31.7.09

IndyGo + Web 2.0

Found in the comment section of Urban Indy, here's a new site for IndyGo users: Where's IndyGo?

The service provides route info and text message alerts for bus system. If nothing else, the site's route schedules are easier to read than the ones on IndyGo's website.

The site is still in beta. And of course they're on Twitter too.

30.7.09

Asobi Seksu

I was trying to remember the name of this band to tell a friend at the bar tonight and I completely mangled the second word. Here's a sample track just for you.


It's Too Late

Check them out on YouTube or Last.fm(or their website, I suppose). Maybe you won't like them, maybe you will. I do.

29.7.09

Wednesday Wikipedia: Bilderberger

The Bilderberger Group is a favorite of conspiracy theorists of every political stripe. A secretive, closed meeting of some of the world's most influential business leaders and politicians? That sort of thing is just begging for excoriations of malicious intent. But just who was the first to castigate this nefarious organization? From Chip Berlet's book Right Woos Left, by way of the Wiki entry on the Bilderberger Group:
The views on intractable godless communism expressed by Schwartz were central themes in three other widely distributed books which were used to mobilize support for the 1964 Goldwater campaign. The best known was Phyllis Schlafly's A Choice, Not an Echo which suggested a conspiracy theory in which the Republican Party was secretly controlled by elitist intellectuals dominated by members of the Bilderberger group, whose policies would usher in global communist conquest.

Which is interesting in the light that the Bilderberg Group was instigated as a measure to combat growing anti-Americanism in Western Europe. But that's according to the Wikipedia article. And what's more communist than Wikipedia, hmm?

28.7.09

Alas, poor T9! I knew him: A keypad of infinite words

I went to the AT&T store in the town were I work today. My coworker had to exchange a product, so I wandered around checking out the phones while I waited. After a few minutes, it stuck me that every device on display had a touch screen, a qwerty keyboard, or both. I double checked, and sure enough there wasn't a non messaging/smart phone in sight.

I'm not naive enough to think that this is indicative of the death of "dumb" phones. This isn't a NYT column. There will always be a market for number pads. But it's an interesting strategy. I wonder if it has something to do with AT&T's carrying the iPhone. Maybe the thinking is that they have to showcase high tech phones as alternatives?

27.7.09

They Live!

New policy, old wisdom: they is a non-gendered, singular pronoun. Read the On Language column for an explanation and short history of the adoption of the "genderless" he/him/his. Best thing I've gotten from Twitter so far.

You have been warned.

26.7.09

Ch-ch-ch-changes

I was disappointed today to learn that Emusic has changed their pricing of their music subscription services. I was pissed off that I only learned about it by logging in to the site. Emusic sends me newsletters about newly acquired artists and special deals at least monthly. They couldn't send out a form letter giving notice to their subscribers, and pointing to the website for details? What the hell.

I looked at the section of the Terms of Service where, like every business, they reserve the right to change anything for whatever reason. It states that you should go to their website to check for changes. I understand that this is a valid policy for many businesses. But I strongly believe a business that automatically renews charges on it's customers' credit cards on a monthly, or semi-monthly basis, should send notice of such pertinent changes in a core policy.

This isn't the first time that Emusic has changed their pricing structure. The last time my subscription price was increased from $9.99 to $11.99 per month. However the number of downloads I was allotted per month increased to 50, from 40. I didn't mind that so much, especially seeing as how my price/track went from 25 to 24 cents.

This time, Emusic has greatly increased the pricing per track. In my case, they I'm to be moved to the Basic plan, with 24 downloads for $11.99. Though the splash page when I log in states that I'll receive 30 tracks per month. We'll see when my subscription renews. Which is in THREE days- one of the reasons I was incensed upon learning of the new policy in the way I did. So either I'll be getting each individual track for either 50 or 40 cents. Not something I'm pleased about, but it's still cheaper that iTunes and Amazon, so I'll stick with Emusic for now.

There is one possible highlight in the new policy: download allotments are now called credits, and albums will now generally be 12 credits for the entire album. According to Emusic staffers some albums with long songs and few tracks will be worth 12 credits to download, but the albums I've seen today with a track count fewer than 12 were all marked at a price consistent with the number of tracks on the album. I like this new scheme. It makes it worth downloading albums with tons of short songs, for instance Sebadoh's The Freed Man- which is technically 52 tracks, though not one is much over two minutes long. This is one change I'm looking forward to.

25.7.09

Step 2 Explained In Charts

Yesterday in Google Reader, I shared a Daring Fireball post commenting on the AP's new idea for protecting their content online. Here is a chart explaining the AP's platform*, or "magic beans" as John Gruber put it.

Thankfully, someone has on Reddit has posted an clarified version of the chart.

For the lazy: the last link is the funny one.

Also, bonus typography humor in the comment thread starting here.

*On the serious side of things, if my understanding of what's going on here nears being correct, I think at least parts of this will work for them- if they can push it to news sources/aggregators/whathaveyou. This is mostly for the non-consumer side of the equation. But for sure, one upshot of its implementation will be a big pain in the ass for the consumer in the long run. But don't take my word for it, I don't know jack.

[If the links to the charts go dead, leave a comment and I'll post copies.]

24.7.09

Back In The Game

Tiny Cartridge makes the case that since Michael Jackson's death, the Wu-Tang Clan are the new kings of the musicians-with-video-game-tie-ins. The list of evidence includes the Wu-Tang controller, released with the PS1 game Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style.


[Image via GoodGameGet]

That doesn't look awkward to use, no sir. On the other hand, Wu-Tang, Wu-Tang!

23.7.09

Word

Spree Wilson, "Word" produced by No I.D.



[found via some comment thread]

22.7.09

Weezer And A Bag of Chips

How do you make Weezer geekier? How about covering their songs in the chiptune(or 8-bit) style? If you didn't see it in the past few days, the Pterodactyl Squad has a released a Weezer tribute album by various* 8-bit artists.

Here are two of the better(IMO) tracks for you to sample. The first is an instrumental version, the second has vocals.

El Scorcho by Tugboat


Jamie by Unicorn Dream Attack


*I would also say all-star, but I don't know enough about the genre.

[via Waxy]