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FACEBOOK: Federal Human Data Mining Program

FACEBOOK: Federal Human Data Mining Program

So today I had a business lunch in the centre of London with a friend of mine, Mike. We are both what you might call “eager beavers” when it comes to using new technology and might even go so far as to call ourselves new-media operators and thinkers.

Certainly today we were operating and discussing new-media technologies, for example we created an audio interview which will become available on the internet through an RSS feed along with being streamed somewhere at some point. We then went on to discuss online social networking tools one of which being the current big-gun Facebook.

Mike was asking if I had seen the footage concerning data-mining and the connection of some of the venture capital funds for the company, and I hadn’t. He then forwarded me the link to the YouTube video below.

So, personally I must say if this is true, so what?

Every time I place something about me on a site, a blog, a forum, I’m accepting that it could be used in some way for other data purposes, and more than likely it is, is that something I should care about, is that just the way the modern world works?

As a disclaimer, I’ve not personally researched the story behind the video, nor will I, as I’m not bothered, isn’t it the point that I’m sharing I’m an atheist, or I’m straight, or I am male, or I like music, with everyone?

I’ll continue to use Facebook.

What’s your take on it?

Online Guitar Chords

I stumbled upon this cute online guitar chord creator today which enables you to select various chords and keys along with differing inversions.

There is no time-line with this, so it is not a sequencer, it does not memorise your selected patterns, but if you are not familiar with chord theory, and more specifically as applied to the guitar this might be a handy tool for you.

This would be a great tool for my Nephew, for example, who is learning guitar chords and theory, he’d like this as it tells him exactly where to put his fingers, and plays the individual strings too.

And there is more, the app also gives you the different chord inversions and voicings, something which heaps of people find hard to understand.

Here is a quick videocast I made of me switching between the verse chords of Hotel California.

Give it a try: Guitar Chord

NewRadio – Netcast – or Podcast?

Net casting (in recent years known as podcasting), started for me, way back in the 90s.

I first had a web domain back in the 90s which was an audio service catering for musicians, classical and jazz mostly, I used to record a variety of performances and make them available on the internet for download, and some of these were to “show-off” new violin builds for example, by way of comparative recordings, kind of like A/B recordings. Of course back then this was a fairly time-consuming process due to restrictive speed connections.

Around 2000 I started as a post-graduate research project, as distance learning school for music production, sound engineering, and immediately made recorded voice content available for download and streaming. Most of this audio was me giving tutorials in the RealAudio format, on topics such as music production, mixing etc. Being RealAudio format meant listeners could stream fairly easily from the site, RealAudio would select the bandwidth setting automatically for the user. Incidentally these early streams are still available on the downloads section and are dated to autumn 2002!

Throughout the early 90’s I uploaded more and more audio content, including such things as drum samples, sound effects and complete 24 track recording studio sessions. I then started audio blogging, which saw me using the telephone as an audio-blogging tool, I also rolled this service out for students, which enabled them to blog their thoughts simply by using a telephone, this was very popular, was quite a buzz chatting into a cell phone back in 2003 and having the content appear on a site as an audio file.

It is since the addition of the enclosure tag in RSS feeds that the concept of “podcasting” (a misguided name, in my opinion) somewhat “popularised” the concept of internet audio and video, but in essence the only thing that had changed (albeit an excellent change) was that content could be downloaded automatically. The fact is that audio/video content had been cast over the net for many years before this.

Having been “waist-deep” in audio content over the web for a number of years I had always toyed with the idea of a “radio show” for sometime (I did a number of radio style streams back in 98/99), but it wasn’t until 2006 that I decided that perhaps a regular show might be damn good therapy for myself and provide added value to the site visitors. I’ve always been very keen to ensure clients and students have plenty of virtual community building tools, a distance learning school is all about a sense of something virtually powered, so AC RadioCast (formally AC Podcast) was born.

Since then I have also introduced some other audio casting services including a text to speech service on SLEDucating, and a soon to be active cast on Audana (both called podcasts, but yes I have issues with that). I also have pro-audio news converted to aggregated audio on AC.

Whilst Podcasting seems to be a current popular term I have now decided to come full circle and reject it, basically just using net cast, or radio, or stream, as to be frank 50% of my current listener’s just stream right off the websites, as they have for years. The other issue is that the word Podcasting is very confusing for non-tech people, (no pod needed). I’m not alone in thinking the term podcasting will be dropped in the future, I of course may be wrong, but Radio, or cast, is far more widespread and understandable which is my excuse for sticking with it, plus I may also actually broadcast some of my shows live, which gives some more validity to using the term radio, even though technically I’ll probably not use radio waves, in the electromagnetic sense.

