Archive for the ‘Net Tech’ Tag

Orpheus Raga

It’s a great time we live in.. The cultures of the world collide and bring about mixtures and concoction of unrelated ideas, concepts and themes..

When it comes to music, such collaborations have always fascinated me, especially when one party is playing something that’s Indian or related to something Indian (simply because that one music I somewhat understand).

In January, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra of New York, played the piece they had commissioned Pt. Ravi Shankar to compose for them. While that itself is an interesting combination of music and talent, Orpheus also performed the concerto along with Anoushka Shankar, who played the Sitar parts. Anoushka has already made her name in the contemporary Indian music field, as well as the various fusionistic projects she has taken up.

The best part of this project, was the Raga Saga. Orpheus worked with filmmakers Chris and Alex Browne to records many rehearsals and interviews with the various artists, and decided to publish them online, weekly leading up to the concert. It was really interesting to see what goes behind the scenes of such a project. Espcially since we see two great cultures and traditions meeting and working with each other to create something new and wonderful. The webisodes also give us an insite on the challenges faced by the artists and the way they resolved them. Anyone who’s interested in the scientific aspect of music would surely enjoy watching it.

Furthermore, it is really amazing to see musicians using new media like webcasts to deliver their content. Especially musicians in this field. And I am sure this moved has helped. Without this webcast I would have never known about Orpheus or this project, and now I will probably buy the CD if they come out with one..

The usual banter about how industries should use new media aside, I would urge everyone with remote interest in Indian Classical or Western Classical or Fusion Music to check out the Orpheus Raga website, and especially the Raga Saga series of webisodes (you will have to register for a free account. Trust me it’s not THAT hard.. ). The live concert is avaliable for listening at the website also.

Stories for 65Bits episode 65.

This was published here because the Tech65 website was is down. These were the stories we covered during the live recording of episode 65 of 65Bits. The original post is here.


Class, this is your assignment for today. YOU have to read through all the stories below, and prepare for the discussion during tomorrow’s live recording. If you are unable to answer our questions tomorrow, you WILL BE made the the outstanding student (the student standing outside the class)…

We expect all students to be badly behaved, and participate in the discussions impolitely and rant about things… You will be graded on your performance.

1. April Fools Panks on the Interweb.

Engadget

Engadget vs T-Mobile (Apparently not a joke. More on that tomorrow.)

Blizzard

Tauren Marine

Pinata Loot

Bard Class Hero in WoW

Ping.sg’s “Whose pong is it anyway” game

iPhoneDev team

iPhone Dev Team quits.

2. Unlimited Tunes from Apple? Not So Fast

Rumors of a new music service appear to be just that

3. Vista Issues

Early adopter’s issues.

Nvidia driver issues.

4. Creative to sell company HQ for $180m

Creative will sell HQ building and rent it back to save $$

5. Creative Goes After Driver Modder

Creative stops distribution of home grown vista driver.

Driver author responds.

6. Eeee PC Updates: New models and SDK

New 9″ Eee PC wth touchscreen?

Eee PC SDK out soon.

7. Fari and Jerrick’s Experience at M$’s Xbox 360 Event.

Check out that Riff!!!

8. Byte of the Week : Adobe Photoshop Express

Photoshop on the Web!

___________________________________________________________________

For those who missed the other posts, the details of the live recording are follows.

65th Episode of 65Bits Podcast.

Date: Saturday, April 5, 2008

Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm

Location: Geek Terminal

Street: 55, Market Street (Near Raffles Place MRT, opp. Golden Shoe Complex)

City/Town: Singapore, Singapore.

In plain English..

I saw this video from Geekbrief.tv, a podcast which I watch.

CommonCraft Productions by Lee and Sachi LeFever is doing a series of Video explaining many of the Web2.0/New Media/Web Technology ideas and concepts like Wikis, Twitter and Blogs “in plain English“, with the help of stop motion video made using cardboard cutouts.

There are two things that make it great. The really simple and back to basics way of explaining the concepts, in plain english. And the amazing stop motion video that accompanies the explaination.

This is the perfect tool to explain to the unenlightened about our “subculture“. I tried it with my mom. She understood it well.

A case for the iPhone.

As you might know, I have never been fond of the iPhone. Crazy as the geek community might be about this device from Apple, it never appealed to me. Even with all the fanbois saying that you have to touch it to feel how wonderful it is, which I did, I was never attracted to it. It was just too much for the simple funtionality which I require from my cellphones, and required too many bananas to own one..

