Archive for September 2003

flex/paper/plastic promotional records

Yeah, remember those little flimsy records you’d get in Mad magazine? apparently that was quite a marketing tool..

Observe a repository here

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skypememe: RSS to MP3 to iPod

“smlogo”As long as we’re talking about sound, I want scheduled text-to-speech conversion of pre-selected RSS feeds. Speak them into an MP3 file. Automatically download them to an iPod for offline listening at the gym or during a commute. Feeds become folders, posts become files, to help with navigation.

While you’re doing it, check the RSS feeds for audio enclosures. Download those too. “akasig”

[Phil Wolff: klogs]

well, that shouldn’t be too hard, should it, Deeje? Then you get an additional benefit of serving vision-impaired users as well.

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costofwar.com

be prepared to be very pissed off: view the cost of the war in iraq in realtime!

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Terminal for my hiptop!!

OMG, I now have a SSH/Telnet terminal on my danger hiptop! This is SO COOL!!! -steve cooley

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Unbrand America

] It’s a go: Adbusters’ Unbrand America TV Spot is poised

] to hit the airwaves. We’ve wrangled a 30-second chunk of

] national airtime. More than half a million tubes, all

] ours. Watch it- with everyone else tuned to CNN- Monday,

] September 22, around 4:30 EST.

]

]

] To get this far has been serious work. For months we’ve

] been stonewalled. Sure, we shopped our Black Spot to the

] usual suspects at NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX. We even tried MTV.

] “We don’t deal in free speech,” chorused the networks.

] Check out all the sorry details here.

]

]

] Sadly, the response was expected. In the land of the

] free, the business of censorship is booming.

]

]

] Well, Adbusters isn’t buying in. Keep your eyes peeled

] over the next few months. Plans are in the works for a

] big pushback. The agenda: Media Democracy.


Reputation Tracking LinkDiscuss [2]ReplyRecommend
(http://www.unbrandamerica.org/tv/) [MemeStreams Top URLs]

Dude! Where can I get my UnBrand America t-shirt??

ha ha.. 😉

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rendezvous enabled community bulletin board

Hey, this would be cool. Got a car for sale? Kittens to give away? baby sitting service to offer? Looking for a drummer for your band? Wouldn’t it be great if you could have a service that would let you post this stuff to a blog or even better, to a shared whiteboard type space where you could post up bills of these kind… “my office building community board/blog” or maybe for your street or neighborhood. Man, that’d be cool. Local Area Craig’s list – steve cooley

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what happened with the Pepsi $1B?

Steve first pointed out the logistics of promised a potential $1B prize. Here’s the conclusion…

The whole Pepsi billion dollar thing ended last night. I guess. I don’t know. I didn’t watch it. Is it just me, or did this promotion really come in like a lion and leave like a lamb? There was no real build toward the conclusion it seemed. It just sort of disappeared. I had to do a YAHOO! search to find the contest page, which isn’t even updated.

I finally found something over at the WB’s site. That’s the network that ran the actual give-away program. The big winner for this fabulous teen and young adult focused promotion? Richard Bay, 42 year old graphics teacher from Princeton, West Virginia. There’s your demographic, gang. I can’t imagine that anyone tuned in for this. Not to take anything away from the people who won, but they don’t look like the Pepsi demographic (based on their other marketing) or the WB demographic for that matter.

[Gary Stein]

[deeje.com]

We watched it. We watched it on the big island. Well, we didn’t watch it all. We watched about 15 minutes of it. It SUCKED. I was never more ashamed of Drew Carrey.

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Status of the PHP Compiler

Marco has been busy with his neat project:

This leaves me to the next part, which is the really tricky one: translating certain features of PHP in C code. For some of them, the trade off between their availability and the complexity and overhead they introduce in the final compiled code simply makes their introduction counterproductive. A typical example of this is variable variables (e.g.: $$a). In the scripting language, their existence does not cause any significant overhead, since variables are maintained in a lookup table and that mechanism has to exist anyway in order for the interpreter to function properly. Once compiled to C, however, variable names lose all meaning, and getting rid of lookup tables is one big speed improvement, since all variable access is done by means of a direct memory lookup.

Therefore, in some cases it’s necessary to compromise and simply remove some features. I’ve always thought that variable variables are a pretty bad idea anyway… so I’m not really that worried about them.

Marco is thinking of generating standalone C executables with the PHP compiler. This means creating your own C runtime for PHP, and dropping some features that are too hard to implement. I think it’s fantastic that Marco is sharing with us his struggles, but I have a different perspective.

To me, the most natural purpose of a PHP-C compiler is not to create stand-alone programs, but to convert PHP classes or functions into PHP Extensions.
Then all the tough parts of building a PHP compiler, such as the large PHP function library and good stuff like eval() and function_exists() will work because you are stilll using zvals and you still have the PHP-runtime available.

AFAIK, no one is taking this approach. Well I think there would a ready market for such a technology in PHP web-sites that need to speed up their existing code. I would certainly pay good money for such a compiler. Any takers?

“zeldman.slyby” [PHP Everywhere]


I use variable variables frequently. It’s a brilliant feature. It makes dynamic forms possible. It makes my back end code elegant and short. It makes me think more than I normally do, so it’s challenging, but it’s very powerful. While I generally think compiled PHP sounds like a cool idea, I think there’d be some major problems if I had to omit this. If there were some middle ground where I could wrap up a folder of scripts into an executable using WebKit for Mac OS X, that’d be pretty cool. We have some administration tools for the marketing programs that I create that would benefit from an Aqua interface… or the safari engine, either way.. that would be interesting.

