The Blog


24 Nov 2013

Ping
[from: Google+ Posts]

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20 Nov 2013

AOL, sorry, Winamp finally reaches the end of the line

Winamp.com and associated web services will no longer be available past December 20, 2013
http://www.winamp.com/media-player/en

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Seriously. I've repeatedly tried and failed to find anything as good as Winamp Pro and it's one of the very few bits of PC software I've ever paid for. So what now? Looks to me like that's another bit of software I'm going to be carrying on using long after it's died until it finally no longer runs because Microsoft broke some backwards compatibility with Windows 9.5 or something.

It looks like 5.66 is the last release, so download a copy now.

The next question. What are the alternatives and are they any good?
 Winamp in Other Languages Español 한국어 Svenska 简体中文 繁體中文 ... »
Winamp in Other Languages. Español · 한국어 · Svenska · 简体中文 · 繁體中文 · Français · Nederlands · Türkçe · Italiano · Polski · Português Brasileiro · Deutsch · 日本語 · Русский · Limba Românã · English · Winamp. Web|; Add-ons|; Blog|; Forums|; Help. Home · Homepage · My Profile ...

[from: Google+ Posts]

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08 Nov 2013


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13 Nov 2013

BoingBoing points to a website that auto-generates descriptions of imaginary pieces of Art based on the dataset of the Tate's catalogue metadata.
http://boingboing.net/2013/11/12/88-nonillion-imaginary-artwork.html
http://www.shardcore.org/cgi-bin/getArtwork.pl?id=18c_1d6_5e_1b_45_3b_1_2_1b_105_20b_147_e_3_15_
http://www.shardcore.org/shardpress/index.php/2013/11/06/tate-data-explorer/
http://www.shardcore.org/shardpress/index.php/2013/11/12/machine-imagined-artworks-2013/

Well, how very Borgesian! We can perhaps imagine the Museum of Babel; (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Library_of_Babel) viz. an enormous expanse of interlocking hexagonal rooms, each of which contains the bare necessities for human survival and one example of the universe of all possible art objects. Even though most of these look like a 3D model of a cat designed by Picasso, some say that every existing piece of art is curated somewhere within the museum. However if the museum is itself an Art, we must postulate the Museum of all possible Museums in a Cantor-ian redux. What troubled Russell and Whitehead and as Godel ratified, this leads us inexorably to the conclusion that all museums must contain Art that cannot be described using the system of artistic analysis implicit in their catalogues.
 88 nonillion imaginary artworks for the Tate »
Shardcore writes, "The Tate recently released a 'big data' set of the 70k artworks in their collection. I've been playing with it and finding all sorts of fun to be had.

[from: Google+ Posts]

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10 Nov 2013

That's 2 years without cigarettes. And pretty much zero nicotine.
[from: Google+ Posts]

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'Good-morning; good-morning!' the General said
When we met him last week on our way to the line.
Now the soldiers he smiled at are most of ’em dead,
And we’re cursing his staff for incompetent swine.
'He’s a cheery old card,' grunted Harry to Jack
As they slogged up to Arras with rifle and pack.
But he did for them both by his plan of attack.

Siegfried Sassoon, 1918

Remember, today; "Never again". Never.
[from: Google+ Posts]

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05 Nov 2013

Some helpful advice for fireworks night

Never pick up or throw a firework at someone. If you want to do something like that join the army and/or become a terrorist.

Always light your Guy at arm's length in case he tries to bite.

http://scarfolk.blogspot.com/2013/11/bonfire-night-in-scarfolk.html
 Bonfire Night in Scarfolk »
As tonight is Bonfire Night, instead of a postcard from the mayor's pharmaceutical collection, we thought we'd post an image of a 1975 box of fireworks that we just found in the cellar. Back in 1970s Scarfolk, fireworks weren...

[from: Google+ Posts]

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04 Nov 2013

OI! Google! Where's my Custom URL?
https://support.google.com/plus/answer/2676340?p=claim_url&rd=1

SeeAlso: https://plus.google.com/u/0/100035762233109552669/posts/Ki4A8JDc2h4 about trying to get a better one, if Google's offered choices don't suit.
 Getting Started with Google+ Custom URLs - Google+ Help »

A custom URL is a short, easy-to-remember web address that links directly to your profile or page.



For example, YouTube's Google+ page can direct people to Google+ Posts]


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01 Nov 2013

Always use    after a full stop. You know it makes sense.
 xkcd: Third Way »
< Prev · Random; Next >; >|. Permanent link to this comic: http://xkcd.com/1285/ Image URL (for hotlinking/embedding): http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/third_way.png. Selected Comics. Search comic titles and transcripts: RSS Feed - Atom Feed. Comics I enjoy: Three Word Phrase, Oglaf (nsfw), SMBC, ...

