April 27, 2007

Internet radio to dry up, part 2

There's hope for internet radio. Instead of paying for each song * users listening, the offer is on the table for internet radio = satellite radio. Although, as a /.er had commented: they probably just got what they wanted in the first place.

posted by sstrader at 8:39 PM in Culture & Society | permalink

Server woes

First, my DNS updater utility (which I actually paid for) craps out and refuses to update DynDNS whenever my IP changes. I reverted back to an older utility and am back up. Then, Mindspring/Earthlink decides that I don't want to even be provided with an IP and my DSL modem just sits and stares into space. Blinking. Honestly, that has happened once before and appeared to be fixed with restarting the modem and router, but last night I was on-and-off-and-usually-more-off for several hours. Finally, once back on, for the first time in the ~1 year since I added my hillbilly captcha to comments, I got comment spam (spom). Theres only been 10 so far on a single entry, but that's how it always starts...

posted by sstrader at 8:32 AM in Personal | permalink

April 23, 2007

Quick studies

A quick dive into Quick Studies, a collection of articles from the defunct-yet-wonderful magazine Lingua Franca, and I'm immediately reminded of why it was so good. The first article I read is called "The Candidate" and was written by the head of a university's hiring committee that was directed by the dean to hire a minority. All names were changed. The second article is called "The Candidate's Story" and was written by a black assistant-professor who was surprised to find his interview published in Lingua Franca. Hilarity ensues.

posted by sstrader at 6:36 PM in Language & Literature | permalink

April 22, 2007


Fuckin' geeks.

posted by sstrader at 12:03 AM in Science & Technology | permalink

April 20, 2007

Bird, again

So during one of my snooze cycles this morning, I heard the bird again and thought that maybe it's my alarm that's waking her up. What's weird is that I swear she mimicked the tone and repetition of my alarm after it went off. Although, maybe I was just still asleep.

posted by sstrader at 7:55 AM in Personal | permalink

April 19, 2007

A million hours

It's hard to overstate the importance of the BBC's decision to put one million hours of archival broadcasts online [ via Tim Rutherford-Johnson ]. Free access. Expect wikis and blogs to pop up indexing the interesting and historical similar to those travelogues for Google maps or their Usenet timeline, but considerably more important. This is just going to be reallyreally amazing.

posted by sstrader at 6:15 PM in Culture & Society | permalink


Around a week ago, we realized that a bird had taken up home in our dryer vent. The outlet is right out our bedroom window, so every morning (right about ... now) the sound of her floppin' her wings and tweetin' resonates through the metal pipe. It was creepy at first ("what the hell is that?!?"), but now it's kinda nice.

posted by sstrader at 7:44 AM in Personal | permalink

April 17, 2007


The story of the 20-plus students dead in Virginia dominates the news, but the barrage of Iraqi civilians that died (or even just the 60 Iraqi students killed a month ago) are all but ignored. Bush visited the school and yet he hadn't attended any funerals of US soldiers killed in Iraq. Reddit recently had a lengthy discussion on the injustice of the word-count of Wikipedia articles dedicated to styles of light-saber fighting compared to those dedicated to Shakespeare. I was in a similar discussion a while back comparing Wikipedia word counts for The Matrix movies and matrices in mathematics. Noam Chomsky compared the line inches of news stories on the massacres in East Timor with lesser events and found unfortunately expected results. A whole cottage industry could-be-and-probably-has-been created on the discrepancies between representation of like subjects.

Looking at my own blog entries, I see that word count does not translate to a metric of importance. Certainly I've cared enough to take the time to write about my recent purchase of the Prokofiev Piano Sonatas and the idiot history contained in that 300 movie, but those were random interests that hit while I was near the computer. And neither were censored beforehand for being too personal or too involved to research fully (who has time for research these days?!?). But then, my blog is hardly the ideal model for misapplying metrics.

I also think about Schneier's constant warnings on misapplying security (More people are killed every year by pigs than by sharks, which shows you how good we are at evaluating risk.) This is sort of the reverse of a counting error. In certain situations, we respond to a false perception of how many or how much. In others, we may force a commonality to compare.

posted by sstrader at 8:54 AM in Language & Literature | permalink

Internet radio to dry up?

"Internet radio dealt severe blow as Copyright Board rejects appeal"

Internet radio stations currently pay a flat yearly fee + percentage of their profits; new law will have them paying for each song * users listening. Yipes.

posted by sstrader at 7:55 AM in Culture & Society | permalink

April 13, 2007

Where was I?

Not blogging, that's where.

The past week has been a knock-down-drag-out with my JSP hosting service. Their reliability has been spotty these past few months, and now they're blaming me for one of their servers going down. I doubt my sites get that many hits. What I've learned: I have a new-found mistrust of the Resin app server, MySQL 4.1 chokes on non-ASCII chars, JProfiler kicks more ass than I thought it kicks. If you're a Java developer, stop being a jackass and get JProfiler. Possibly even a legal copy.

