Chidi and The Good Place

The good place cast

A podcast listen to now and then is the Nod, the latest episode (doesn’t seem to be on the site yet) talked about Chidi from the good place.

This week Eric talks with Cord Jefferson, a writer for NBC’s The Good Place, about how Blackness is depicted in the afterlife

Its a  good interview exploring stereotypes of black characters and I got to say Chidi is a excellent black geek. Just what we need more of…

The horizon dating experiment on TV again…

Horizon dating

It was Valentines day a little while ago and while I was busy. I guess someone at the BBC thought it would be a good idea to put up the Horizon Dating Experiment again.

I got a whole bunch of people asking me if they saw me on TV recently… Well yes you did and there is a story worth reading behind it all. I’m not the only one who blogged about it too. To be fair it all started with Rachel Clarke who pointed it out the call to me after my bad experience with the Year of making love.

Horizon dating experiment

To be fair although its back on Telly again, the best example of where the Horizon dating experiment popped up has to be on a plane at 36000 feet. Found via my good friend Claire

Back of a airplane seat

 

Favourite new podcasts I’m currently listening to

Me listening to podcasts in madrid
During Mozilla Festival last year Annabel Church ran a session about podcasting. The session included a look at the diversity of podcasts we listen to. It was interesting to share our podcasts with each other.
So in the same vein, I thought I’d share some of the ones I’m listening to at work, on the go or in the mornings when getting ready for work . I included the RSS feed because some of them have that frustrating apple podcast link and I need the RSS for my smarty pants podcast system.

Anna Sale explores the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation.

Death, Sex and Money is highly produced American public radio and Anna Sale really has the non judgemental tone needed for some of the sensitive subjects which are covered. Great podcast material always

RSS – https://www.wnycstudios.org/feeds/shows/deathsexmoney

Risk podcast

RISK! is a live show and podcast where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share in public

Talking of death sex and money, imagine if there was podcast which was a cross between that and the Moth. That is pretty much RISK and its great listening, with lots of quite quiet laughing at work.

RSS – http://feeds.feedburner.com/risk-show/yWzy

Team human

Team Human is a manifesto—a fiery distillation of pre-eminent digital theorist Douglas Rushkoff’s most urgent thoughts on civilization and human nature. In one hundred lean and incisive statements, he argues that we are essentially social creatures, and that we achieve our greatest aspirations when we work together—not as individuals.

Team human is just a fantastic listen, real high level conversation with a grounding in common sense. Such great guests and well worth it to hear Rushkoff’s thoughts at the top of each podcast.

RSS – https://feed.pippa.io/public/shows/teamhuman

After on podcast

The After on podcast is described as series of unhurried conversations with thinkers, founders, and scientists. Like Teamhuman, its great to hear the conversations about the future. Not every episode is as interesting to me as others but when they are, its perfect.

RSS – http://afteron.libsyn.com/rss

The guilty feminist

Each week Deborah Frances-White and guests discuss topics “all 21st century feminists agree on” while confessing their insecurities, hypocrisies and fears that undermine their lofty principles.

This is essential listening for everyone, a combination of the live events cut together for the podcast. Its just perfect to hear the insecurities, hypocrisies and fears that undermine the sometimes lofty principles of a feminist in the 21st century. Funny but so insightful always.

RSS – https://guiltyfeminist.libsyn.com/rss

Revisionist HistoryMalcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History and broken record

Anything Gladwell is always full of insight and interesting. Even the most unlikely of subjects can be great. He’s gone of and started Broken record, which is ok but prefer Revisionist honestly.

RSS – https://feeds.megaphone.fm/revisionisthistory

If you know anything about TorrentFreak and Jamie King. Then you know filesharing, decentralised tech, copyright, etc are common themes. The guests are pretty incredible with the depth of the always on podcast but with a slight political insight of team human.

RSS – http://stealthisshow.com/feed/podcast

Darknet diaries
Darknet Diaries: True stories from the dark side of the Internet.

Following up from Steal this show, comes a format which is great to hear. Each episode is a single story told extremely well focusing on the hacking, cracking and related fields. Its actually very accessible without loosing the details which matter. Each episode is pretty compelling and you can feel the darkness as you listen.

RSS – https://feeds.megaphone.fm/darknetdiaries

Following Reni’s amazing book Why I’m not talking to white people about race. I found out she followed up with a series of podcasts. I haven’t had the chance to listen to them all yet but its well worth listening to and sounds a bit like the old guardian token series. I also find the nod podcast good but this is better, as its more focused.

RSS – https://audioboom.com/channels/4947699.rss

Mozilla IRL podcast

Because Online Life Is Real Life; Host Manoush Zomorodi shares real stories of life online and real talk about the future of the Web.

