Archive | April, 2012

Speakin the words of a poem

9 Apr
So for this audio assignment i did a reading of my girlfriend favorite poem, she forced me to do it against my will and I had no choice.  She also said it is about Death.  It is a poem written by Robert Frost from 1923 and written in New Hampshire apparently.  Here is twriten poem, perhjaps you can read it in your mind and then listen to the recording and see if it makes a difference for you.
Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

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Time Machine For a Website

9 Apr

So this assignment for time traveling through your favorite websites is awesome!  It’s funny how quickly we forget how certain websites looked before the last update,  You constantly hear people complain about every new Facebook update but how quickly we forget how we hated the last update just as much. Way Back is a great tool to look back at how things were!

But for the purpose of this assignment I chose to do a website that’s not Facebook.  I picked one of my old favorite music websites called finetune.  This website offered the ability to comb through their music catalog and create playlists.  The only catches at first were you were only allowed 3 songs from the same artist per playlist and the playlist needed to be at least 45 songs long to be playable.  This website opened me up to a whole world of music that would never known about through suggestions from similar artists and listening to other people’s playlists at my own leisure.  It was a really good tool to get to know specific bands and songs because of listening to your playlists randomly being played multiple times.  I spent many nights just going through music and learning about artists and new genres.  Sadly the website is not what it once was.  Because of the massive funding necessary to maintain a website like this and the money that would be due to record companies for using their songs, the website no longer offers the playlist building ability, This practically brought the community and usage of the site to a standstill, They are still in existence and have tried a few branch off ideas such as an online DJ similar to Last.FMs scrobbler that allows the website to access your iTunes and broadcast what you are currently listening to others but it never took off.  Fine tune also offered a few different players that could let you use your Wii to stream music to your TV and another app to stream to your I-Phone.  There are plenty of other websites that have developed like Fine tune such as Last.FM, Pandora, Grove shark and 8-track, but it is just inconvenient to have made all these playlist and not be able to add to them anymore.

I think flaw finetune had to its structure was poor programming, it was prone to freeze up and load things in an odd way.  Your player could often freeze or not load something causing you to have to restart the playlist.  Also later on skipping songs became a limited ability, they did not want you to make playlists solely for the purpose of listening to one song and just skipping the rest as filler.  This is true for most music player websites now though, with the exception of grooveshark.  Music sharing is a touch subject, the lines of ownership, stealing and radio have become blurred because of the internet and how we use it.  I don’t think these big companies and record labels that are against sites like fine tune and last.fm understand how greatly these internet radio sites affects the amount of people it brings to their artists.  A lot of people do buy the albums and pay to go to concerts and buy the merchandise simply from finding the music on their own through interactive sites like this.  It’s a shame that they are constantly being threatened by being shut down under different copyright acts.

Finetune.com

All images are from http://archive.org/web/web.php and Finetune.com.

Mashin up Album covers

4 Apr

In This mashup assignment you were supposed to remix an iconic Album cover to mean something else.  Instead I sort of went in a different direction and combined two album covers from 2 of my favorite bands Mogwai and Boards of Canada.  I used Mogwai’s EP+6 cover and  BOC’s (Boards Of Canada’s) Music has the right to children.  Both bands draw from an ambient sound but approach music in different ways.  Mogwai is mostly instrumental Post-rock using mainly traditional rock instruments Guitar, Bass and Drums but run their sound through boards and boards of effect pedals to get very interesting results.  BOC is a duo who are primarily Electronica and IDM (Intelligent Dance Music).  They use a lot of scratchy analog samples based around 1960s educational videos from The National Film Board of Canada.  It’s strange that both groups just happen to be based out of Scotland.  The Image that came out is rather nostalgic feeling image filled with graininess.  The process was rather simple, you just layer one image on top of another how ever you want then adjust the opacity and fill on the images to get the desired translucency.

