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Showing posts from December, 2008

Can computers *really* predict the music I will like?

In my neverending quest to find great music on the internet, I ended up moving beyond the simple streaming services. Not that I have anything against the staple of internet radio. In fact, as I've said before, I'm an avid listener of stations like smoothbeats.com and beatbasement.com . But sometimes I want to hear music that fits my mood. A playlist that goes beyond embracing a certain genre, and maybe goes two or three sub-genres deep. Usually that would mean firing up my own music collection. That is, until I discovered a site called Last.fm a few years ago. Their famed audioscrobbler is actually a computer algorithm that gathers info on the music you like, and matches it up with music it "thinks" you should like. I was addicted for a while until I figured out that the scrobbling game had some competition around town. I'll break a few of the major players down for you. Last.fm Ah, the apple of my eye. Last.fm was my *first* music recommendation si

I am a techno-pimp

I just bought a bluetooth speaker with a built-in FM transmitter . Now, I can take mobile phone calls in my car and hear the other person through my car speakers. But more importantly, I can stream LIVE internet radio through my car speakers from my mobile phone. And there's NOT A SINGLE WIRE to get in the way! WhooHaaa!!! (GI Joe-style - see below)

What are YOU watching?

The last seven or eight years have sort of been a renaissance for genre television, especially when I reflect back on my formative years in the late 80's when Star Trek: The Next Generation was *the* only sci-fi on the tube. And even more recently, some of the greatest television EVER has been sci-fi themed, occasionally escaping the confines of its genre niche. I think......and don't quote me on this.....but I think it all started with Buffy. There was a year, perhaps '02 or '03 where EVERYBODY was either quoting or talking about the Slayer. It had crossed over, however briefly, into the mainstream, and Joss Whedon had achieved television god-hood status. Today, genre television has an embarrassment of riches (haven't heard that phrase for years, and I was dying to use it). And in a way, those shows owe their existence and acceptance to Buffy. Whedon created "the formula" for a genre television show that could attract men AND women of all ages. An

And you don't stop!

So, I went back and forth on this latest entry for my Urban Thought Collective blog, Check The Tech-Nique . First I was going to review some netbooks (Asus EeePC, Acer One, HP Mini-1000, etc). But a few days later, fresh from setting up my Home Theater PC, I was all set to talk about Boxee and the new online TV options that are cropping up (Hulu, et al) . And in the end, my focus for the next few entries *will* be online media, but I have decided to start with music rather than TV or movies. My reasons are primarily selfish. :-) I tend to blog about the tech issues that are having the most impact on my life at the time. And right now, I am spending four days a week driving and living out of hotels. With so much windshield and hotel downtime, my music has gone from an important part of my life, to CRITICAL to my sanity. So, today, I am going to talk about the online music options that are available, some of the differences between them, and which ones are the best of breed re