Updated: 1/21/03; 12:36:09 PM.
db's Radio Weblog
Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

The End of Chimera? Mike Pinkerton isn't sure he wants to continue developing Chimera. Mike's the leader of the Chimera project. Chimera is a Mozilla/Gecko-based browser for MacOS X that is JUST a browser: no mail, news, or IRC. It's a lot smaller than Mozilla, faster than Mozilla, but still has tabs. *

[In Tim Bray's piece on RSS there's one technical issue raised (which media type to use for RSS) I'd tend to discount Infoworld in this case. But shouldn't one of these be chosen and included in the spec? (Update: Sam Ruby: It seems to me that it should match what you use on the link tag. Other thoughts?)

As far as the business model for RSS aggregators goes... sure it's a natural to think that this should be in a browser... but I think that having a good rendering engine on the Mac is going to change this around. I think a lot of apps will become "browsers" with interfaces that make that type of data (whatever that is) easy to read and manipulate. I don't know if this is already common on other platforms, but it hasn't been on the Mac. And having smaller more focused apps that can be wired together via AppleEvents or by shared file formats is a model we know works. That's what I expect... Now whether there's a business there or not is another issue, relative to a number of other factors.] *

Universal Canvas: DJ Adams: It seems that beyond carrying syndication information, RSS is a very useful and flexible way to get all sorts of application data pushed to a user over time. [Absolutely correct. Along those lines, Dave updated the 2.0 spec to re-include ... Somehow in the editing process for the 2.0 spec the docs for this element were dropped. Things happen.] *

Making news aggregators easy: The time has come to make using news aggregators easy, Mac OS-style. Every browser should have a "Subscribe to this Site" command, which should send a standardized subscribe rss AppleEvent (or similar message on other OSes) to the user's preferred news aggregator, which would use RSS auto-discovery to subscribe the user to the news feed. [Nice idea.] *

There's nothing like checking in with a "new" site and finding that little orange xml button that says "I grok RSS". Beautiful.

Jan, 17th: DB2 provider, MacOS X: MacOS X support on the runtime has been integrated into the distribution, and MCS works with it. [If Mono gets off the ground it could be very interesting. Are we headed toward a "battle" at the API level?] *

Thread-based Global Variables in UserTalk: Most UserTalk developers probably don't realize that the language supports thread-based global variables. *

12:34:53 PM    comment

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

The Things We Remember. "In honor of those who lost their lives, those who gave of themselves, and for all the survivors of the horror of that day, those touched directly and indirectly, I say, may you, may we all, find peace. " [Amen.] *

[The 10:29 moment of observance just past. The reading of names continues. May all the mourners be comforted. Some numbers here.] *

"When I was a child, I thought
God was disappointed
whenever some distraction interrupted...
Now I know that God expects such interruptions,
for He knows our frailty.
It is completion that suprises Him."

From the God Whispers of Han Qing-jao

11:17:51 AM    comment

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

[Doing what I can to help move Weblogs.Com over the 1000 mark.]
1:59:30 PM    comment

Report: Kazaa, Morpheus rave on. "In a separate report, Forrester Research disputed the RIAA's claims and, like Yankee, noted the music industry has to make it easier for people to find, copy and pay for music over the Internet. Forrester also concluded that pay services will likely take off in about 2005 with digital music delivery accounting for 17 percent of sales in 2007." [Opportunity knocks.]

[Worth repeating: Respect is manifested in study and internalization of idiomatic nuance.] *

Ken Bereskin's Radio Weblog. "I'll try and get the spark back." [Welcome back Ken.]

Boing Boing: A Directory of Wonderful Things. "...he warns that in these tumultuous times, it is beholden on all of His Majesty's subjects to exercise the utmost care in defending their homes against the imprecations of the wily Norman and his sinister allies. For God and King, Rbt. K. Allen, H.M. Criers and Newsagents." [Heh. (via Doc.)]

NetNewsWire: More news, less junk. Faster
[Go Brent!]

