thing - Eels
26. A Peach In The Orchard - Eels
27. Whatever Happened To Soy Bomb - Eels
28. Ugly Love - Eels
29. God's Silence - Eels
30. Losing Streak - Eels
31. Last Days Of My Bitter Heart - Eels
32. The Stars Shine In The Sky Tonight - Eels
33. Things The Grandchildren Should Know - Eels Parkinson's drug gains evidence

"Five years ago, the first patients to receive GDNF were enrolled in a study at the Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, England. In December, a 62-year-old patient in the study died of a heart attack, which provided an opportunity to see whether the medicine had done its job in the brain. In life, the patient had noted dramatic improvements, the British scientists said. A brain autopsy showed the experimental treatment 'caused regrowth of the nerve fibers lost in the disease.' The study was conducted by Frenchay's Dr. Steven Gill and Seth Love of Bristol University."
Amgen's official statement on halting GDNF study for Parkinson's

On the one hand, this is exactly what you'd want a drug company to do as soon as indications came up from studies that there may be a fatal safety issue with a drug.

On the other hand, it's a very sad situation, especially tragic for the people who personally feel that they are willing to take the risks with fully informed consent, both for themselves and for hopes of developing a treatment for Parkinson's disease.

Very sad. I'm going to be keeping a close eye on this one.

Amgen had clinical trials of a drug that appeared to have fantastic results undoing the effects of Parkinson's. The trials were stopped after animal safety studies showed that in some cases the drug could cause brain damage and death.

But the patients who were seeing life-altering results from the drug are understandably both devastated and angry that Amgen won't provide any more of it at any price.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Tomorrow I'll have my Roku Soundbridge M1000! Whee!

Here are my Roku links.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Brian Eno ambient sampler: "Brian Eno's ambient stuff is just what I was looking for. "
BlogThis is a must-have for anyone who has both Firefox and a account. Go get it now, thank me later.

What's it do? Ok, I'll tell ya. Right-click anywhere on any page in firefox and select "BlogThis" and it opens up a little blogger window with the link pre-populated.

Very similar to the Rhapsody feature, only without the bugs.
I have a account. You should get one too!
This song will probably make Bach smile.: "1. Chinito Chinito - Ry Cooder"

Monday, July 04, 2005

RSS and Attention
from Nick BradburyLink

And that's what I'm asking you to blog about (or, if you don't have a blog, comment here). If you believe that you should own your attention data, now is the time to sound off about it. You don't need to link to me or even mention me in your blog - just make sure to include "RSS and Attention" in your entry's title so that everyone who pays attention to this subject (ie: Microsoft, Google, myself, etc.) can find you. I'm taking Microsoft at their word that they'll listen to the conversation while designing their RSS support, so let's test them on this.


(This is not the first time I've mentioned Attention!)

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Teenage Fanclub - Grand Prix: "Why have I never heard this album before? I even owned a few other Teenage Fanclub albums at college and liked them, but they didn't really grab me.

Of course the title of this album, and the cover photo of an F1 car, don't hurt. :-)

Great melodic power pop/rock, like Big Star."

MSNBC Analyst Says Cooper Documents Reveal Karl Rove as Source in Plame Case


Not that it'd be a surprise, if true, that Rove was behind this. But shocking that he finally might get caught at one of his dirty tricks.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Sonho Dourado - Daniel Lanois: "The uber-producer has a typically tasty, atmospheric guitar-based instrumental here."