Sat, 19 Apr 2003

My, but wasn't Ian Curtis an amazing vocalist?

I'm busting out the Joy Division for the first time in a while, and it's reminding me how powerful a vocalist Ian Curtis was. It's not that he was a "great singer" by current standards, but then, that hardly matters, does it, when you're writing songs that great, and so perfectly suited to you?

I don't want to sound like the sort of whiny old fuddy-duddy rocker guy I used to make fun of back when I had more hair, but I'd really like to see the pendulum swing away from oh-so-pretty-vacant and back towards records that stand as coherent statements. These things usually run in cycles, of course -- remember, the Beatles and Stones drove out nonsense like Fabian, and the punks in '76-'77 showed up in time to kick snoozy SoCal pop-rock and fatuous prog down the stairs, and Nirvana killed off hair metal... so who's going to put an end to committee-written fluffy "Now That's What I Call Music 48"?

:: 21:26
:: /entertainment/music | [+]
::Comments (0)

Unhappy in teh trunk? We understand yoo!

"This is the way, step inside"

Okay, so Dave Winer ranted, and Mark Pilgrim parodied it, and then Dave Winer, um, exploded, spewing Manila-fragments all over poor Sam Ruby’s weblog.

:: 20:31
:: /humor/people | [+]
::Comments (0)

Hey, Where's the 'B' Word?

Gateway first quarter loss widens to $197.7 million; sales drop
Whenever newspapers used to run stories about Apple like this one about Gateway, they’d make sure they called the company beleaguered somewhere in the body.

:: 16:18
:: /opinion/technology | [+]
::Comments (0)

Drive-By #11

  • Slashdot Review: QCast Tuner for PS2
    QCast Tuner is software that plays audio, video, and image files from your computer to your network adapter-equipped PS2. There are two pieces to the software, the PS2 DVD and the computer software (on a separate CD), for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. I used the Mac OS X version, of course. There's a configuration utility to set up what you will share, and to what users/IP addresses. Then a separate program launches the server, which serves up the files and playlists. It's all written in Java, which means the UI stinks, but it seems to work well. [Slashdot]

  • Ars Technica: QCast Tuner Review (4/2003)
    By utilizing the networking kit available for the PlayStation 2, BroadQ's QCast Tuner PS2 software can deliver digital media over a LAN from a PC to a networked Playstation2. This would allow any room with a ~$200 PS2 and networking connectivity (wireless or wired) to enjoy the kind of multimedia content that's traditionally tied to a single PC. [Ars Technica]

  • Cloak of Anarchy

    On this hot blue summer afternoon, King's Free Park was as crowded as it ever gets.

    Someone at police headquarters had expected that. Twice the usual number of copseyes floated overhead, waiting. Gold dots against blue, basketball-sized, twelve feet up. Each with a television eye and a sonic stunner, each a hookup to police headquarters, they were there to enforce the law of the park.

    [Known Space: The Unofficial Larry Niven Home Page]

  • Hedy Lamarr: From Celluloid to the Cellphone
    She was considered one of the most beautiful women ever to grace the silver screen, but Hedy Lamarr never wanted to be known as just a pretty face. The same woman who said, "Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid" was actually quite smart, some would say brilliant. In fact, she is credited for patenting a technology that is used every day. Hers is a story that is something right out of... well... Hollywood. [TechTV]

  • RSS via NNTP?

    It's 2003 -- are we really building RSS aggregators that pull a feed a thousand times to feed a thousand customers? USENET and RSS have a common transmission pattern where small messages from diverse sites are often redistributed to locally clustered users, so why are we pulling so much XML when we already know how to fix it?


    a poster responded:

    Well, just to get the flamewar started: NNTP is the most horrendously evil pathetic rotten useless crappy protocol that ever there was. And I mean that in the nicest possible way, because all the NNTP *software* was much worse. (I say "was", not because it got better, but because nobody cares anymore.)


  • Bitstream/Gnome Release Vera Font Familyfont sample
    Gnome and Bitstream have released the final version of the Vera font family. Go get it, install them, and enjoy! They work for Windows and Mac users too!
    Our earlier story. [Slashdot]

  • Can't I trust anyone these days to tell me if an album is any good?

    I know it's late, and I'm probably flogging a dead horse, but when it comes to pop punditry I just don't know who to trust any more.


    What strikes me about pop criticism of late - and this afflicts the broadsheets as well - is the tyranny of received opinion. I have yet to meet anyone, obsessive fan or otherwise, who thinks the last two Nick Cave albums come close to 1997's The Boatman's Call in terms of emotional depth and songwriting skill, but both releases were greeted with an across-the-board acclaim that bordered on instilled reverence, and an attendant lack of critical rigour. Likewise Beck's last few album releases since the ground-breaking Odelay. I mean, do you really reach for Sea Change or Midnite Vultures when you need a fix of Beck?

    [The Observer]

:: 08:47
:: /misc/drive-by | [+]
::Comments (0)

There are two kinds of fool. One says, “This is old, and therefore good.”
And one says, “This is new, and therefore better”
— John Brunner, “The Shockwave Rider”