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Site Redesign 2

Enough of this. Time to go live.

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sunil Hey where's the webcam and the live audio feed????


Copyrap

copywrong (2k image)Interesting interview concerning the effect of copyright law on creativity and culture. My favorite part is the bit about the influence of copyright law on hip-hop music. I think I remember when this happened. For me hip-hop starting getting tepid after N.W.A.'s "Niggaz4life" (1991) and Public Enemy's "Fear of a Black Planet" (1994).

Thinking about it in these terms makes me wonder if this doesn't have something to do with why I look elsewhere for this type of music. Most of the music in this vein that wags me comes from India, Pakistan and Japan....Reading this I picture Siva Vaidhyanathan as the break dancing indian programmer Samir in "Office Space":

"...JH: Your book, Copyrights and Copywrongs, covers the evolution of copyright law from its origins to the late twentieth century. Where did you get the idea for this?

SV: From rap music. I grew up with rap music. But in the early 1990s I noticed the music was changing. Everyone else was paying attention to the lyrics -- the sexism and the violence and the anger. I was observing how the underlying body of samples were getting thinner, more predictable, more obvious, less playful. I had heard that there had been some copyright conflicts in 1990 and 1991. So I suspected that lawsuits had chilled playful and transgressive sampling. I was right. The courts had stolen the soul. And rap music is poorer for it. We used to get fresh, exciting, walls of sound that were a language unto themselves. By the mid-1990s, all we got were jeep beats and heavy bass..."Siva Vaidhyanathan On Copyrights and Wrongs


Webcam

Got the webcam working again. A little weird to setup but I figured there had to be a way. Still working out some details like: do I want to archive the images so that anybody could browse through until the find me picking my nose? Worse yet, maybe I should just call it the "crackcam" (I'll let you decide what I mean by that...) Now what? Does this mean I have to shower, shave and dress before sitting down in front of the computer? I already straightened up the bookshelf that's behind me. Hmm. Maybe I should just point this at my neighbor's window.Right now the webcam is updating every 8 seconds. That's a bit excessive eh? It's running on the server. Why bother ftp'ing the image 3 feet? If it's working on the server I won't have to worry about reinstalling it again when I redo my desktop machine.


Livin' In The Ghetto

packetsniffing (2k image)Cute article tells the story of a geek at a conference using an application that allowed him to snoop the images being served on the wireless network during a conference. I like this somewhat unrelated quote:"...when Tim O'Reilly stood up to ask about whether bloggers were building a city or living in their own ghetto, virtually all traffic stopped. Evidently, this was something that almost everybody in the room was interested in listening to. And once Tim sat down again, the pixels began to flow once more..." Makes you think about those wireless networks don't it? Another example of technology getting ahead of etiquette. Looking at Britney Spears during a conference?Tapping the alpha geek noosphere with EtherPEG


Uptime

clocks (4k image)Added a new dynamic feature to my site. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to see it. "Linux Uptime" shows how long the server has been running without interruption. I hope I don't get all fussy about not rebooting the server just cause I'm trying to get that uptime higher. There's not UPS or anything, and if I forget to pay my electric bill [or just run out of money] this will affect the uptime as well.{{popup server.png server 352x289}}My humble web server...