[from: Google+ Posts]

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31 Oct 2013

NoMuzak Campaign

As we head into the shopping season, I've decided I'm going to wage a one-man-war against background music because I'm heartily sick of it. The deal is this. If you play background music in your establishment, I shall leave and refuse to buy anything from you. This applies to restaurants, pubs and bars as well as shop, supermarkets and malls. The exception is if you have an actual musical performance going on. So Ronnie Scotts is fine, but Robin Thicke in a Next or even Lianne De Havas in a hip Hackney bar is not. And don't get me started on Bing Crosby in the Pre-Christmas Tescos.

We'll see how long I can keep this up!

To make the protest fully authentic, I will also be pausing my music player while doing internet shopping.

This is where I fantasize about an aerosol product (MuzakOff) in a convenient pocket size for spraying a quick setting foam over the loudspeakers in lifts and toilets. 
[from: Google+ Posts]

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28 Oct 2013

So farewell then, Lou Reed.
You were never early. You were always late. 
First thing we learnt at your gigs was we always gotta wait.

Twenty-six dollars in my hand.
Just waiting for me mam,
To get back from the shops with the steaks.
We put them on the grill, till Keith said,
"Stick a fork in their ass and turn them over, they're done"

Keith's mum used to like Wild Side.
Especially the bit that goes doo-do-doo-do-doo.
She said it was about Sinatra.
But you can't always trust your mother.

Some people, they like to go out dancing 
And other peoples, they have to work, 
I put on the radio in Berlin but
There was nothin' goin' down at all

And certainly not Metal Machine Music.

(with a nod to) e.j.thribb (19)
[from: Google+ Posts]

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I don't have a beard, but if I did, I'd certainly have a Metal Detectable Beard Snood in a red non-woven fabric.
http://www.detectamet.com/images/detectable-beard-snood-red.jpg 

SeeAlso: http://www.detectamet.com/beard-snoods.htm
http://goo.gl/xLDRT0

I'm a little puzzled by this image but like the poster.
http://www.craftscouncil.org.uk/files/image/608b0fedacabedbe-7.jpg
"Keep Calm and Wear a Beard Snood"

[from: Google+ Posts]

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22 Oct 2013

Insert mildly cynical comment here. He says:-

"All of this has taken me from where I was to where I am now, a self-described “joyful pessimist”, freed from the burden to save the world, and free to just live, to just be.

That doesn’t mean I don’t still support humanist movements like Occupy, and the radical activism of the Deep Green Resistance movement, even though I don’t think they will accomplish anything enduring. Their heart is in the right place."
 “Save the World” Reading List: 2013 Update « how to save the world »
The Three Es. illustration of the complex relationship between economy, energy/resources, and ecology, by the author ('up' arrow means 'increase'; 'down' arrow means 'decrease'); economic collapse, resource exhaustion and runaway climate change: we are on track to face all three in the next few ...

[from: Google+ Posts]

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15 Oct 2013

Oceania debt crisis spurs Eastasia calls for "de-Oceania-ized" world.

“The two political parties in Oceania have disregarded the interest of the rest of their country and the world,”

In Eastasia, there are calls for a reduction in Oceania's influence in the world, establishing a new international reserve currency to replace the dominant Oceania dollar.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/us-debt-crisis-spurs-chinese-calls-for-de-americanized-world/2013/10/14/8c459486-34d1-11e3-be86-6aeaa439845b_story.html
 U.S. debt crisis spurs Chinese calls for ‘de-Americanized’ world »
Possibility of U.S. default has China calling for a less U.S.-dependent global economy.

[from: Google+ Posts]

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11 Oct 2013


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10 Oct 2013

ChromeOS won't play ball with an eeePC 900

I'm trying to boot an old eeePC 900 into ChromeOS from a USB thumb drive and I'm hitting a brick
wall which is leading to a certain amount of yak-shaving. I don't really
see why this shoud be a problem because there are plenty of Linux
distros that manage this easily and just work. Like SystemRescue for instance.

ChromeOS also seems to have an unnecessarily complicated partition arrangement. Why can't they just do this in one (or two) partition?

