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When six million words ain’t enough

Internet | Wednesday, July 9th, 2008 | 9 years, 4 months ago

1 picture = 1000 words
video = 24 pictures per second
my YouTube video = 3:11 (251 seconds)
251 seconds x 24 frames x 1000 words = 6,024,000 words

You know what would clarify 6 million words? About 100 more words!

I’ve had some pretty amazing viewership numbers (nearly 68,000 as of this writing) on my very simple YouTube screencast of my old song, Technophrenia, being played in ModPlug Tracker. I enabled email notifications for the comments and have been doing my best to reply to people’s questions about how I wrote the song. Unfortunately, YouTube’s comment system is atrocious and randomly discards my replies even after it assures me they’ve been successfully submitted.

I noticed some videos featuring very annoying “annotations” superimposed over videos and assumed it was some kind of new ad system, but after delving into the interface I realized I had the opportunity to annoy my viewers as well! I enthusiastically created a little realtime walkthrough of the mechanics of writing a song in MOD (or similar) format. It was an uphill battle, though, since the annotation interface is extremely buggy and glitchy. Luckily it seemed to auto-save about every minute so although I had to refresh the page after making pretty much every little adjustment, and even though the entire YouTube website became unresponsive for a while (did I DOS them with my refreshes?), I never lost any progress.

Here’s my annotated video. If you have exceptional patience maybe you can do something similar for your own videos. (I tried to embed the video but annotations only show when you view it on YouTube’s site).

Hypnotic Melody – Technophrenia (annotated)

Incidentally, can anyone out there recommend a good self-hosted Flash video player app that I can embed on my blog? I’d rather host the videos myself to ensure reliablility.

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X amount of flavour

Music | Tuesday, July 8th, 2008 | 9 years, 4 months ago

This middle skool d&b recording of the Rinseout radio show on CKLN FM, Toronto (Ryerson University’s radio station) is bananas. Nicky Blackmarket throws down some lighthearted, grindey jungle records while the immortal Stevie Hyper D (briefly accompanied by MC Moose) weaves the lyrics over top.

Listen to this without delay and solve for X.

Nicky Blackmarket with Stevie Hyper D and MC Moose on CKLN FM Toronto 1996

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The analog feed

Nerdliness | Monday, July 7th, 2008 | 9 years, 4 months ago

I read my fair share of news and blogs, and I subscribe to a few podcasts. I subscribed to the RSS feeds of most of these sites and I click their bookmarks in Firefox periodically to see whether new stories have been added. It’s become a bit of an obsession, checking all those bookmarks while I enjoy a little web piddling time.

Just for fun I installed the free, open source Gregarius feed aggregator at rss.demodulated.com. Gregarius is a web-based RSS/ATOM aggregator that takes all my specified subscriptions and presents them on the web and in a consolidated RSS feed in chronological order, refreshed twice per hour. I subscribed to my Gregarius feed and deleted my mess of bookmarks, and voila! I now have just one feed to keep an eye on, and each story is handily prefixed by the source name.

my aggregated RSS feed

Gregarius is a great program but many of the navigation features don’t work and the project seems to have been abandoned 2 years ago. This is a shame because my initial goal was to categorize my feeds (news, blogs, SEO, etc.) and subscribe to each category individually, but the category links in Gregarius cause a 500 error, as do many features. The web UI is pretty fugly anyway so I’m content to subscribe to the RSS which sends me to the original source when clicked. This is also a shame since it’d be nice to make my consolidated news feed my home page, but it’s just too unattractive and broken to suit this purpose.

Another feature that is curiously MIA is the ability to auto refresh feeds periodically. Currently you must refresh the feed manually on demand (slow and a pain in the butt) or with a cron job (which I can’t configure since my web hosting plan doesn’t give me shell access). Luckily the good folks at OnlineCronJobs provide web cron for free so I can do this every 30 minutes behind the scenes, and my Firefox RSS bookmark updates automatically.

It doesn’t deliver all the features it flaunts in the UI, but I love Gregarius for making this consolidated RSS feed of all my newsly goodness. I tried a few other platforms but either they didn’t work right or I’m too dumb to get them working (my web host doesn’t always conform to default system variables, for PHP and MySQL for example). Gregarius will suffice.

I’m hosting this service if you’d like to subscribe to my news feed. Only I have permission to add sources (and I probably will pretty soon since this is so convenient) but you’re welcome to view the web site or subscribe to the RSS feed if you’d like to read what I’m reading.

Any news or blog recommendations for me based on my reading habits?

P.s., the only reason Slashdot isn’t on there is because it’s already my home page, and subscribing to their RSS feed doesn’t maintain my custom preferences.

P.p.s., the only reason Digg isn’t on there is because it’s evolved into a repository of top-10 lists, American politics, and unsubstantiated rumours. I joined Digg when it was new and grew tired of it when it stopped being tech-centric.

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