August 31, 2009
Moldover's circuit board CD packaging — headphone jack and light sensor makes a portable musical instrument
Dooce's washer saga — less about the power of Twitter, more the failure of customer service
Worldwide Lexicon's Firefox Translator — automatic language detection and translation, with community editing tools
Google search for "ASCII art" — and it’s actually text, too
LA Times profile of Jani, a 6-year-old girl with early onset schizophrenia — her father’s blog is simultaneously heartbreaking and terrifying (via)
Visualization of time travel plots in popular TV and film — the source data’s in the Google Spreadsheet
Tile Drawer — drop-dead easy way to run your own OpenStreetMap install on EC2 with custom styles
Wikipedia to trial moderated edits for articles about living people — the debate is archived here; Jason’s predictions are slowly coming true
The Pirate Bay forced offline by Swedish authorities — they’ve moved ISPs, but it’s still down for me
xkcd's Tech Support Flowchart — so true; the only thing holding newbies back is the fear of making it worse
Gabe Askew's fan-made video for Grizzly Bear's "Two Weeks" — lovely cut-out art direction, I want to play a game in this universe
8-Bit Trip, insane stop-motion Lego film — like a real-life PC demo
4chan users launch embarrassing attack on Christian Facebook users — using passwords from a Christian university, they’ve been posting fake entries on Facebook
Kit Williams reunited with Masquerade's treasure after 30 years — the original treasure hunt had a bitter ending (via)
Twitter adding geocoded tweets — this should make real-time news reporting much more viable
The Grownup's Guide to Indie Rock — guide to new music for the layman, written by a 57-year-old convert
Study finds smaller banner ads more effective than skyscrapers — plus, 94% less likely to make you want to gouge your eyes out (via)
Pirate Bay torrent archive spawns a clone — fully functional backup created by a fan
I’m happy to announce that Kind of Bloop is now officially on sale to everyone, $5 for high-quality digital downloads in MP3 or FLAC format. Buy it now with Amazon Payments.
Working with these guys was an absolute dream. Their creativity and dedication transcends the original concept, creating something that pays tribute to Miles’ seminal work while pushing the boundaries of the genre.
I know there are jazz purists out there that hate the idea of anyone interpreting a jazz masterpiece in this way, but to them, I’d only ask that you listen to it first before making a judgment. Virt responded to one naysayer in the comments on my original post:
Way I see it, chiptunes can either be a punishingly difficult artistic medium we happened to grow up with, or a tired retro fashion statement. Our goal was to stick to the former, pushing the limitations hard, building on our capacity for expression using the most basic sounds. There could be no better challenge, Andy thought, than one of the most expressive jazz albums of all time, one that has inspired us all.
So, you see, I’m not the least bit embarrassed by our work. In fact, I think you might be short-changing “the masters of jazz,” who I believe would be grinning ear to ear right now. They were ALL ABOUT mastering unusual techniques and expressing within a framework. That’s the whole point of Kind of Blue. The parallels to our own medium were dead obvious, and I got the same rush of perverse glee that the original ensemble must have felt 50 years ago, locking myself in a cell and playing between the metal bars.
I hope, if you still can’t enjoy the sound of the album itself, you might at least be less quick to dismiss it, given this perspective. It’s not a parade, it’s a love letter in our own weird handwriting.
So, thanks for listening. (Oh, and bonus points to anyone who can identify all the quotes and references in the album.)
Matt Thompson on the missing parts of news coverage — too much focus on “news” and not enough context
Aaron Zinman's Personas — barcode visualization of “how the Internet sees you”
Hacker/artist _why the lucky stiff deletes projects, online presence — still no clues why he killed his blog, Twitter, Hackety Hack, Why’s Poignant Guide, Shoes, Try Ruby, and more
Shnabubula's alternate-reality Super Mario World medley — live jazz improvisation using classic SNES sample sounds
Neven Mrgan on Zingerman's product illustrations — staggering amount of love put into an online store
Joanne McNeil on the Daily Death — I’ve wondered this myself, the effects of a microcelebrity culture aging
Dinosaur Comics meets Twitter — reload for new ones
Songs from The Point! — Nilsson tribute with songs by Martha Wainwright, Andrew Bird, DeVotchKa, and Nada Surf