But after listening to a recent episode of TWiT, and the constant argument by Dan from Tech65 that iPhone’s best feature is it’s full fledged browser, I realised that maybe it did have a place in my world..

It all begins with RSS. Dave Winer, the guy who pioneered RSS was on episode 134 of TWiT (yes, yes, the infamous one) mentioning how iTunes’ use of RSS, for podcasts, is nowhere near the potential that RSS provides. One of Dave’s envisioned use of RSS for podcasts would be to have a mobile device that would allow the aggregation of Podcasts wirelessly (~ 40mins from the start).

That led me thinking, why do we have to tether the iPhone to a PC/Mac to load content onto it? While it is of course a better solution from Apple’s perspective, as they have more control over what gets into the iPhone, “valid” content should be download able over the air. And podcasts are surely one of the best example of “valid” content. Not only that, the mechanism of getting those, RSS, is also something that’s already supported on the iPhone. So why can’t we have an iTunes or a podcast aggregator on the iPhone itself?

Moving on, podcasts might not be everyone’s cup of tea (Though I would like to argue otherwise, we will leave it for some other time), but news is. And RSS and feeds are surely the best way of getting news. And more specifically getting news you are on the go. But RSS isn’t so much a content delivery mechanism as a notification mechanism, at least the way it is uses in these days. So what is the use of having an RSS feed without a browser to actually surf the content which you were notified of by the RSS?

So now, with the iPhone SDK released, adding these functionality to the iPhone would be a matter of making the right app. A podcast aggregator or podcatcher which lives on the iPhone and is able to download the podcasts as the come out directly to your iPhone, using Wifi or cellular data whichever is available. And an RSS aggregator which is able to work with Safari, which is a full fledged browser (albeit no flash support) to give you the complete experience of news over RSS. And furthermore, if you are able to integrate these apps even more, you could hyper link the “show notes” delivered with your podcasts, something that’s already doable with enhanced podcasts, and surf them up, in the browser, while you listen to the podcasts in the background. There you go, your complete podcast experience. Place shifting along with the rest of the experience.

So maybe, the iPhone could be the key to podcasts becoming bigger. Anyone interested in developing these iPhone apps?

Is it another bubble??

.. the question which is on everyone’s mind these days…

I liked Denise Howell’s take on it..

“Forget about things like the fact Google’s at $741 and Apple’s at $191. Were you to try to rent a car at San Jose Airport tomorrow (Wednesday), you would discover that every single vehicle — from every single carrier — is spoken for.” 

And of course who can not resist Billy Joel??

In my defense, they told me to blog about it..

A reason for the silence…

Bored of seeing the same post on the top of this blog every time you come to check?? So am I… (Although, you should be using feed readers…)

Anyway, so I am in a nice little fix here..

The nature of my job doesn’t allow me to blog too much about it… That is if I want to keep it.. Which I do… So there goes a huge source of blogging content…

Most of my friends are either bloggers, or have completely no internet life. And hence, posts about events I attend are either posted before I even get to reach home.. or well.. nobody cares if I blogged about certain events…

All my thoughts and ideas about technology are presented on 65Bits.. or other Tech65 content… and it’s really lame to repeat there in a blog post.. So there goes another huge part of my blogging content..

I am also very busy these days with Tech65 and other projects…. And hence to time to bicker about the smallest things in life… not to mention no time to feel all emo and sad…

Adding the convenience of twitter to this, with the ability to quickly publish single sentence thoughts, doesn’t help at all…

So all in all.. the only thing I am finding this blog useful for is publishing clips of my recordings… that is until I find a Creative Commons site to upload whole audio tracks..

Really… I should close down my blog…. I am just too damn lazy…

Podcast Dreams..

Knowing how much I blabber, it will not be a surprise to many that I am dabbling into podcasting.

I always wanted to do one, since I got hooked to podcasts last year. But, as usual, I lacked time and a group of enthusiasts to do it. (hint hint..).

Thanks to a chance Google search and my new “Do it now” initiative, I am a semi-regular host at 65bits. It’s a podcast by tech65, about technology with a Singaporean perspective.

So… if you wanna hear my stunning sexilicious (as per rinaz and sweska.. see comments below) voice .. Ermm.. OK ner mind… forget I said that..

