eMusic a better Apple Music Store?

While I’ve heard about eMusic for ages, I never signed up due to the small selection back in the day. With these two reviews, I’m thinking it’s almost time to consider signing up for it. I had no idea they had so many independent label artists, and every song downloaded is a 192kbps MP3s, without any DRM baked in.

BattleBots: What machines do when we’re not watching

I noticed a lot of people seem to be using KnowSpam. It works like this: I send an email to a KnowSpam user, then get a bounced message saying go to a webpage and input a code found on that page, then I get whitelisted and all email to them suddenly works.

The thing is, I’ve heard that if a person using this sort of whitelist technology sends an email to a new person that also happens to use a whitelist technology (either from KnowSpam or someone else), a bounce from one could trigger a bounce to another, since they’ve never corresponded before. That bounce could trigger another bounce, and so on.

For some reason I get a little giddy at the thought of bots locked in an email bouncing battle. Who will bounce to the whitelisted death? Who will reign supreme?

Somewhere there’s someone pitching this idea as a new reality show and somewhere else someone is building a site where you can bet on which email bounce bot will win.

birds of a feather flock to usenet

Usenet is an immense, astounding place. Newsgroups have been around for going on 20 years now, and due to the strict taxonomy you can really find the nooks and crannies of the Internet there.

There are many stories of how great it is that we built this global network because the strangest people can finally find each other. Somewhere on earth right now there’s a person that would like to do nothing but wear flowing golden robes and throw pickles at people in the street, and thanks to the web that person can connect with a group that also indulges in that specific activity, compare locations, techniques, and preferred robe fabrics.

Every once in a while I stumble upon some outer reach of usenet like alt.binaries.pictures.rail. Don’t let the alt.binaries.pictures category scare you (long known as the place to find porn in the pre-web days). These are people obsessed with trains, more specifically, photos of them. Looking at their archives, it’s thousands after thousands of photos of trains, tracks, bridges, and switches. Nothing scandalous, nothing too earth shattering, just photo after photo of trains.

I don’t know who started the group, why they did it, or how so many people find each other to exchange photos of trains, but for some reason I feel good knowing a place like that exists for people that take part in it.

Those crazy dealerkids, at it again

Last week, I got an IM from Scott saying “dealership is on the radio, now!” After seeing them play the previous week, I was happy to hear a couple of the new songs again.

I noticed on dealership’s bulletin board that someone captured the whole show as mp3s and posted them here. In case that person’s bandwidth is a problem, I mirrored the files on my own server, and also wanted to give archive.org’s new Freecache service a test run.

Freecache is supposed to be an opensource/free Akamai-style caching service. It should also help with local and peer mirroring like bittorrent, but doesn’t require any client software or registering with any central authority. It looks pretty freaking cool.

Oh, and Dealership’s 80s-style cover of their own song Jungle Gym is to die for.

VW does mp3

VW just sent me a post card annoucing their new “PhatNoise Digital Car Audio System” is available at dealers. Looks like an interesting system that acts like a CD changer you store in the trunk with “cartridges” that must be hot swappable hard drives. The prices look pretty steep for just 20Gb of music, and there’s not much in the way of details. I wonder if it plays plain old MP3s or if it requires a DRM-laden format.

I also wonder how they kept this under the radar. I’ve never heard of these (unfortunately named) “Phatnoise” systems until today.

The first RSS app I like

I posted on blogroots about an RSS-to-IMAP feature over at Blogstreet, but I have to mention it again here because it’s one of my favorite new things I’ve seen in the world of weblogging. I share time between operating systems, so none of the myriad of RSS readers worked for me in the long run. Reading weblogs via IMAP email across two computers works beautifully, and you can even forward posts onto your blog through email. I’ve also noticed I can keep all the messages and essentially have a searchable, personalized archive of weblogs I read. If I remember hearing about a crazy new doohickey that was mentioned somewhere a few weeks ago, I can find it with a keyword or two in my email app.

Aside from weblog software, this is one of the first features I’d pay for, if I could.