Culturally, the guitar tab community is similar to, but somewhat more interesting than, the mp3 community. (Guitar tab, short for tabulature, is a way of notating songs specifying where to put your fingers on the guitar. The OLGA database is the closest equivilent to Napster’s servers). It takes a lot of work to learn the music by ear and then notate it. Some people do this meticulously, including guitar solos and putting comments in to explain particular techniques.
Through this effort the transcriber’s personality comes through, they’re more than just someone who has ripped an mp3 off their CD. An Incubus guy inserts an elaborate ASCII sig, Beck transcribers go by handles like Maxxdaddy and D-rex.
For example, at the end of a transcription of “Parallel Universe” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers there’s this:
…As far as I’m concerned, this is the whole song.
There is a kind of half-arsed guitar solo for the outro, but it isn’t special.
It’s hard to duplicate that, it’s hard to tab – because, basically, if you
get a metal zone pedal (the ones that heavy metal bands use) and turn
distortion up full, then you can just about not even touch the strings,
and that’s what your guitar will do *laughing* :)
This denunciation of awards is currently making the rounds. I applaud this attitude, since there are precious few award panels using “made the world a better place” as a success criteria.
Though I have to laugh when he says, “We’re no longer maintaining that listing of awards…awards are meaningless; web awards, even more so” and then goes on to include three paragraphs listing the awards he’s won.
Back in February I debated with Peter the pros and cons of developing a web site in-house vs. contracting a design firm. One advantage of doing it in-house that just occured to me is more easily running a design cycle simultaneously with a programming cycle (building v.3 while designing v.4, building v.4 while designing v.5, etc.). Whereas the usual cycle at a design firm is design-build-launch all within a tight deadline, and no thought is given of the next design until the next cycle begins, at which point the same launch date pressure is applied and everything is rushed.
Easily the most amazing story I’ve read in a long time. First because a woman’s life was saved by removing her heart, operating on it while it sat in a bowl of ice, and then replaced in her chest. Second because the whole operation was made possible because she found the procedure and a surgeon to perform it using the Internet when her own doctors hadn’t heard of the operation.
The latter point makes me wonder why there isn’t an expert system that would allow doctors to diagnose situations like this.
One of the most telling comments on the recent Presidential election, just heard on the News Hour:
Interviewer: Who do you hope will win the election?
Palestinian man: To be honest, I don’t think there’s that much difference between them.
Interviewer: So it doesn’t matter to you who wins?
Palestinian man: Actually I want Bush to win, because the Isrealis want Gore to win.
Beatnik – Principles of Sonification Design. Some very rational and complete guidelines for using audio in the user interface.
What we’re doing is taking a book about the
history, ideas and personalities behind the free-software/open-source movement
— a book that Andrew Leonard is in the process of writing — and posting it, in
pieces, here, as it’s written. We’re publishing the book as a work in progress and
inviting readers — Linux veterans and newbies alike — to post their comments,
criticisms and reactions. Leonard will in turn respond, and incorporate changes
in the text as seems right.
Our hope is that this format will subject the book to the same kind of online peer
review that the open-source movement applies to its software code. Everybody
benefits: We get to improve the editorial product we’re creating, and visitors to
the site get what we hope will be a unique informational resource — a take on this
story that you won’t find anywhere else.
If you ever think of visiting New York City during your December holiday break, don’t. I’m sitting at work watching all these tourists walk by in 10 degree weather (that’s -12 C) just freezing, and probably going from coffee shop to coffee shop to keep from dying.
Never one to shy away from stealing other blogger’s good ideas, I’ll follow in Stewart’s footsteps (see below) and offer you an audio present for Christmas. Charlie, the minister at my (Unitarian Universalist) church, is an amazing preacher. His writing and presentation are both intelligent and thoughtful. And now I can share his work with you through the magic of the Internet. This sermon, called “Darkness” (RealAudio), discusses celebrating Winter as time to contemplate and repair our spirits. It starts:
when the plant says nothing