Excellent podcast from Mozilla, explaining different parts of the internet through a combination of stories, interviews and news stories. Really well put together and interesting to experts and novices on the internet.

RSS – https://feeds.mozilla-podcasts.org/irl

Latest Pacemaker mix: The Amsterdam speedy hop mix

Its my first travel abroad trip of 2019 and of course that means anther pacemaker device mix while up in the air. unfortunately it was a round trip to Amsterdam in the same day. No real time to relax but it beat missing the last third of TedXManchester 2019.

Its pretty trancey mix with some modern classics, bit of weird one but its not a bad one and fitted the short hop from Manchester to Amsterdam.

Enjoy the mix… the photo comes from jmhutun.

  1. Communication 2 (Armin remix) – Armin Van Buuren
  2. Homeward – Ferry Corsten
  3. Fallen (Gabriel & Dresden Anti-gravity remix) – Sarah McLaclan
  4. Southern Sun (Moe Aly remix) – Paul Oakenfold
  5. Anahera (extended mix) – Ferry Corsten presents Gouryella
  6. A new dawn (virtual vault remix) – Steve Forte Rio
  7. Rewind (Mikkas remix) – Emma Hewitt
  8. Tears (Protoculture remix) – Markus Schulz pres Dakota
  9. Opium – Jerome Isma-Ae & Alastor
  10. Rheinkraft (Full original mix) – Oliver Klein
  11. Talk (Dave Aude vocal club mix) – Coldplay
  12. Unchained – Diego Morrill
  13. Grotesque (Alex MORPH and RAM mix) – RAM
  14. Strange World (M.I.K.E’s 2006 rework) – Push

Did Netflix scorched the earth of interactive digital narrative?

Netflix - Black mirror
Bandersnatch

Everyone is talking about Black Mirror Bandersnatch, and to be fair after watching 5hrs 13mins of it seeing every version/variation. Its quite something. But even before it launched there were problems.

I agree its slick but its also very interesting to read Charlie Brooker’s thoughts on the experience of creating it.

Creator Charlie Brooker told The New York Times that he won’t be making more interactive episodes of the Netflix series – so no more difficult cereal choices in the future.
Asked what advice he had for anyone attempting to make interactive TV, Brooker added: “Run away. It’s harder than you think.”

I wonder if Bandersnatch will ultimately cause people to avoid IDNs (Interactive Digital Narratives) or adaptive narratives. It would be a real shame if it did but as Tom says in reply to my thoughts earlier today

I do wonder if Netflix has slightly done some damage by doing something so extreme? Something of a firework which everyone saw and caused a fire as it rained on peoples head?

Maybe James is right along with Tom? Explicit Interactive Digital Narratives has been done to death. You only have to look at the stuff Marian was doing in the mid- late 2000s with shapeshifting media.

I can predict in a year or so time, people will have forgotten Bandersnatch (packed away on a top shelf as James says) but this isn’t good news for all those other productions and experiments which may not be as smart but genuine a pleasure to be part of.

Would funding for IDN dry or boom because of Bandersnatch? Hard to tell at this stage.

What I would like from Netflix is some data/numbers on repeat viewings, paths people take, etc. If I was writing a paper, this would be a good experiment to be in on.

The call of the Barcelona sun mix

One of my mixes from Barcelona I didn’t upload first time, so I re-uploaded it for the collection. Lots of familiar tunes mixed together with some classics such as Tears and Hello. At just over the hour mark, its a nice energetic mix to add to the collection.

Enjoy!

  1. Helsinki Scorching – Super8 vs Dj Tab
  2. Against the flow (Astuni & Manuel Le Saux Extended Re Lift Dub) – Stine Grove
  3. Hello (Jerome Isma-Ae remiix) – Above & Beyond
  4. Avenue – Paul Van Dyk
  5. Labyrinth (Paul Keyen remix) – Lee Cassells
  6. Embrace (Ferry Fix) – Embrace
  7. Nebula One – Warren K
  8. Frosted (Foreign Force remix) – Kyamoto
  9. Shelter (Photographer remix) – Dash Berlin feat Roxanne Emery
  10. Ecstasy – Eddie Makabi feat Einat
  11. Tears (Protoculture remix) – Markus Schulz presents Dakota
  12. Nailed (James Dymond remix) – Paul Webster
  13. Valhalla (tonerush remix) – OneBeat
  14. Its time (ferry corsten’s flashover mix) – Ferry Corsten
  15. B29 (extended mix) – Attila Syah & LTN

Cruising at 35000 feet mix

I was able to rescue one of my mixes from a flight from Helsinki. Its a little rough and ready in parts but theres some excellent tunes and mixes. This one needed a lot of work because the crossfader was in the wrong place for critical parts of the mix.

