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media and entertainment

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Your music in the cloud

While Microsoft is trying to convince you that they actually have anything signifigant to do with the “cloud”, real apps are popping up all over the place that are changing the data crunching, access, and storage game - all remotely.

Lord knows I’ve had lots to say about music in the past.  And much of what I loved about personal music on the interwebs continues to get finger blasted by The Man.  But there are a few great apps still out there. One such app came across my radar yesterday called Mougg and it’s awesome.

With Mougg, you can upload your music to their web server and then access it from wherever you are in the world, provided you have an internet connection. With 1GB of free storage space, which is likely to grow, but even in the short term is a pretty big deal. It literally lets you access your music from anywhere. And its so easy to use, moments after you’ve created your account you are already uploaded and listening to music almost instantly.

Great, so they do “data” well. What about the interface? First of all its browser based (AND NO FLASH) - so this means you can access your library anywhere you’re connected to the internets including your IPants.  But even beyond that - the interface it kick ass. Technically speaking.  It’s beautiful to look at an use and if you’ve played with Spotify or Itunes or Rad.io (how do you say Rad.io anyway?) you’re ready to rock. If that’s what your into.

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the coolest friggin' way to find music.

Alrighty. I was browsin’ the interwebs looking for a few new ways to discover music because welp, my collection sucks. And after a pile of usual (and not so usual suspects) I found a few that are pure awesome. Longer post on the lot of them coming, but for now meet my new favorite way of discovering music - Shuffler. Internet-radio made by music blogs. (Think Blip.fm but (you do know what Blip is, right?) but across the internet instead of locked in one site.

Huh? Think of it this way. You’re channel surfing the music web. The web is your player, bloggers are your dj’s. It’s rad. I wish I thought of it. It leverages the Mesh. It’s Simple Smart and Social. And now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve have some new music to go listen to.

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the stats behind the interweb's number 1 business

Hokay folks. This time we’re looking at the internet’s biggest business: Pornography. Special thanks to these guys for passing it along.


There’s an old anecdote about the most interesting technological advances and creative ideas happen in online pornography first. There’s a reason for that - the numbers are staggering! It has been traded online since the 1980’s, even in the form of ASCII art, and then, with the rise of the world wide web in the 1990’s, adult webistes began springing up everywhere.

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how to stay on top of the nerdiest trends...

Great post from mr micropersuasion on how to stay on top of all new thats fit to geek. Of course, you’ll have to be a slave to your RSS feed like we are - so why not just follow me on Twitter and get the daily digest? (Ahem).  Either way, this list should get you started.  Rock on…

from the site
Want to know what’s cool and emerging? Me too. That’s why I subscribe to dozens of blog feeds from cool companies large and small. They include all the Google blogs, the Twitter, Friendfeed and Facebbook blog and many more.

I have decided to share these with you by rolling them up into single feed, which you can browse or subscribe or even download here… 

 

 

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music made with computers...errr trees.

This dude is making music with computers err trees errr both.  Whatever. It’s awesome. And nerdy. But not too nerdy. It’s kinda tree-huggy too. And that’s awesomer. Enjoi.

from the site

In the garden of my house there’s a tree with lots of randomly grown twigs. It looks odd and nice at the same time.One day I asked myself if I could create a piece of music with it.

To tune the tree I picked a fundamental note and tuned the twigs by trimming them with a pencil sharpener. I used two Røde NT6 and a NTG-2 as microphones, combined with a customized stethoscope.

I recorded the tracks live on a Pro Tools LE system. I didn’t use any synthesizer or sampler to create or modify the sounds. All the sounds come from playing the tree, by bowing the twigs, shaking the leaves, playing rhythms on the cortex and so on.

 

Below you can see the video and some pictures with more detailed descriptions from his posting on Behance.


Diego Stocco - Music From A Tree from Diego Stocco on Vimeo.


 I modified a stethoscope by using some hose accessories.The connection between the plastic pipe and the microphone needed to be sealed in order to transmit the sound well.