[This is in reaction (from a couple of years ago) to Kenny G playing over Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World" (George Weiss / Bob Thiele)] Pat Metheny: "But this is different. When Kenny G decided that it was appropriate for him to defile the music of the man who is probably the greatest jazz musician that has ever lived by spewing his lame-ass, jive, pseudo bluesy, out-of-tune, noodling, wimped out, fucked-up playing all over one of the great Louis's tracks (even one of his lesser ones), he did something that I would not have imagined possible.

He, in one move, through his unbelievably pretentious and calloused musical decision to embark on this most cynical of musical paths, shit all over the graves of all the musicians past and present who have risked their lives by going out there on the road for years and years developing their own music inspired by the standards of grace that Louis Armstrong brought to every single note he played over an amazing lifetime as a musician.

By disrespecting Louis, his legacy, and by default, everyone who has ever tried to do something positive with improvised music and what it can be, Kenny G reached a new lowpoint in modern culture. We let it slide at our own peril." [Pat's generally a very respectful guy in his writing, and I have no absolute proof that these are his words. But I have read comments on his site that equal this position, and he clearly agrees. Regardless of whether he wrote this or not, I happen to agree with the position. All we're looking for is some integrity.

"I hear babies cryin', I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll ever know
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world
Yes, I think to myself, what a wonderful world"]
12:10:45 PM    comment

Thursday, August 8, 2002

[Care to look at the simple sketches I give the musicians in the group? You'll need a plug-in (there's a link at the bottom of the page your about to click to) but after installing it you'll be able to see the written music and play it back, transpose it, print it etc. Windows and Mac OS X are easy, Mac OS9 requires that you use Opera. The plug-in page has more specifics. This is how I distribute music to my players. Beats the heck out of mailing stuff to the guys. So. The lead sheet to "If what-if, could be". Enjoy!] *Link*

RIAA Announces Intent To Appeal Internet Radio Royalty Rates. "Comment by Hilary Rosen, Chairman and CEO of the RIAA: "The Librarian's decision was based on a misguided reading of the record. Not only was improper weight given to the testimony of Yahoo! but some 140 separate licensing deals were thrown out by the Librarian. The end result significantly undervalued the music used by Internet radio companies." [Of course! The rates that are already putting every internet radio station out of business are too low! (slapping forehead). Un-effin-belieavable. (shakin' my head in utter disbelief). Can they be this shortsighted? Obviously, they can.] *Link*

[This applies to the little guys as well. On Tuesday I was witness to a couple of rounds of "Is that really your best price?" I'm all for haggling in the right venue. There are times where you are supposed to haggle over price. There are also times when it is inappropriate.

As a general rule, when you walk into a small shop, and you ask for the best price, that's what you get. The least amount of "overage" above cost. I'm presuming you know who you are dealing with, and that it's a shop with a history of integrity. If it isn't, why are you there?

Now here's the thing. If you enjoy the services of the shop, and you find that they've provided good service and materials, don't you want them to be around in ten years? Do you want to drive them out of business by getting them to sell things at cost? It's silly! The few dollars the shop owner makes are a great thing for me. It means the shop will be there the next time I need them. People need to stop being so short sighted about everything and consider that "we live here too" -- that everyone working together is far better than everyone trying to wring the last drop out of someone and assuming that someone else will take their place for the next round of squeezing. It really doesn't work that way.] *

Scripting News. "Let that be a humble tribute to Professor Dijkstra from an admiring student." [My father's cousin Eli Berlinger has published several books on Fortran and Basic. The use/not use of "goto" has been discussed on several occasions around the dinner table.