I am also toying with NewRadio as a phrase to describe what I do, what do you think, have you thought about it, is it important?

Have you tried Musicovery?

This is such a blast it has me addicted.

Ok so again I’m stumbling on sites and this one has me all excited.

And why is that then you say? .. well I’ll tell you, this service gives you a few knobs to tweak concerning your musical selection, YOU select your music stream based on your own current mood, and once you’ve selected you get presented with a beautiful graphical representation of the mood with interlinked connectivity to various artists, it’s like a cloud map for your music.

Out of screen shot on the left is a panel with four words, dark, calm, energetic, positive, with what seems and infinite (not sure how infinite) amount of spaces between the four terms. You can also filter genres, and decades, BUT I love it best with full channels open!

What I love about this service the most though, is that it affords the user a level of discovery, you will come across tracks you may have never heard of YOURSELF, you’ll be presented with newness, chosen by YOURSELF.

I like that, what do you think?

Do you know how a pentatonic scale sounds?

OK you what?

Yes, the pentatonic scale, the scale is one of the oldest known musical scales, probably due its simplicity, and can be heard in almost all music, from the blues to Debussy and heaps of world folk music, even punk rock.

It’s just a few notes!

Well I stumbled upon a great site which not only teaches you the sound of the scale, well the pitch relationships, but also offers a time grid so you can compose a wee tune.

Here is my tune, if you make one yourself let me know, and if you find more online musical instruments TELL ME!

Go have a go here: Pentatonic

Internet TV and You

The last month or so I have been infrequently using Joost, the internet TV service.

In order to get Joost you need to be invited, I guess because they are officially in the testing stages and require some limit on the numbers of simultaneous viewers. Once you receive the invite you are able to pop along to the web site and download the application, create an account and log-in.

It’s actually fairly simple, well for me at least, I’m used to downloading applications, installing them, logging-in and sitting behind a lap-top. I would also assume that YOU are similar to me in this respect, slightly geeky, used to technology and have very little issue with getting stuff working on your machine(s).

Right, so now I want you to turn your attentions to someone unlike you and me, perhaps your mum, or your sister who is not so geeky, maybe your uncle who uses the internet very little, perhaps the odd e-mail.

I want you to ask the question to someone about their feelings concerning internet TV, would they use it, if not ask them why not, or ask yourself the same question, would you use internet TV, do you, do you not want to, and why not?

I have my own thoughts concerning internet TV, and how to expand or sell it, which I have posted on some friends blogs but I want more views here I want YOUR views.

So, does internet TV have a future, will it happen soon, or will it remain something only geeks do, until everyone is a geek with the next generation? Tell us your thoughts, what needs to happen? Is it all a heap of crap, or something of great value, or do we just love the programmed content on the box in the corner?

Swedish Chef

Perhaps like me you had forgotten the wonderful Swedish Chef?

The one icon of Sweden which made a dominant lasting impression on my childhood (aside from the obvious exports of ABBA and the Volvo).

In fact the impression was so great that here I am in my late 30s posting some footage of the chap, having just had a few days in Stockholm Sweden.

It’s not like the guy is amazingly funny or anything, ok he is, yes he is, he is also representative for me and I’ve eaten raw fish prepared by a guy just like him.

Director – New Media (Arts)


“London – Central

The British Council is a world leader in cultural relations, building relationships between people in the UK and other countries for mutual benefit. Our programmes are wide-ranging and cover the arts, education, English, science and society. We strive to be continuously innovative to ensure that we represent the best of the UK and are relevant to the needs of the thousands of people we work with around the world. We operate in 238 cities in 110 countries and territories, including five cities around the UK. ”

This is interesting, now see the British Council taking new-media seriously and seeking representation at an international level, shame the money is not all that mind you, as this might limit the interest.

How do I get my mom to watch internet tv

This audio recording was captured at PodcampEU using an M-audio Microtrack.

The recording has had some degree of processing to even the varying levels which come from differing distances to the microphone of the sources. In addition the background noise level at the venue was very high, as you can hear, VERY not-good for audio recordings, and something to think about for venues such as this.

The session is run by Kfir Pravda and is called “how do I get my mom to watch internet tv”.