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found magazine…

I heard about this on NPR a week or so ago… just saw it on MemeStreams.. go observe the slightly weird world of Found Magazine

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turntablism

I never really wrote about Final Scratch.

It’s crazy dope. It’s the best thing I’ve ever used. It’s everything I always wanted QTTurntable to be with hardware control. Ten minutes of use immediately highlighted the crappiness of the gemini pt2000 lightweight platter, and the juvenile quality of my gemini ScratchMaster!! mixer. Tob always had a better mixer, so I never had to sweat it too much. Now I’m wishing I had another 1200 and a mixer with bass/mid/high cuts on each track. I’m not toooo concerned with the crossfader.. I’m more interested in using this bass line over that track.. that kind of thing. drum and bass mixers seemed to headline that kind of functionality a few years ago. Maybe I should look into it… anyway, back to final scratch..

I brought it over to my old residence so that my friends could use it and see if they liked it. I mean, it’s just something else to play your own tracks in the mix. I’m really into bangin’ trax style hard techno lately. I’ve got a few of my own tracks that fit into that genre somewhat, so it was really cool to play my stuff loud for my friends inline with other tracks. They had a good time checking it out. That first day on final scratch is kind of rough, especially if you don’t have an opportunity to have traktor analyze the tracks so you can see the wave form. I had that luxury, and Tob and Derek didn’t… The other thing I could have done is forseen Tob’s totally reasonable request for “Fresh!” and “Ahhhh” samples to play around with. I had a pantload of beats to mess around with, but not a lot of samples to scratch with…

The only other thing we experienced was two levels of random popping and static.. Tob eliminated one level by turning the oscillating fan they’d set up to cool us down away from the needles… the other part we couldn’t do much about… janky ass power… yeah, power conditioner… doh. Oh well, it was fun. :) I’m back to attempting to record myself again after a 4 year hiatus. Now with this new set of tools and unlimited music possibilities, I’m hoping to get my skills up and over my previous scaredycat proficiencies.

DJ Qbert on making Wave Twisters

WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE TURNTABLISTS WHO WANT TO RECORD THEMSELVES IN THE STUDIO? I would tell them to study as many videos as you can. Also, record yourself in the studio with video. Then you will know how dumb you sound and why. I do scratches all the time and think, “Damn, what’s wrong?” I’ll listen to it on tape and be like “No wonder . . . I’m so monotonous!”

OMG, that’s good advice.

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Don’t say I didn’t warn you……

Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

There’s a story on News.com that takes heed of the inherent dangers in adopting Microsoft Office 2003. Of course, I find this a bit funny that the media is just now picking up on this problem, since it’s been obvious for a long time. I wrote a piece on the Office lock-in strategy back in March for NewsFactor.

Long story short, Office 2003 is either going to be the program that achieves near-complete lock-in for Microsoft, or finally wakes people up. If you adopt MS Office 2003 and its DRM (they like to call it IRM) features, you’re tied into MS at the desktop and the server, and it’s an enforced upgrade for anyone who wants to read documents created by you or your company using MS Office 2003.

Since the file format is encrypted now, Microsoft will be able to go after any companies or projects attempting compatibility by threatening them with DMCA lawsuits. With no threat of competition, I don’t think I need to spell out what’s going to happen to the licensing fees for MS Office in a few years.

My advice to anyone considering Office 2003, don’t use it even if Microsoft gives it away. Stick with your older versions of Office or, better yet, start adopting OpenOffice.org software instead. [Corante: Open Source]

this needs no further comment.

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Design considerations for experiential web-based instruction

Quote:“The use of the World Wide Web as an educational delivery medium has pushed the limits of instructional design. The issues most important to the students are “Is this good instruction?” and “Will I learn from this online experience?” Faculty and administrator issues center around educational quality, student development, student achievement, and student engagement with the content. While these may appear to be addressed by following many of the traditional instructional design models, they are not sufficiently addressed. This paper will address some of the primary issues that should be included in the design process to result in the development of a learning experience that truly engages the students from a cognitive perspective, while encouraging or fostering a greater accomplishment in the student’s learning development.”

Comment: A good discussion has ensued. [Serious Instructional Technology]

it’s occurred to me that puppettime would have been a huge benefactor of an xml-based content delivery system for instructional purposes. If you could have passed a feed to a puppettime engine, lessons could be posted and downloaded at the student’s own pace.

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Sausalito Art Festival 2003

Steve dabbled in sculpture for a while, and produced some beautiful and haunting pieces. I have one in our living room… Steve, do you have a picture I can post here?

[deeje.com]

yeah, here’s one place to look… and here’s the most recent stuff aaaand here’s two that I gave away… deeje has one, and Stacey Fischer has (had?) the other… post away.

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A requiem for virtual reality In…

The legal blog Due Diligence comments on the recent spate of 3D news and commentary:

In a short Wired interview of Neal Stephenson, he reflects on Snow Crash, his first novel that became the ur-myth for the virtual reality investment craze of 1996-8:

For the most part, Snow Crash turned out to be a failed prediction. People have shown limited interest in immersive 3-D technology, so I think it worked better as a novel than as a prognostication. But it provided a reasonable, coherent picture of a particular kind of entertainment technology.

For all that, I think Neal is somewhat right in his own retrospect. With today’s limited delivery systems, CG 3D will remain an entertainment-only medium.

[deeje.com]

Unless something’s changed, I’d highly recommend you read that book, ahem.

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