I modified a stethoscope by using some hose accessories.The connection between the plastic pipe and the microphone needed to be sealed in order to transmit the sound well.

  Here I was recording the low frequencies coming from a big piece of cortex. I used this sound as a kick drum.

Here I was recording the low frequencies coming from a big piece of cortex. I used this sound as a kick drum.

  The two Røde NT6 attached to my fingers with rubber bands. I came up with this idea because mike stands are not very practical for certain locations and also because in this way I can move the microphones dynamically around the object I'm recording.

The two Røde NT6 attached to my fingers with rubber bands. I came up with this idea because mike stands are not very practical for certain locations and also because in this way I can move the microphones dynamically around the object I’m recording.

  Tuning the twig by trimming it with a pencil sharpener.

Tuning the twig by trimming it with a pencil sharpener.

  This is the twig that I was using to play the bass note.

This is the twig that I was using to play the bass note.

  A little twig I used for high-pitched sounds.

A little twig I used for high-pitched sounds.

The track is also available as an high-quality download on my Bandcamp page:
http://diegostocco.bandcamp.com/track/music-from-a-tree

 

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shoot the banker

Stop reading this and go to Shoot The Banker. GOgogogo!

Fantastic right? But get it while it’s hot! It’s LIVE and it will prolly disappear soon.

Get recession revenge by waiting in line (currently I’m 100th in line) to control a LIVE paintball gun for 10 seconds. It’s aimed at a LIVE (are you listening?!) banker. Then you shoot him. If you don’t suck.

Yay!

Oh, and turn up your audio. :)

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shhh! i'm watching a video for fuck's sake

quick! drag this button into your toolbar:

quietube

Meet Quietube: Online video without the distractions. This little app lets you watch web videos without the comments and crap, just by dragging the button above into your browser’s bookmarks toolbar. Once you have it up there, head over to YouTube, Viddler, or Vimeo, and find your favorite clip. Once the clip starts loading - just his your new bookmark button “Quietube” in your toolbar and view in peace.

Awesome.

OH! and you can then make short URLs too, to send the quietube version of the video to your friends (instead of the one on YouTube that is full of bullshit, and totally mean comments.) They hurt. They really do. :)

Here’s an example.
Here’s a quick tutorial.

Huge props to STML @ Apt for this one.

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awesome. radio head. animation.

Just found this here whilst bouncing around the interwebs this evening. It appears to be entirely made in flash, which is awesome in it’s own right. But then it is an animation of one of my all-time favorite songs (Radiohead: Creep), insuring that I would pass the link on to you. Enjoi!

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a lil' selfish promotion: KideoPlayer is live!

slap the spacebar for the next clip!

Today POKE and I are launching KideoPlayer. A fun and safe way to “channel surf” YouTube.

 

the backstory

As a creatively-focused web nerd and as a parent of two young boys under the age of 2, I try to keep my family engaged with what is happening online, including interacting with, sharing and viewing of safe content. Having sat down to try and find this safe content with my boys a couple of times now, I can tell you it is not easy to locate. If you search long enough for YouTube content that is appropriate, it always returns search results with wonderful gems to share, but, they are usually sitting right next to something questionable - if not - down right offensive.

I was amazed to see how little has been done to help curate they sea of online video content in a way that makes it easy, interesting, and fun for parents and kids to experience together. Online video and simple interactivity can be a great source of entertainment and learning for the whole family. Someone just needs to care enough to make it so.

 

how it works

I will spend my free time sourcing, identifying and curating the safest, most educational (and most FUN) YouTube videos I can find. This ongoing list of videos will be served up in a simple little interactive package that I can sit down and play with my boys. I call this package “KideoPlayer.” e.

And since I’m doing this online (and the web is as social as social can be) you get the benefit of all my hard work. Yay!

