Archive for October, 2009

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What’s So Great About Google Music Search?

[ Comments Off ]Posted on October 31, 2009 by admin in Music

Saturday, October 31st, 2009


Don’t look for Amazon or iTunes links in
your results with Google’s new music search

Nothing. Well, there are good things about it, but nothing great. Frankly, Google’s really starting to get on my nerves. They have a little bit too much of that Lord of the Rings “One Ring to rule them all” thing going on. Yes, it’s kind of cool that if you search for a band or a song, you now suddenly have the ability to play it right there in your search results. The other touted features – like the ability to search lyrics and get the same results for instance – are so inconsistent that I’m surprised the best and brightest at Google decided to include them. And the omission of iTunes and Amazon from those clickable previews is a mixed bag; yes it’s great to see less monolithic companies being promoted, but the fact is that this is probably just Google’s way of launching their own monopoly. It will be interesting to see how that plays out; so far their key partners include Lala, Rhapsody, Pandora, Imeem, and MySpace. I personally buy all my digital music at either Amazon* (which accounts for 10% of U.S. digital music sales) or iTunes (which accounts for 69% of U.S. digital music sales), and have no problem with that. If Google’s foray into the market generates competition and lower prices, or gives indy artists more exposure, excellent. If not, it’s just more search engine clutter, and another annoyingly distracting sales channel that benefits no-one. But don’t listen to me, try it yourself. Here’s a Read the rest of this entry »

Did Facebook Pay Miley Cyrus To Quit Twitter? Do We Care?

[ Comments Off ]Posted on October 30, 2009 by admin in Technology

Friday, October 30th, 2009

As Web 2.0 becomes so old it starts actually smelling bad, Social Networking starts a slow and ugly death. Don’t worry. The Real Time Web will save us all.

In spite of the fact that hillbilly superstar Miley Cyrus (c’mon, her dad’s name is Billy Ray, and he’s from Flatwoods, KY, population 7605) thinks that everyone should leave Twitter and it should be banned from this universe, it’s not likely that social networking or the real time web is going away any time soon. As it turns out, Web 2.0 (whatever it really was) was clearly a failure. Otherwise, we’d be talking about “Web 3.0″ or “Web 2.1″, right? And in spite of the fact that “blog” was Merriam Webster’s 2004 word of the year, the average person still barely understands what they are and how much they’ve really impacted the web in general, and search results in particular. So as a buzzword-hungry world of business & finance struggles to settle on its latest vaporware startup terminology, we’re left with the tragic results. Soon there will only be two relevant search engines, largely driven by social web results. And to aid the SEO-spammed utter banality of it all,  camera manufacturers are marketing cameras either for obssessively taking your own picture or constantly photographing your life as it occurs. Please. I don’t know about you, but my life is generally boring enough in person that sharing it with others could serve no rational purpose. We originally wrote about the real time web and social networking in August 2008, we had just hoped it might go away by now. Maybe little Miley is right. Maybe the Internet is a “dangerous place“. Let us heed her ironic megastar attention whore warning: “honestly, people…you’re unhealthy…you need to get out and do stuff and be in the world instead of all hunched over your laptop…all I did was lay in bed on my computer and sit there and eat ice cream late at night.” Personally, I think her claim that she quit Twitter to “protect her privacy” is complete twaddle and she’s probably being paid by Facebook. Besides, Twittew pwobabwee has a Pwivacy Powicy at weest as sowid as Googoos.

What Are You, Crazy Or Something?

[ Comments Off ]Posted on October 29, 2009 by admin in Lifestyle & Culture

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Maybe. But if you’re smart enough to figure it out, you may be suffering from Imposter Syndrome and never take credit for it. Just be glad you’re not descended from the Jumping Frenchmen of Maine, or that you don’t have Exploding Head Syndrome.

Feeling crazy? Bet you
didn’t know you can buy
on Amazon!

