Archive for the ‘Interwang’ Category

I’m Backing Britain

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009


They’ve sampled Roger Miller, American sex-education films and John Peel, so you can imagine my glee when I saw this fantastic Brucie Bonus as I took an occasional surf to the weird end of town.  It could only be the Cuban Boys, doing their bit to beat the gloom and doom with a rousing rework of a national anthem from the 60s.

The formula’s pretty simple: Sample ancient song, add tubthumping beat, mix in some sampled guitars, stir and recover.  It’s similar stuff to Every Girl Has  A Volvo yet it manages to surpass even that in so-bad-it’s-good catchiness.  I’ve been stabbing repeat feverishly at the player on their website for the last fifteen minutes.

I’m Backing Britain isn’t yet available from their online store, so camp out until the relevant communicon arrives.  Chalk another up to the Cubans for being the silliest people in pop, or as they put it:

This is not flag-waving nationalism but tea-sipping eccentricity.

Sage-Too is dead, long live Sage++

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

logoA couple of days ago I wrote about using Sage-Too in Firefox 3.5, which has had a rocketing number of hits over the last couple of days.  Nice to know that other people share my taste for the simple plugins in life.

I was going to package up the existing Sage-Too .xpi, but while following the discussion around the net I noticed that Sage-Too has been replaced by Sage++ that runs on 3.5, which as far as I can tell is by one of the Sage-Too authors, Higgmer.

I’ve had it installed for the day or so since I found it, and I can report that it’s working perfectly.  So, for everyone that’s been looking here for a decent RSS reader again, it’s a pleasure to send you over there to Higgmer.

Get Sage++ (Higgmer’s Edition)
(Click “Switch To English” at the top-right, then installation instructions are halfway down)

RSS nirvana restored!  Let me know how you get on.

Finally, a decent alternative to SonicStage – JSymphonic

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

I’ve had Sony hardware for years.  Various flavours of MiniDisc came and went – one of them got stolen, another got smashed – and now I have a couple of Network Walkmans sitting about the place.jsymphonic-logo

I don’t use them as much as I should do.  Why?  Sony’s platform-itis.  Whether it’s MiniDisc, ATRAC3 or UMD, they’re determined to lock people into their own software platforms as far as possible.  Apple do this all the time of course, and although I don’t like them either, I will concede that iTunes does for the most part actually work.

Sony’s SonicStage/Sony Connect/OpenMG Jukebox has always been rubbish.  Various grades thereof, but still rubbish.  OpenMG Jukebox used to crash arbitrarily on any MP3 that wasn’t crafted by flaxen-haired audio angels using anvils of the finest mythical diamonds, Sony Connect was slow and only in recent releases has the experience become anywhere near pleasant.

So it was with some rapture that I stumbled across JSymphonic tonight.  Aside from the usual open-source lack of visual polish, and some minor UI confusion (which reading the documentation fixed) it’s been plain sailing. If you’ve got some nice-looking but irritating-to-synchronize devices hanging around, then I heartily recommend using this to rediscover them – my Network Walkman is happily charging away for the first time this year.


Friday, May 8th, 2009

No time for an exciting update today, so here instead is that rare of things, a funny “Motivator”:



The Anti-Web Manifesto

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

It would appear that some people have a chip on their shoulder about the modern web.

Would have the original developers of Mosaic and Mozilla thought that in 2008, on a dual core, 64 bit computer, with gigabytes of memory, executing a simple text search in a couple tens of kilobytes of text could take measurable and visible tenths of a second? That displaying and formatting a single page could take long, long seconds of 100% CPU usage?

There are some reasonable points made – a few years ago, you would have thought that advances in hardware technology would make browsing the internet far more of a snap that it currently is.  (Try loading anything Javascript-heavy in IE6 – you’ll get through half a cup of tea before it’s loaded.)  Sadly, the organic nature of the web has meant it hasn’t worked that way, and this trajectory has meant that browsers are necessarily more monolithic than they might have been.

But aren’t we addressing the issues?  The browser marketplace is vibrant once more, and all the browser makers are vying to blow away the inertial dust of the last few years faster than the rest.  Besides, is it really an answer to remove all style from your pages and just whack in the odd Flash movie when you need something whizzy?  No, of course it isn’t, but it’s still food for thought:

It is impossible to get it right. The Web Client is unimplementable.