The Web Service?

Wikipedia, on The Postal Service:
"The Postal Service is an indietronic band featuring singer Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and producer Jimmy Tamborello of Dntel, Headset and Figurine..."

"Their name comes from the manner in which their songs were written, due to the fact that the two of them lived too far away to be able to work together in person. Tamborello would create beats and mail them to singer and lyricist Gibbard, who would then edit them and put his melodies over the tracks and mail them back. Gibbard didn't write any of the lyrics until the tracks were completely finished."
Ottmar Liebert, on a collaboration he's working on:
"Last night Stephen Duros sent me the stereo mix file of a beautiful song for his new album via YouSendIt. I will play a solo in my studio this week and send it back. Musical collaborations in the 21st century. His new album will be very very nice."


Shuffle Mode should be Easier

I've noticed lately that I toggle my iPod's shuffle mode on and off rather often. It's basically a mood thing — sometimes I want to hear an entire album start to finish, and other times I want to shuffle through an artist/genre/playlist's tracks randomly.

Unfortunately, toggling shuffle mode on and off involves a number of steps:
  1. "Menu" back to the UI's top level
  2. select "Settings"
  3. set Shuffle to "Songs"
  4. "Menu" back to the top level
  5. select "Now Playing"
  6. proceed with listening or shuffling to next tracks
I noticed a little while ago that the middle "Select" button doesn't do much. Sure, when held down it functions as an "on the go playlist maker," but I think I've used it like once. Wouldn't it make more sense if holding down Select toggled shuffle mode? Are any of you mood-based shufflers like me?



"For dinner tonight, it's the old favorite, the legendary, delicious, veggie May Kaidee's. I want to marry Thai food but I have a delightful girlfriend and it's probably illegal to marry food anyways, though a girl in Israel recently married a dolphin so I suppose anything is possible."
May's is my absolute favorite food on the planet, and I even got to do a day-long Thai cooking course with her back while I was still on the road. (and make a green papaya salad for Mike). I'm meeting Mike/Alison/Michelle in BKK in late April, can't wait...


BarCamp Austin
(originally uploaded by Laughing Squid)

Scott's fantastic photo from the BarCamp Austin afterparty, of Tantek demoing me his Hypercard(!)-based blogging system. It even has its own markup language.


Just finished Dan Millman's Sacred Journey of the Peaceful Warrior, and I especially enjoyed this little tidbit from the end:
"If a tiny sprout could reveal this to me, would the sky someday reveal its own secrets? And what could the stones tell me, or the trees whisper? Would I learn the way of the flowing stream, the ancient widsom of the mountains? That was still to be disccovered."

"What did it all add up to? I remembered a story about Aldous Huxley. In his later years, a friend once asked him, 'Professor Huxley, after all your spiritual studies and practice, what have you learned?'"

"With a twinkle in his eye, Aldous answered, 'Perhaps... to be a little kinder.'"


On MySpace


"Even when there's no prescribed activity, people are doing things on these sites. They're hanging out. They're dancing in front of digital mirrors. They're patting their friends on their digital backs. They're increasing the strength of their relationships through sharing. They're consuming and producing cultural artifacts that position them within society. They're laughing, exploring and being entertained."

Simply Delightful

Those are the only words I can think of to adequately describe Belle and Sebastian live.

It turns out that Pete was inspired as well — I just heard him declare, "During Electronic Renaissance, I decided I need to redesign my blog."

More from BlogSearch: Rhymes with Maria, brassratgirl, internebbish, egw



Spoon seriously rocks. Thanks to Mr. GOB for the recommendation. So far I've snagged Gimme Fiction, Girls Can Tell and Kill the Moonlight from eMusic.


Straight Up

While you're listening to Hammer's latest audio post (mp3), be sure to glance through these photo/posts:



Globe and Mail:
"The traditional idea that we are the passive carriers of our genes is being challenged by the notion that we are their custodians. Our lifestyles — what we eat, how much we exercise, whether we smoke — may play a role in a chemical switching system that activates or deactivates our genes."



I'm at SxSW until the morning of the 15th. Get in touch if you're here too.


Music, TV, iTunes and DRM

Kevin Marks: "Live TV is dead."

Indeed. I cancelled my TiVo subscription a while ago, and attempted to cancel TV service too. However, the Comcast lady convinced me to keep the basic channels for something like $16/month. The reason? My Comcast broadband would drop from 6 meg to 4 meg, and apparently there's no way to only pay for 6 meg. Ridiculous.

Netflix has more than enough TV for me:
The only flaw so far has been the delay waiting for new seasons to show up on DVD. Fortunately Apple's solved it for us though - $2 downloads for new episodes the day after they air on TV, and soon a subscription service. Now if they'd just expose my iTMS purchases somewhere on the web for re-download, so I don't have to keep these big honking files around...

Regarding DRM: I don't mind DRM on downloadable TV shows, because I only watch them once and have no need to share them. Music (and movies someday most likely) is completely different - I listen to music over and over (on various devices), and also share it on our work network via Rendezvous. DRM'd music won't share, and can hit foolish authorization walls.

I'd still rather buy mp3s online than buy cds though. Therefore I've stopped buying music from the iTMS until the jhymn folks crack v6's DRM (though there are hacky workarounds). Alternatives download stores:


A while back I posted about a fantastic book on the history of Xerox PARC, kindly recommended by Sir Jenson. In one of the chapters is an exciting retelling of the tale of The Mother of All Demos, where the outside world first got to see the mouse, hypertext, a/v conferencing, email, a gui, word processing, etc.

In 1968.

Reading the book, you essentially have to imagine what the demo must have been like. But now you can watch a video of the demo online.

More amazingly, there's even a project to re-create most of the demo's document editing/collaboration functionality on the web.

[via BrandonD]

Fat Cats

This reminded me of this and this.


Be Responsive

Michael Hyatt:
"I'm not sure I could boil it down to one thing. Life isn’t usually that simple. But if I really, really had to boil it down to one thing, I would say this: responsiveness."

"So many people I meet are unresponsive. They don’t return their phone calls promptly. They don’t answer their emails quickly. They don’t complete their assignments on time. They promise to do something and never follow through. They have to be reminded, prodded, and nagged. This behavior creates work for everyone else and eats into their own productivity. Sadly, they seem oblivious to it."

So. True.

(and I definitely have room for improvement here...)

[via Hivelogic]