If you occasionally find yourself feeling a little crazy and stressed out, maybe it’s time to put things into perspective a bit. When confronted with a bunch of difficult decisions, you may sometimes feel like your head is going to explode. Well, just be thankful at those times that you don’t actually have Exploding Head Syndrome; I’m sure it doesn’t make matters easier. For the record, if you do think you have things figured out, you probably don’t. It’s more likely you’re suffering from the Dunning Kruger Effect, which makes unskilled people feel an illusory superiority, rating their own abilities higher than they should, while the more highly skilled underrate their abilities. Which is similar to the Downing Effect, wherein people with a lower than average IQ tend to overestimate their intelligence, while people with above average intelligence underestimate their intelligence. Thus the variations of the adage “if you think you know everything, you probably don’t“. To add to your skewed perception, the fact that you’re now aware of these effects may put you in the group that suffers from the “Birder-Grace Effect”. This group consists of those relative few who have heard about the Downing Effect. Their perceptions of their own and others’ IQs are skewed because of their knowledge of the effect. These subtler levels of inaccurate self-assesment are pervasive. You may for instance be a bright, motivated person who is unable to internalize their accomplishments. If so, you may suffer from Impostor Syndrome. Which should not be confused with the Capgras Delusion, which is the delusional belief that someone close to you has been replaced by an identical-looking impostor. Which is only slightly less creepy than the Fregoli Delusion, which causes you to believe that different people are in fact a single person who changes appearance. Frankly, writing about all this second-guessing as if I know what I’m talking about makes me wonder if maybe I’m some kind of crank; and perhaps the most embarrassing kind, the Internet Crank. At least, given my anglo-teutonic roots, I can rest assured that I’m not descended from the Jumping Frenchmen of Maine.

It’s Not Easy Being A Mashup Addict

[ Comments Off ]Posted on October 28, 2009 by admin in Popular Media

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

It Can Leave You All At Once Sweatin’ Like a Farm Animal, and Cool as a Daisy

Radiohead Meets Dave Brubeck

The other day a friend turned me onto this Pulp Fiction Audio Mix mashup, which reminded me that it’s not easy being a mashup addict. For a long time I complained about how musicians were getting lazy and building whole songs around a single sample (like Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz Deja Vu ), and now I’m whining because I can’t find sample-based material fast enough! I’m not even always sure what I’m looking for; the word “mashup” wasn’t in the OED last time I checked. My favorites are probably the purely musical ones like the the rather brilliant Dave Brubeck/Radiohead clip featured at left, or this Beatles/Kinks/LCD Soundsystem clip, but this medium is pretty broad. Consider the early 90′s EBN mashups like Rock This Base or the more recent Golden Age of Video by Ricardo Autobahn. Both mix the audio and video of multiple sources to pretty good effect. I’m still probably most impressed with artists like YouTube remixing genius Kutiman for his sheer devotion to musicality, but face it. Even William Shatner explaining why Kirk climbs a mountain has some merit, as does a meme-remashing like Christian Bale takes David to the Dentist or the utterly insane Sweatin’ Like a Farm Animal, Cool as a Daisy. If mashups are a totally new concept for you, check out our previous pieces on the topic. Read the rest of this entry »

Happy Hollowmeme!

[ 1 Comment ]Posted on October 27, 2009 by admin in Holidays

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

This year, take an easy out and go as an Internet meme. We all know Halloween is really here to remind us that there are only 55 shopping days left ’til Christmas, and that Dachsunds taste great with mustard.

The other day, a friend asked me: “What are you gonna be for Halloween?” to which I replied: “Happy I survived another Michigan October!“. Let’s face it, the real purpose of Halloween is to remind you that there are 55 shopping days ’til Christmas, and that it’s time to pull out your Turgooduccochiqua recipe. My only Halloween plan this year is to call all my weight-conscious friends November 2nd and ask them if they want me to take all the mini chocolate bars off their hands, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have some costume ideas! A few of our ideas from last year are still pertinent; I have yet to see the amazingly simple-to-execute Surreal Homer Simpson getup at a party. But for this year, why not go as an Internet Meme? The folks over at Rocketboom have assembled a list for you, complete with product links to all the things you’ll need. To dress up as the Flying Spaghetti Monster for instance, all you need is rope, googly eyes, and two brown balloons for the meatballs. Oh, and while we’re on the topic of food, don’t forget to dress up your dachsund. I’ll take mine with mustard. What are you planning to be for Halloween? Read the rest of this entry »

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