I didn't know that this was a "Dijkstra" issue until a few years ago. It was already a "thing" when I started to learn to program. "Don't use goto" was as common a recommendation as "Microsoft sucks". For me, niether one of these is true, but I understand where they come from, and why they exist. May his loved one's be comforted.] *

Malden Mills sees end to Chap. 11. "Textile maker Malden Mills Industries Inc. said yesterday that it has met its sales targets and other financial goals during its peak season, enabling it to file a reorganization plan by the end of the month soon that would allow it to emerge from bankruptcy protection." "Family-owned Malden Mills gained national attention with the 1995 decision by Feuerstein to continue paying workers while it recovered from a severe fire." [It's nice to see that a business which showed integrity in the face of catastrophy looks like it will pull through, and with almost all its jobs intact.] *

Gyroscopes That Don't Spin Make It Easy to Hover. "The secret is the piezo gyroscope, a small motion-sensing device originally developed to help take the shake out of home videos. The Segway personal scooter may be the most famous secondary application of the technology, but given that few of the scooters have been produced yet, the gyroscopes have seen far greater use in model helicopters and other aircraft." [Nifty.] *
4:57:11 PM    comment

Monday, August 5, 2002

[It's About Time... is the title track from the music project I'm currently working on. Its also the first track to near completion, enough that I'm OK about releasing it to the web.

The download is about 4.2 Meg.

This file can be freely distributed as long as the copyright info is included in any distribution. The song was written by me, and performed by :elements: (myself on guitars, Roger Cohen on drums and percussion, and James McElwaine on sax. The recording was done at Granger Musikwerks.] *Link*
1:57:20 PM    comment

dive into mark. "After all, who would make music if they can't make money on it? Who would write? Who would program? I know the answer. The answer is that musicians will make music, not because they can make money, but because musicians are the people who can't not make music. Writers will write because they can't not write. I've been programming for 16 years, writing free software for 8. I can't imagine not doing this. If you can imagine yourself not doing what you're doing, do something else. Do whatever it is that you can't not do." [Maybe the truest thing Mark has ever said.] *

[In the small world department, I should point out that Janis is the cousin of a friend of mine. Somewhat less than six degrees eh?] *

Janis Ian Articles. "Do I still believe downloading is not harming the music industry? Yes, absolutely. Do I think consumers, once the industry starts making product they want to buy, will still buy even though they can download? Yes. Water is free, but a lot of us drink bottled water because it tastes better. You can get coffee at the office, but you're likely to go to Starbucks or the local espresso place, because it tastes better. When record companies start making CD's that offer consumers a reason to buy them, as illustrated by Kevin's email at the end of this article, we will buy them. The songs may be free on line, but the CD's will taste better." [Doin' it right.]

Paul Boutin : Essential Mac DJ gear. [Nicely done. I wonder if there is small audio program that runs under OS X that could do simple editing (cross fades and the like for assembly type work.) wold save quite a bit of hassle... (via Dave)]

[There's a Radio blog and website called Emergent Music which seems pretty nice. Here's the folks behind the efforts. I always wonder about these things, because they seem to rate popularity rather than music, but none the less.]

[I just read an interview... "Because what is popular now is the reverse of virtuosity. If it's sloppy, horrendous, and weird, it becomes more popular with the kids. In the '70s if you had virtuosity, you were put in a really good light. Not anymore." and "People just don't care anymore about virtuosity. They care about ridiculous forms of hip hop and people like Eminem, who are destructive. And zero talent." This argument is as old as the hills. I know that it can be annoying when something you feel is inferior is more popular and generates wealth, especially where what you believe in is less so and does not.

Musicians oftten get caught up in this. I think it stems from the near duality between excellence as an artist and the ability to market yourself. The two rarely seem to naturally reside inside a single person.

If you have more chops on your instrument than you know what to do with then the markets will often help you find a way -- for a while. Afterall, like a great athletic performance, these things can be pyrotechnic and we all seem to enjoy watching someone do things we can't. But ultimately this isn't enough. Niether is being a briliant composer, or musician of extraordinary heart. None of these things by themselves will do it. You need to constantly market, and that's very hard for an artist to remain focused on.

Some few make the transition from marketing themselves to having another market for them (sometimes hired hands, sometimes a close relative, wife or friend). But few enough.

If I've learned any lessons these last few years is that it is the marketing that seems to make the difference (assuming the foundation of good music and musicianship is in place) between those who survive and even prosper and those who don't. That's not something musicians are ready to do something about either in my experience.]
12:05:30 PM    comment

© Copyright 2003 Daniel Berlinger.
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