 

how KideoPlayer is interactive

KideoPlayer is based on POKE’s UPL8.TV framework (@neonarcade’s brainchild) It allows for easy video surfing by using your keyboard (spacebar) to “skip” forward to the next interesting thing. UPL8 is also cool because you can search YouTube using the URL field. For example, entering http://upl8.tv/hamster+dance basically rolls your own rediculous hamster dance mash up channel. Pure poetry.

Ok, back to kids…

KideoPlayer works the same way. Only different. :) It seems that YouTube’s G-Rated filter has some flaws. You see, KideoPlayer can’t reliably search only “Safe” areas of YouTube right from the URL bar as some questionable content still sneaks through. As such, we’ve built in a work-around.

Typing http://kideoplayer.com/babyeinstein still executes a search. The only difference is that it searches “locally” — only sifting through the library of videos that I am curating. Neat huh? Just by typing that you’ve rolled your very own “Baby Einstein” channel. From there, you can keep using it like the regular KideoPlayer features, and use the spacebar to get to the next Baby Einstein video (in this case). Bear with us! As I tag more video from behind the scenes, these search queries will get more and more robust.

As parents, it is up to us to be informed about what and how our children play and to make appropriate choices on their behalf. Fortunately, there are many tools and resources that we as parents can utilize to be better parents in the information age. Perhaps someday, this will be one of them.e.

In the meantime, enjoy! Oh, and remember parents - watch with your kids and slap the spacebar for the next clip! e.

Love,

Tom and your friends at POKE

Read more on UPL8.tv here.

Submit videos you’d like to see on KideoPlayer here.

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sweetness!! jimmy uses the interwebs

More innovation in the music world. I love when musicians dabble in social media. When done right, it can be a elegant smashing of the “3rd wall”.

Jimmy Eat World has just launched a new site for its American tour that uses Twitter to give fans an easy way to chat about each concert before, after and during the event. Awesome. To use the system, simply send a tweet to @jimmyeatworld, followed by the date of the upcoming concert you’ll be attending. Here are the complete instructions:

Check out the new Jimmy Eat World tour section at http://tour.jimmyeatworld.com! You can tweet about our upcoming tour dates by tweeting @jimmyeatworld #YYYYMMDD (where YYYYMMDD is the date of the show). For example, @jimmyeatworld #20090223 can’t wait to see you in New York!

Tweets pertaining to each show are separated and presented on their own pages, wich is awesome as it makes each show moving forward gets a “social documentary” of sorts that could live on far longer than the show or the band themselves. Really amazing way to relive a moment. Imagine reliving woodstock? Actually scratch that.  Bad idea.

Anyhows, it’s a cool system, but it could probably use some work - for example - the length of the hash tags (#___) could get frustrating if you wanted to really chat it up. Hey guys, why not use an easy abbreviation for each show #sf_jimmy).

Just another sign that Twitter is definitely going mainstream.

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social media the Obama way

Psst.

Hey. You. Yeah, You. The one who’s still trying to be a lil’ more social with your branding efforts…

(Hi!) I have a secret for you. Steal from Mr. Obama.

(“The Social Pulpit” is a very interesting analysis of how the Barack Obama campaign used social media. The folks at Edelman compiled this report, and there are many lessons that businesses can also apply, so check it out.)

Oh and while you’re at it, read this too.

 

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creative inspiration: Oktapodi

If you aren’t one of the ones lucky enough to have seen Oktapodi, here’s a little glipmpse. Oktapodi is a simply wonderful animated short. Video below, and official site here.

Although it was created in 2007, parts of the student short film from Gobelins, “Oktapodi,” seem to have finally been released into the wild.

Julien Bocabeille, Francois-Xavier Chanioux, Olivier Delabarre, Thierry Marchand, Quentin Marmier and Emud Mokhberi have upheld the French academy’s incredibly high standards of excellence with this charming story. Kudos team for all your creativity and dear reader, don’t miss the Gallery and Making Of video on the Oktapodi site.

Having had my own animation studio in a former life I can tell you that producing truly great animation with emotion, great acting, SISOMO, realistic weight, character design and beliveable backgrounds that captivate is nearly impossible. It is truly lightning in a bottle for most animation teams. But sometimes examples of creativity are so ahead of it’s class and so stand out, they transcend languages, culture and even beliefs. This animated movie is one of those inspirational examples.


