Inflight Machine Sounds Met Idiom

An expansion/reworking of my previous track:

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Music

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New year, new music

To start the new year, I’ve re-arranged my audio equipment, added some new hardware into the mix and started using Ableton Live. Here’s the result of me learning how to use Live:

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I’ve also got some some other stuff I’ve been working on that really deserves its own post, but I’ll toss it in here anyway seeing as it’s already a few weeks old and that my last post here was in April.

After reading this tweet by Jason Herskowitz who I met at a gathering after Music Hack Day – Boston, I decided to give it a shot and came up with this:

http://music.mashthe.net/filtered_chart.php

If you’ve got a last.fm account, just enter your user name and select the length of time you’d like to see a chart for. If you don’t have an account, feel free to check out my chart.

When the page loads, you can then quickly filter the album chart by release year. Just grab the slider handles and drag them to select the years you want (0 means that last.fm doesn’t know the release year for the album). You can also hover over the years to see which albums were released in that year or grab the html of the chart so you can embed it on your site.

Here are my top albums from 2009 that were released in 2009 (minus a few that weren’t picked up because the tags didn’t match the entries that last.fm had year info for):

Music
Web Development

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Looks like I’ll be looking for a new internet provider soon

I’ve been with Time Warner Cable for about a year and a half now and for the most part have been pretty happy with them as an internet provider. The connection has glitched out a few times and the DNS has been horrid (thank goodness for OpenDNS), but no catastrophic failures. However, I read some disturbing news this morning detailing Time Warner’s bandwidth cap plans. Ars Technica has a great article pointing out a lot of the problems with the proposed price structure. Raising prices while costs are going down and the general economy is in a slump? Sounds like typical monopoly behavior to me. How bad are the proposed plans? See for yourself at the original post (scroll about half-way down to the bullet points). Here’s a quick summary with current pricing in Los Angeles:

  • $15 for 1 GB per month  at 768 KB/128 KB
  • $25? for 10GB per month at 768 KB/128 KB
  • $37 for 20GB per month at 1.5M/384K
  • $47 for 40GB per month at 6M/512K
  • $57 for 60GB per month at 10M/1M
  • $75 for 100GB per month at 10M/1M

All but the lowest plan will have $1/GB overage (which will be $2/GB) and overages will max out at $75/month.

Let’s ignore for a moment that they’re tying caps and speed together, almost all of their peers (let’s face it, you don’t have a choice when it comes to your cable provider) are charging less and/or giving their customers more (Comcast and Verizon FIOS both kill TW in terms of price/performance, and while Comcast has a cap, it’s 250gb, even on their low end, lower speed plans) and the fact that they’re changing plans for the worse while their price per subscriber is going down, and look at some real world scenarios.

If all you did was stream music at 128k (about 1M/Minute), you’d be paying the following:

  • $15 for 17 hours/month (a little over half an hour a day)
  • $25 for 170 hours (over 5.5 hours a day)
  • $37 for 340 hours (over 11 hours a day)
  • $47 for 680 hours (almost a full day)
  • (no need to go on- there are only 24 hours a day)

At my current rate ($47), that’s no biggie- I’m not streaming online music constantly and I’d be more than covered, but good luck to someone on the lowest plan who discovers Napster or Pandora at the beginning of a billing cycle- they’re going to be in overage city pretty fast (assuming that’s the only thing they use their connection for that month, a little YouTube and a few big software updates will get them there even faster).

However, it gets a lot uglier when you start dealing with streaming video which can easily run 10x the bandwidth of audio. Since you wouldn’t even get the speed needed to stream video properly on the lowest 2 plans, I’ll leave them out:

  • $37 for 34 hours (a little more than an hour a day)
  • $47 for 68 hours
  • $57 for 102 hours
  • $75 for 170 hours (a little over 5.5 hours a day)

Each additional hour is going to cost you about 60 cents. Here, with my current usage patterns and plan, I’m probably ok, but combined with my music streaming and other web usage (including large downloads like OS images for testing/development), I’m too close to the cap for comfort. As more shows stream online in hi-def and as the quality improves, it’s only going to get worse. I’m guessing TW is trying desperately to hold onto their Cable TV business in a time where it no longer makes sense.