Technology vs Etiquette

It's interesting to observe how quickly technology races ahead of society's ability to develop a social understanding of the acceptable behavior related to the technology. You can see this [I think] most pointedly with cell phones... but that's another discussion. I saw Thomas Friedman interviewed on Charlie Rose. He was railing against Internet and satellite TV. Kind of a mini rant about the negative influence of technology on the global village [as he perceives it.] I'm not sure where he's going with his editorial. I mean usually there is an alternative presented --some other way of doing things. I guess the implication of what he is saying is that we should get all of our news after it has been filtered by those "in the know". I think that's what he is saying, though he doesn't come out and say so exactly.This got me thinking about some of my misadventures with technology. For example (probably more on this topic later):I had a digital camera, one of the Sony ones that puts it's pictures on a floppy disk. Mavica I think. Kind of a cool idea --using floppies for film. Big, ugly camera though. Had it with me one night while eating late at Sanamluang, my favorite thai restaurant. Some interesting looking people sitting a couple of table away. They had obviously been drinking at a bar in the area as they had accumulated a great number of plastic dragons that came with one of the drinks (they gave me one in fact and when I showed it to Michael he was able to tell me what bar and what drink it was.) One of the guys kept saying very loudly: "I'm telling you, it's him man!" to which his associate would then counter "it's not him man!". I gathered from what they were saying that one of them thought I was the tall guy from {{popup PenAndTeller-.png PenAndTeller- 233x287}}Pen And Teller. They kept at this until it got very annoying. Finally I picked up my camera and started to snap pictures of them (I'm never one to be less annoying than someone else...) The guy that thought I was a magician sprang up from the table and started yelling "what? you're taking my picture?" I gave some lame reply --he looked pretty menacing through the viewfinder. As he approached me he started removing his clothes. First stripping off his shirt, then sitting down next to me to remove a shoe and sock --allowing me to photograph his ankle, which had an eyeball tattooed on it. They left soon after but not before he had pulled down his pants and mooned everyone in the restaurant --pressing his ass against the window. Bear with me, I'm getting to the fun part... I converted the pictures into a form that could be displayed on my Palm Pilot, and I've had a couple of pictures of this guy on my pocket computer ever since:{{popup taxidriverman.png taxidriverman 215x363}}What? You're taking my Picture?{{popup taxidriverman2.png taxidriverman2 215x363}}Look at This and Think About This!Seemed like an interesting guy. I would like to meet him sometime. Preferably when sober.About a year later, I saw his buddy in the restaurant. The guy that kept saying: "it's not him man!". On a lark I walked over thinking that it would be cute to show him the pictures. Not one of my brainier moments. I forget exactly what he said, I just remember it had something to do with execution. I guess having pictures of people that you don't really know in your pocket is not very socially acceptable. Perhaps less so when they happen to reside on your pocket computer...Thomas Friedman: Global Village IdiocyPen and Teller


Anne Farnsworth Live at The Balcony

I emailed Anne asking for info so I could post about her upcoming gig. I'll cop to not being the world's best journalist --her first reply was:"You sound like you need a coffee."She gave me the scoop in her followup email:"...I am a pianist and vocalist and have a quartet. We just put out a CD: "Saturday Morning", which is straight ahead bebop. The other singer is a guy named Richard Green. We are doing his originals and some of my stuff..."Anne Farnsworth and Richard Green live at Cafe Balcony May 17, 8-11 p.m.


Big Deals

shin (3k image)For some reason I kept thinking about Bob today. He used to show up as the Balcony Cafe was closing to help by taking out the trash, sweeping, mopping, etc. He had a little routine that he would do. One night as he was doing this he deliberately walked on my shins. Guess I was in his way. When I asked Cookie [the owner of the cafe] if there was something going on with Bob he told me that Bob had recently found out that he had brain cancer. It was suddenly very easy to forgive Bob for walking on my shins.Doug told me a similar story once. He used to frequent a deli in New York where an old man would serve him from behind a counter. The man was disagreeable and would give Doug a hard time. One day, the man reached across the counter and Doug noticed a string of numbers tattooed along the inside of the man's arm.


Mao Chow Ciao

Found a site that has a collection of chinese propaganda posters. The kind you see on the wall at Mao's Kitchen in Venice (on Pacific near the circle.) Mao's is a good place to get chinese food late friday and saturday night --it's open till 3 a.m. Of course, I'd rather go to Sanamluang for thai phud (that's the way they spell it on the cash register receipts.) Sanamluang is open till 4 a.m. and the phud is great.@tlas | Illustration | Chinese Pop Posters (forth link works good, back link not so good)


Mexican Mother's Day

Michael (4k image)Michael and Alicia are down in Mexico visiting Alicia's mother. He's posting his experiences from the cybercafe in Guadalajara. I think Rudy's going to give him a hard time about this one:"...I don┤t know what it is about Mexicans, the couches look nice but never comfortable..."Their trip has a sense of being a little dangerous because of some recent murders that happened in the area where Michael and Alicia are visiting.


Fluxbox

Switched window managers on my Linux desktop machine. KDE was just a little too slow. Fluxbox is nice.


Exoskeleton

aliens (6k image)"...The overall goal of this program is to develop devices and machines that will increase the speed, strength, and endurance of soldiers in combat environments. Projects will lead to self-powered, controllable, wearable exoskeletal devices and/or machines..."Exoskeletons For Human Performance Augmentation


Speaking of Thinking

I like the quote: " What that means, basically, is that it's hard to speak and think at the same time." I know just what you mean... Interesting article. Could have gone into a bit more detail. Washington Post: A Visual Rather Than Verbal FutureEarlier I was kind of half watching Charlie Rose. He interviewed a couple of executives that "suffered" from dyslexia and a doctor. One of the things that kept coming up was that there are many successful people that are dyslexic, and yet the doctor kept talking about it being a disfunction. It struck me [again] how arbitrary the definition of normal is. The doctor's perspective was that those people were exceptional BECAUSE they were over compensating for a deficit they had.


Asstrophy


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