Jays presentation on open source

4 Apr

Today my classmate Jay talked about Open source Software and some of the debates surrounding it.  He gave a few good examples of big projects that are open source such as Firefox and Gimp.  I was wondering how big companies like this can function if all their work is given away for free.  Apparently groups like this can get backing from big companies that use their services for instance Mozilla, the creator of Firefox, apparently gets a lot of their financial backing from Google.  This seems strange to me since Google has its own open source browser Chrome, but I suppose that is one of the beauties of open source, it’s all free so it’s not as if  one is losing money over the other doing better.  A few things that he brought up that I thought was really interesting though was the controversies between companies trying to get a hold of pattens on specific code functions, such as Apple fighting to get the right to making calls by touching the phone number on the screen their own, unique from other smart phones.  It seems like such a silly thing to waste time and money on, it just seems very anti-progressive and without this flow of open ideas how do we progress.  Also the idea of one company owing all the pattens, such as Google, is frightening.  I have heard rumors of Google trying to eventually control the internet and make it a completely free service.  In theory it sound great but they would have a scary amount of power over how it is used.  It makes me a little more apathetic about open source.

http://www.weusecoins.com/

When Jay brought up some of the most interesting open source projects I was quite baffled by Bitcoin.  I have never heard of this before.  It is apparently a digital currency that is not associated with any one nation and can be exchanged for a variety of real life items just like physical currency.  I am still having a hard time grasping how your computer generates money but It just seems like a way to use some thing like online banking and stock exchange without paying all the stupid fees of the real world bank since it is a peer-to-peer software as well as being open source.  It makes me wonder if this currency will one day replace our current way we use money or will it fizzle out as a fad of sorts.  it’s still young since it only started in 2009 but three years in the computer world is ages.  Regardless this was an eye-opening talk and I want to thank Jay for that.

The secret alliance of guys who do challenging things.

3 Apr

In this world there are things that need to be done.  These guys are the guys you may consider hiring when combing the yellow pages for “people who do things good” because they are the only group that do things good.  The leader of the group is a man whom dresses in a penguin costume and has the power to eat 10 or more Tacos at any given time.  He goes by the alias Pengo, the eradicator.  His right hand man is the Talker, a Giant man who could talk a deaf mans ear off.  His quick tongue allows him to overload even the most attentive listener causing them to freeze in a trance like state.  His Brother Dr. Explosion Von Brownie is able to use him extreme strength to catapult baked good s at any foe, no matter the distance.  Next on the list is The Libertarian, A man whom has the ability to alter the standings of any election using his semi-physic powers of persuasion.  He has an impeccable power to excrete green Guacamole  substances from his palm dispensers.  Party girl fits the bill as a girl who can party hard without warning, but don’t think you will get anything past her she can detect any mental activity you can throw at her with psycho analytical powers.   She can also make a mean Buffalo Chicken Dip and other party foods.  Then there is The Great Meatball Machine.  A man-boy with the power to ball up his own meat like flesh and splatter it on his opponents spreading raw meat diseases such as salmonella. Last but not least is speed-car man.  a man who can drive the gang around at warp speeds in his gas guzzling war tank.  His lack of respect for local law enforcement makes him a key part of getting to places before anyone else.  Also he has a Knack for fixing things by hitting them or taking unnecessary pieces off.

Picture of cos-players at NY comic-con 2011, I took the picture!

Picture of cos-players at NY comic-con 2011, I took the picture!

In the debut episode of their adventure as a team a woman calls the hotline for help saying her dog that has some how gotten itself stuck up a tree.  The team hardly assembles fast enough to even remotely call it an emergency rescue, but when everyone finally makes their way to the war tank and speed-car man promptly makes a pit stop at WaWa for sandwiches and drinks.  Afterwards when the team finally made it to the distressed puppy, whom was now asleep in the tree, Meatball machine Man started to throw meat at the dog.  Pengo was still eating his Taco Sandwich while Dr. Explosion Von Brownie and The talker argued over who would win in a fight, Harry potter or Superman.  Party Girl was rocking out to Andrew W.K. trying to shake the Dog out of the tree and The Libertarian was eating Guac out of his hand dispensers.  Needless to say the dog did get down when knocked out with a meatball but the owner was less than pleased with the service.  The gang quickly regrouped in the war tank and off they went to Karaoke.

Seven Person Story