Whatever it is, do give it a listen and subscribe to 65bits feed or on itunes.

Here is our recent episode which is NOT about iPhone..


I kid.. I kid..

(Hint: Press the gray triangle to play… Shh.. dun tell anyone else..)

Is all this just a subculture?

I really love technology. It has given me a whole different meaning to my life and the lives of so many people. It is almost like another culture which all of us are a slowly becoming a part of. Think about it..

PCs, Internet, Blogs,  Mobile devices, Portable Media players, Software, Open Source stuff, Podcasts,  Hardware, Technology Conferences, Web 2.0 (sorry kitty),  Online communities, RSS feeds.

(Image from ryyo)

This is my culture. I tend to exist in these things most of my day and I love it. These and other related things give me all the necessary motivation and meaning to continue to exist and continue to do things which I love.Technology also gives so much power to the users. Vast amount of knowledge, and ability retrieve it almost instantaneously. It’s so crazy, that many times I get drunk in its power, and ability to do things..

On an MRT ride last week.. I suddenly had this thought…

Is this just a subculture??

Really… how big and potent is this culture? Is it possible that I delve too much in these things that I do not see the world beyond it? How much have all these things affected the general population of the world.. How much has it actually changed the world?… not my world.. but the world in general…

I wonder……

Internet and Celebrities.

I noticed during my conversation with pingsters during the ping.sg meetup #3, that I ‘name dropped’ quite a few famous people on the internet, like Leo Laporte, Kevin Rose… (Yes, yes I was trying to act geeky…. )

Forbes magazine ran an article where they named the top 25 “Web Celebs”. They voted Lonelygirl15 (Youtube fame) as the top Web Celeb.

My colleague was telling me that he was watching some TV show on one of the educational channels where they counted down the most famous internet personalities. I believe The Ninja from Ask-A-Ninja was one of the top few.

Isn’t it interesting that these people, who are just tech enthusiasts doing the stuff they like, are becoming celebrities overnight. And I am very sure that their celebrity status is no lesser than that of Hollywood stars. OK. Agreed that they might not have as much following, but still they have fans, crazy ones.

What’s really great is that Internet being still a young and small arena, many of these people are surprisingly accessible. I emailed Darren Kitchen from HAK5 last week about the headphone he was using, and he replied the next day. To him, it was just another dude/fan asking him a simple question, but for me it was the guy who I see on TV every month, and he just replied to my email! Maybe it’s me, but I feel that it’s a big thing.

With the internet, for people who do TV, or Musicians and artists, their audience has become suddenly more accessible. Not everyone of them takes advantage of this channel, but I have been surprised, when the some of my favorite artists commented on my blog. I guess it was just an “vanity search” for them, but I was super excited. For me, these people are my Tom Cruise and Julia Roberts.

So what will you do if you see Partick Norton riding down the escalator at the mall, or Amber MacArthur in the next car?

Of Pings and Pongs.

Unfortunately, I have run out of excuses to give as to why I am blogging this almost 4 days late. But anyway, here goes.

I attended the Ping.sg meet up on Monday. For those who do now know Ping.sg, (and I really doubt such people exist), it’s basically like a blog directory, where the number of clicks per blog from the directory are counted, and blogs are rated using this number. The rating system has a “Top in last 24hrs” section which tends to be similar to Digg front page (Yay! Flame Bait).

Boring stuff aside, it was a really fun meet up. I met many people, who are normally hidden behind the nicknames on ping.sg. Looks like the community at ping.sg is an interesting mixture of people from all age groups and backgrounds.

To my surprise, the meet up was attended by quite a few. According to the official list; uzyn, veron, harro, jugend, matthewchong, brennan, sweska, cibailang (2 persons), lostin, dk99, ridz84. Though, I think I missed dk99. Anyway, it was fun to see all of them ‘exposed’ (pun intended).

There were some interesting discussions about politics, local blogging scene, the internet trends, ping.sg and Singapore in general. Many pingers showed off their cameras and other gadgets, while others drank really sour lemonade. There was a lot of picture taking and also some accidents :P. Oh and a whole lot of sucking up to…. Just watch the video, and you will know. I rushed off before the games part, so I cant say much about that.. :(

Overall, it was a nice evening. Got to know a lot of interesting people. I hope the pingers will organize more such meetings..

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