So here's the deal.
- Download a recent ChromeOS image from http://chromium.arnoldthebat.co.uk/index.php?dir=weekly%2F
- Unpack it, and copy it onto a 4Gb USB drive using Win32DiskImager.exe
- Plug it into the eeePC and boot. Hit Esc on the BIOS screen, choose the USB drive
- Fail with 10 or so lines about a Kernel Panic.
- Google for ChromeOS Kernel Panic and find out that ChromeOS hard codes it's location as /dev/sdb But of course an external USB is going to be /dev/sdc
- Discover you can over-ride this by hitting esc during the ChromeOS boot and typing chromeos-usb.A root=/dev/sdc3 to tell it where the boot partition is.
- Get past the kernel panic but now it says "Your system is repairing itself, please with" then reboots.
- More googling suggests this is due to a missing or corrupt STATE partition, 1Gb on /dev/sdc1 There's a suggestion to look for unencrypted/clobber.log on the STATE partition to see how it failed
- Fire up SystemRescueCD. Fix /boot/syslinux/syslinux.cfg so it boots from sdc
- Discover that the STATE partition should be EXT4 but is displayed as UNKNOWN by gparted, realize my old copy of Systemrescue doesn't support EXT4, re-create my rescue thumb drive.
- Start again from scratch
- Check the ChromeOS drive before trying it out. Fix the boot target. Check that STATE looks ok, is in EXT4, has a directory structure and stuff.
- Try and boot. And guess what, it fails with "Your system is repairing itself"
- Go back and check it again with SystemRescue and discover that STATE is now back to "Unknown" file system

So:-
1) ChromeOS can't cope with booting from a USB drive if it's not /dev/sdb Excuse me, but WTF?
2) It's getting confused by the STATE partition and then failing completely to sort it out, actually making it worse.

Can you tell I'm not impressed, yet?

So now what? Getting answers is quite hard because as usual with these things there's a huge amount of misinformation and only a few people who know what they're talking about. And several possible places to ask the questions.

So, why am I doing this? Well, because it's there. And also because I don't want to have to buy a ChromeBook in order to find out if they're any good. It's just a Linux distro with most of the UI being through a copy of Chrome, right? How hard can this be?
[from: Google+ Posts]

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08 Oct 2013

A couple of interesting articles about self-publishing music using a crowdfunding model. I also happen to really like the album (DFRNT - Fading), enough to spend money on it.
http://sittingovation.com/articles/fading-the-whole-story-crowdfunding-and-how-it-all-worked-out-part-1/
http://sittingovation.com/articles/fading-the-whole-story-crowdfunding-and-how-it-all-worked-out-part-2/

The second part especially gives some insight into how much work there is in this process. Labels and publishing companies do fill a need here.

It's also well worth reading Angus Finlayson's article about the dangers of crowdfunding in the music world which references DFRNT's project.
http://www.factmag.com/2012/04/23/without-you-i-am-nothing-kickstarter-indiegogo-and-the-rise-of-the-fan-funded-project/

[from: Google+ Posts]

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02 Oct 2013

Next time you eat Fish and Chips, consider this. We're already past "Peak Wild Caught Fish".
http://www.declineoftheempire.com/2013/10/life-in-the-oceans-out-of-sight-out-of-mind.html
 Life In The Oceans — Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind - Decline of the Empire »
When somebody looks at the ocean they see just the surface of the ocean. It’s just a beautiful sunset over the ocean. Unless you’re sitting in a very polluted area of the ocean, you don’t really notice it that much. So most of the stuff that’s going on is beyond our eyesight. it’s underneath. And so there’s a real challenge, I think, in communicating why this ocean is important to you, personally, and particularly to the farmer in Kansas. And it’...

[from: Google+ Posts]

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28 Sep 2013

It's not New and it's not a River. But The New River is 400 years old this weekend. From Ware to Islington, get out there and celebrate by walking a bit of it or attending one of the events. 

http://diamondgeezer.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/new-river-path.html
http://londonist.com/2013/09/400-years-of-the-new-river.php
http://newriver.org.uk/nr/index.php
http://www.amwell.org.uk/newriver400th.html
 diamond geezer »
NR400: 1613 - 2013. WALKING THE NEW RIVER Hertford → Islington (28 miles) If you've ever fancied walking the New River, there's never been a better time. Indeed I suspect there'll be more people walking it this weekend than ever before, because it's 400 years old tomorrow, which is a damned ...

[from: Google+ Posts]

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16 Sep 2013

I told you reality has an ironic bias.

I went looking for the latest reports on this year's Arctic Sea Ice extent at http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/ and found this on the home page.

NSIDC's Web site is currently unavailable because of severe weather and flooding. We expect to be online again this Monday, 16 September, around noon (USA Mountain Time). We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. 
[from: Google+ Posts]

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