Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Now there's classical music funded by kickstarter, available for free under a creative commons license that is essentially public domain.
It's available at opengoldbergvariations.org/download. in Flac or MP3. No need to worry about the RIAA or MPAA suing you for sharing this torrent.
It's an interesting premise. We're bound to see more and more free culture funded this way. Could be a good trend for the future of art and culture.
As someone who has used Linux for years, the idea of software piracy is odd to me. Why would anyone pirate software when so much free software is available?
Imagining a world where the same can be said for popular music and movies.. that'd sure be nice. A world where culture isn't locked up by a few mega-corporations and watered down and ruined for profit.
I'm excited by the possibilities.
It's amusing to see animation done with the free blender software is often used to show the capabilities of LCD screens and hardware graphics processors. Video Editing software is not quite there for free software, but its only a matter of time. And the next version of the Gnu Image Manipulation Project (GIMP) has single window mode and CMYK. The tools are almost there. The funding is there. The method of distribution is there.
Sooner or later the media oligopolies should be scared. The biggest threat to them isn't piracy, it's competition. I think they know it.
Monday, May 28, 2012
"Congratulations, your mobile number has made you a winner! Goto http://www.bestbuy.ca.wonacontest.com to claim your prize! You have 24 hours to claim your prize."If it sounds too good to be true? It probably is. Look at this phishing web site URL closely. Look closelier. NOW you see it. bestbuy.ca.wonacontest.com is not bestbuy.ca, it's wonacontest.com, which is clearly a scam website. I think they text you and call at the same time. The text came from 1-347-821-8805, which 800notes.com says is sketchy and used for other things as well. Do not believe this. scam.
Maybe an hour later I received a phone call from 1-866-858-7429, which seems to want to pretend to be shaw cable. Which it probably isn't. Said the call originated in the USA, which I found odd but could just be my cell phone's configuration.
For more infocheck out 800notes.com. Don't get tricked. Basically, if they have an Indian accent, they're totally scammers.
If you ever find a phishing website and wish to report it to google, check out http://www.google.com/safebrowsing/report_phish/ and http://www.antiphishing.org/. The scammers are getting slightly less incompetent so be vigilant!
Friday, May 25, 2012
I was listening to cbc radio this morning and there was a segment about a woman who recently died climbing Everest and what's being done to make it more safe. MORE safe? It's not supposed to be safe. That's the point. You take safety precautions and make sure you're skilled enough to do it, don't insult the mountain. Don't mock nature.
William Shatner explains it all in his music video "Shatner on the mount" available on YouTube.
Everest is very safe. For the largest mountain on earth anyways. If you're competent at mountaineering risks should be minimal.. but you'renever going to eliminate the risk factor. Nor should you.
The same can be said for children's playgrounds . Safety is artificial and goes against human nature. If something is too safe, people will seek out their adrenaline rush some other way.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Monday, May 21, 2012
A True and completely unfabricated nor photoshopped history of Victoria Day.
by Reed Solomon
Queen Victoria thinking about the inventionof a new holiday
Eventually, the brilliant idea of celebrating her birthday as a holiday hit her. She rounded up all of the people of Canada and told them that there would be a holiday, and everyone in Canada thought it would become a most splendid tradition. But they didn't say anything because they were afraid of her because when she got angry she shot lasers from her eyes. True story.
Queen being unsatisfied.
Queen Victoria about to hit someone with a fan for being an idiot
Queen Victoria celebrating the Victoria Day holiday minutes before her death from fox attack. Fox hunting has been a royal duty ever since. In revenge for their regicide.
Friday, May 11, 2012
Monument to electricity proposed in the 1920's. That's awesome. Why not! I say put it across the street from the Human Rights museum. Maybe put a ferris wheel in the turbine. Operate it year round. The Powerhouse could be a hotel. It's genius. Who wouldn't want to put it across the street from the Human Rights Museum? Who needs a water park!
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Monday, May 07, 2012
Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Personally, the Raspberry Pi does not meet my requirements. It is interesting, and cheap, and offers a lot of options to many people, but it is neither open enough nor feature filled enough for me.
Still, I've been keeping abreast of various happenings in the embedded Linux and Android spaces. Android of course, is Google's Linux powered OS. And there are a lot of Android phones and tablets out there. Many of the cheaper (price and/or quality) variety. There are also a plethora of TV/Media devices out there. They use a variety of different chips and configurations.
Now my ideal solution at the moment is an arm based computer capable of running at 1 gHz or higher. Paired with a graphics processing and decoding chip that was fully supported by Linux without resorting to the use of binary blobs. I'd want VGA and HDMI output, and of course the ability to bring my own linux distro (Arm compiled of course). Gigabit ethernet, bluetooth, and 5GHZ capable 802.11N wireless would be my preference but not deal breakers. Aside from my wireless preferences, the Allwinner A10 chip offers most of those features already and is already available at ridiculously low prices.
Most interestingly, it is available in the $100 Mele A100 media center. Which can be hacked rather easily to run Ubuntu ... I don't much care for the design of the device, I'd prefer if it was in a similar form factor as my current living room device, and I'm certain sooner or later someone will release a device to my specifications. The sooner, the better.
Currently I have a Pivos media player in my living room. It is satisfactory, but I would love to have an XBMC based Arm device there instead. I'd even pay a premium if I knew purchasing it helped support the XBMC development team. Now, on its own, the Allwinner A10 can't be expected to drive an XBMC environment.. but paired with the recently reverse engineered and thus open hardware Mali400 GPU, which it frequently is, the AllWinner A10 could be an excellent option for an XBMC based media device You could also use some other decoding chip like a broadcom crystalHD, . Heck, it'd make a decent cheap computer terminal in general for people. Have a widescreen TV? Plug in the device to the HDMI, connect to the internet, and voila. Pair it with a Flymouse of some kind with a built in keyboard, and you're set. Here's a mockup of what I think it'd be cool to see visually.
(click to embiggen)
Aside from the Chinese manufacturers, theres Rhombus-Tech, who have been on top of this for a while now. They have their own plans which are also interesting. They plan to re-purpose the original PCMCIA slot architecture as a replaceable hardware slot. You could then have generic netbooks, tablets, or other devices, plug in the EOMA-68 (their designation for this card), and have yourself a fully working easily upgradeable device. That's also pretty cool.
Heres the thread on xbmc's forums discussing the possibility. (for the A10 in particular, there are other threads related to Arm devices in general)
Heres some people on the SA forums discussing it.
Heres some french guys
Heres an interesting article on a debian mailing list.
Do a google search for Linux or XBMC +Allwinner A10 for more info. This is going to be an interesting year for Linux based devices.
*note, as of today, 8.20.2012, there are significant hurdles in the Allwinner A10 GPU running XBMC. Not the least of which is the seeming uncooperativeness of Allwinner themselves with the XBMC team. If you want a well supported XBMC device, get the PIVOS XIOS.