Oktapodi
Uploaded by victorvharo

 

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questions about authenticity, honesty and technology

This post assumes you’ve either heard of or seen the presidential campaign phenomenon The McCain / Obama Dance Off

Oh, you haven’t? Well take a moment now my freng:



I received this video from my pal Charles Gallant with the following note attached:

I’m sure you’ve seen this… but in case you haven’t…

*Link to above video omitted*

Imagine this technology 5-10 years down the road, where spoofing a person’s identity like this is as easy as making a blog. Imagine a much more subtle use of this, where one could simply make a video of someone saying something that they didn’t. In a few years, people won’t be able to tell the difference between raw footage and spoofs like this.

The content is changing, and the medium itself (video) is changing. At the end of the day, video is a really important truth for us. If something is captured on video tape (surveillance, news, etc.), it’s proof. It even holds up legally!

That truth is breaking down. How will information + credibility be evaluated in the future? The publishing site that hosts / displays the video?

Will people just stop believing the videos they see (like I do now with photos)?

Deep thoughts - and with good reason. Just where is technology and *everyone’s* ability to edit and manipulate video, images, etc. going to take us? Can you imagine a world where government legislation forces those who use content editing software such as After Effects or Photoshop to apply for a license? I can.

Here’s a list of World Economic Forum Blogger with similar concerns. What say you?

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two (more) awesome uses of Twitter

I’ve been speaking a lot recently about the evolution of Twitter and all the amazing ways it is getting used across media, advertising, politics and family life. I’m going to try to create on an ongoing list building on this previous post. If you know of any I’m missing, please add ‘em in!

1. election.twitter.com
We all know Twitter as the place millions of people from around the world talk about what they are doing. But when you have that many people using a freeform communications tool they are going to bend it to their own voice: like mouthing off about this fatiguing 2008 Presidential Election process we’re in. This election has driven unprecedented content since it began (but that’s another post) and all of that chatter makes a great spectacle if you can get it all in one place. Enter election.twitter.com

First, and most importantly, it is open. Meaning, you don’t have to be a twitter member or user to use election.twitter.com. For many people, it has become a way to check in on (and do their own “chatter” reasearch on who is favoring who (and why). If you are a twitter user, you can join the conversation by posting directly from election.twitter.com and your update will go to everyone who follows you and into the election timeline.

My wife and I love to use it while we’re watching the debates…it has become our own Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) where we get to heckle and watch people heckle from the front of the room. Awesome.

2.Rick Sanchez

The stunt-blundering CNN correspondent cum anchor who did things like get himself tased, stand out in hurricanes, and simulate how to escape from a car underwater. Love him or hate him, Rick is once again shaking things up by trying to lead “the man’s” ongoing effort to pioneer in social media, Rick (and CNN) might be on to something with this one.



Rick Sanchez has been using Twitter on-the-air during his Saturday and Sunday evening shows on CNN and according to the above tweet, might be branching the show out futher. Similar to the way I use the election.twitter.com example, Ricks hows the Twitter on the screen and talks back to and about the tweets as they pass his screen. Talk about interactive mash-ups. This model isn’t going away folks and more people will experiment with it. We know many anchors try to comb through emails while on air - this is an evolution of that concoept (and probably a more valuable one). Sanchez has accumulated quite a few followers already. You can follow him on Twitter here.

Is it working? It’s probably too early to tell, but check this out: Steve Garfield (One of the Internet’s first video bloggers) has a flickr account that is getting hammered because he posted a shot of Rick Sanchez pointing at his tweet on air.

See the photo below.

There is some controversy on this photo as Rick removed a URL from the tweet (cleansing) for his use.

At the time I posted this 25,456 people are following Rick on just less than 700 updates. Follow this one closely, folks. More discussion of CNN’s use of Twitter can be found here and here.

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