<Dinosaur Media Rant>

I’ve made the conscious decision that I won’t want to pay for media that has advertising (ideally I’d have the choice to pay with my time (ads) or my money, I shouldn’t ever have to pay with both), so Cable TV is out (besides the fact that I’d be paying for something that looks worse than what we get OTA for free). I also don’t want to pay for content with ads and then pay for Tivo to skip the ads. The technical capability for HD internet streaming is here today, and if I can’t consume on my (reasonable) terms, I won’t be consuming your media. When (not if) enough people come to the same conclusion, your content that costs multiple millions to produce becomes worthless.

</Dinosaur Media Rant>

So, where does that leave me? As with the vast majority of the country, I can’t just tell another cable provider that I want their service instead, because there is no other cable provider in my area. FIOS isn’t here yet (not sure who the telco here is since we don’t have a land line- we only recently got a home phone, and it’s VoIP - T-Mobile @Home), so I guess my only choice is to go with DSL and hope we’re not very far from the switching station <sigh>.

Maybe they’ll see a mass exodus before it comes to that, and the caps will never make it here, but if they do, and they even closely resemble the current proposal, TW will no longer get any money from our household.

Internet
Monopolies

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New song

I had the itch to write some music tonight and scratched it with this:

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Beautiful but caustic

All the smoke and ash in the air from the fires on either side of Los Angeles is turning the sky orange and dumping ash on our cars, even though they’re each 30-40 miles from here. My throat stings and my eyes burn- nowhere close to what our neighbors to the north and to the south east are dealing with, but not fun.

Local

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My Boing Boing obfuscated code contest entry

Boing Boing is holding an obfuscated code contest. My entry is near the bottom of the page:

http://www.boingboing.net/2008/11/12/obfuscated-code-cont.html#comment-329432

Bonus points if you can figure out what’s going on.

Uncategorized

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Fun Book Meme

Here’s a meme I picked up from a blog in my feed reader:

  • Grab the nearest book.
  • Open it to page 56.
  • Find the fifth sentence.
  • Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
  • Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.

Here’s mine:

“He’s been doing it through dinner and their pre-dinner drinks, and Cayce assumes he does it because he’s the boss, and perhaps because he really does bore easily.” – From Pattern Recognition by William Gibson (one of several books that has been sitting on my bookshelf for quite some time- I really should take more time to read).

Meme

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Android test post

image

beautiful sunset today

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Bacon Salt?

I love woot.com. As of today I’ve placed 20 orders from them (18 orders from woot.com and 2 from shirt.woot.com) – don’t worry Kirsten, I didn’t order anything today. They’ve had a number of amusing items of the years – Screaming Flying Monkeys with Woot capes, Leak Frogs, Bags of Crap, etc. But today’s item that closed out their woot-off made me laugh more than any other.

The final item in today’s woot-off was Bacon Salt. Yes, “Bacon Flavored Seasoning Salt” – the tagline on the bottle is “Everything should taste like bacon.” Yes this is a real product, no I am not making this up. If you’re fast, go check woot.com, or if it’s after July 30th in Texas, check their archived blog entry. When I first saw it, I was perplexed. So I googled “jd’s bacon salt”. That led me to http://www.baconsalt.com/ where I saw that they have a blog. At this point I was starting to laugh, but what really got me going was their entry titled “I can has Bacon Salt” – that image (and the other Bacon Salt lolcats) made my stomach hurt. Lolcats strike again!

The Internets? LOL!

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A List Apart Survey & Walkability

A List Apart has posted their 2008 survey – “The Survey for People Who Make Websites”. If you are a web worker, go take it. It shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes:

I TOOK IT! -- AND SO SHOULD YOU -- THE SURVEY FOR PEOPLE WHO MAKE WEBSITES

On a completely unrelated note, I’ve been trying to take better advantage of our neighborhood’s walkability. Our place has a Walk Score of 72 out of 100. Not quite as good as our last place (which had a 92 out of 100), but still very walkable. Of course, we didn’t take much advantage of the walkability of our last apartment, so it didn’t do us much good. Last Friday we walked to dinner 1.2 miles away – there are some places that are closer that we’ve walked to a couple times before, but there are quite a few more places when we open the range to 1-1.5 miles. I also signed up for a gym that’s .8 miles away and doesn’t have a very good parking situation – encouraging me to walk. There really is quite a bit of stuff within just a few miles of us. My office is only 2 miles from our apartment, I really should start getting myself there without a 2,800 pound machine around me, at least some of the time.

Fitness
Local
Web Development

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