Fun stuff:

Friday was the (crappy) Braves game, prefaced by a couple of bars--including Fune--and ending with a wild ride back to Cabbage Town with the Cabbie Who Knows All Shortcuts and dinner/drinks at Caroll Street Cafe then crashing at Alicia and Dan's. Saturday was Mollie and Hugh's housewarming. Great house! And a nice, small yard. Sunday was Easter with the extended family up in Alpharetta.

Wednesday was Tears of the Black Tiger (3/5). Highly recommended Thai western that's more over-the-top than you can possibly conceive. A few jumbled scenes, but so creative overall that it must be watched.

posted by sstrader at 5:02 PM in Cinema , Where was I? | permalink

April 9, 2007


The current surface-debates on the internets: Hillary can't sing and has grotesque freeze-frame expressions, Edwards combs his hair for longer than 10 seconds before appearing on TV, and McCain thinks Baghdad streets are safe for Americans and then immediately disproves it.

Assuming that there's equal idiocy to go around: I really am surprised that the Republican web-kids are so much less savvy than the Democratic web-kids sound-biting the other side to death.

posted by sstrader at 2:21 PM in Politics | permalink

April 4, 2007

April 3, 2007

Top 10 films

For no particular reason. I've just been praising several films recently, saying they're in my top ten, yet not fully sure what my top ten actually are. Let's see:

  1. Zerkalo (The Mirror) - The first Tarkovsky I'd ever seen, and so it sticks with me. It has a similar theme of Persona--examination of self--yet with a completely different and more autobiographical approach. Sadly, not available on DVD, and I've no VCR to play my VHS tape.
  2. Persona - Bergman at his experimental best. Its split-in-the-middle structure reminds me of several David Lynch films.
  3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - Sweet without being Hallmark.
  4. Cure - A moody murder mystery that kinda falls apart under its own confusion at the end, but ultimately a unique vision. One of the less kooky expressions of East Asian mysticism.
  5. The Saddest Music in the World - This has the same astonishing dream-logic as Ishiguro's novel The Unconsoled, and yet the story (and the images) make the going less frustrating.
  6. Lost Highway - This choice is a little cliched, but still. The experimentally slow first half (like the famous driving scene in Solaris) is workable only with its cinema-saturated second half.
  7. Solyaris - The other Tarkovsky film. Holds up nicely today even for a 1972 sci-fi flick. The remake wasn't as bad as people's avoidance of it warranted, it just didn't have the thoughtfulness of the first and so got punished for its differences. The images in this Tarkovsky aren't nearly as beautiful as those in The Mirror, but they still have a solid emotional feel.
  8. Irréversible - I really hesitate with this one because it's a film that I cannot recommend, may never watch again, and yet still love it and its message. Similar to Eternal Sunshine, yet very different (if that helps in any way).
  9. À bout de souffle (Breathless) and Pierrot le fou - The obligatory cheat. I haven't seen enough Godard, but what I have I loved. In fact, I'm tempted to give up this item in the list to all of French New Wave, but I suspect it's a style that could go bad quickly. Still, the improvisatory livliness is fun.
  10. Criminali della galassia, I (Wild, Wild Planet) - The only camp movie on the list. What can I say? I'm a sucker for its unbridled 1965 wackiness.

I tried to avoid as many "classic" top tens as I could and even excluded some films that I would give a 5/5 to but that weren't as memorable to me. Classic blog stuff! Nice and self-absorbed. Now let's see how long I go without changing my mind...

posted by sstrader at 6:55 PM in Cinema | permalink

April 1, 2007

Where was I?

Last Sunday tried the new sushi restaurant on 7th called Fune. Excellent sushi-on-a-conveyor-belt and good wines. I'm not hip enough, but they'll just have to get used to me.

Friday was The Crazies! on TiVo--I like me some B-movie--and then re-watched Eternal Sunshine. That's definitely in my top 10, and re-watching brought back some swell but forgotten details that I won't spoil here. I had recently passed it around to co-workers, and from our discussions I got the itch to see it again.

Saturday was goofin' off over at Alicia and Dan's after they and the wife and others drank all day watching some sort of sporting event that was happening in Atlanta. We ended the evening with the Borat movie. 3/5 with many laughs. I don't know how he survived some of those skits. Not the least of which the naked wrestling, although I heard that the rodeo was a narrow escape.

Lisa's in Tulsa till Tuesday (hey, it's a Nora Ephron novel!) so I'll be bachelorin' it and will probably be quite stir crazy by then.

posted by sstrader at 6:36 PM in Cinema , Where was I? | permalink

Truer words

And so, of course, I impulse ordered Hoffer's The True Believer along with the Lingua Franca compilation. That magazine was the equivalent to People or Us for university news and is a subscription I would still have today if it hadn't folded in 2001. I'll probably have to kill this evening combing through my back issues.

posted by sstrader at 6:16 PM in Language & Literature | permalink