At just under 2 hours it certainly a long musical ride into trance

Enjoy!

  1. Empty Cities, Dead Ghosts – Fictious Riceboy
  2. Big Sky (Agnelli & Nelson Remix) – John O’Callaghan Feat. Audrey
  3. Gallagher
  4. Bulgarian (Signum remix) – Travel
  5. Hello (Jerome Isma-Ae remix) – Above & Beyond
  6. J’ai Envie De Toi (protoculture remix) – Armin Van Buuren presents Gaia
  7. The Oblivious – Muhamed Sherief & WAAJII
  8. Journey (extended mix) – Iversoon vs. Alex Daf vs. Glus
  9. October winds (deep care november mix) – Six Senses pres Electric Nova
  10. Labyrinth (Paul Keyen remix) – Lee Cassells
  11. Please Save Me (Push Remix) – Sunscreem Vs Push
  12. Love stimulation (Pvd love club mix) – Humante
  13. Resound (Original Mix) – Thomas Bronzwaer
  14. Shadow World (Original Mix) – Thomas Bronzwaer
  15. Refused – Mark Sixma & Jerome isma-Ae
  16. Rapid eye (R.E mix) – Circa Forever
  17. Orange sky – Signalrunners presents Syndica
  18. The Pride in Your Eyes (Martin Roth Remix) – Tillmann Uhrmacher

Bringing down Skopje super mix

My last mix from Skopje and its a long one with lots of cool tunes. Recorded while in Skopje but I had to piece the mix together as it was in 2 pieces after my pacemakerdevice battery ran out. Suspend doesn’t last as long as I was expecting it seems.

The mix has beatmatching flaws but mainly due to loud noises while walking about. Generally its varied mix and well worth listening to with some old and new tunes mixed together.

Enjoy!

  1. Echoes (FloE edit) – Andski
  2. Beauty hides in the deep (John O’Callaghan remix) – The Doppler effect
  3. Gaurtlet – DNSProject
  4. Heal – Electrique Boutique
  5. J’ai Envie De Toi (Protoculture remix) – Armin Van Buuren pre Gaia
  6. Labyrinth (Paul Keyen remix) – Lee Cassells
  7. Kalopsia (Monogato’s Filth remix) – The Bizzard
  8. One little arab – Matt Darey
  9. Massive Motion – M.I.K.E
  10. Opium – Jerome Isma-Ae & Alastor
  11. Into the Danger (M.I.K.E remix) – M.I.K.E vs Andrew Bennett
  12. Prosac – Dj Tomcraft
  13. Kinetic 99 (Commies full edit mix) – Golden girls
  14. Rewind (Mikkas Remix) – Emma Hewitt
  15. The Oblivious – Muhamed Sherief & WAAJII
  16. Whites of her eyes – Simon Patterson
  17. Running up the that hill – Markus Schulz Presents Dakota Featuring Bev Wild
  18. Intution (Martin Roth remix) – Marninx pres Ecco
  19. Valhala (Tonerush remix) – OneBeat
  20. Love Stimulation (PVD love Club mix) – Humate
  21. Totem – Rodrigo Deem
  22. Hello (Jerome Isma-Ae remiix) – Above & Beyond
  23. Brush Strokes – Simon Patterson
  24. Delores – Indecent Noise
  25. The Evil ID – Max Graham
  26. Desoolee (Radion 6 remix) – Disfunkton
  27. Mass Noise 2015 – Fred Baker & Seb B

Dont be afraid in Dublin mix

Really enjoyed this mix, which was recorded while walking around Dublin one day. It includes quite a few familar tunes and some completely new ones. I found a lot of street art in Dublin including the house with “Don’t be afraid” written on the side.

All recorded on the Pacemaker Device as usual but I did need to make a few tweaks to fix the pauses as I walked around and crossed roads, tram tracks, etc. Let me know what you think on Mixcloud.

Enjoy!

  1. Electronic toy – Tomcraft
  2. Whites of her eyes – Simon Patterson
  3. Eclipse – Neo
  4. Suru (Martin Roth Electrance remix) – Super8 & Tab
  5. Daisy – Sander Van Doorn
  6. Voema – Ferry Corsten
  7. Brush Strokes – Simon Patterson
  8. As One – Daniel Kandi and Martijn Stegerhoek
  9. Dark side of the moon (Marc Simz remix) – Ernesto vs Bastian featuring Susana
  10. Cuckoo – Jon Mangan
  11. Ephemeral – Nakhiya
  12. Innocente (Mr Sam remix) – Delerium
  13. The Labyrinth (part one) – Moogwai
  14. Eternity (Armin’s rising star mix) – Alibi
  15. Intution (Martin Roth remix) – Marninx Pres Ecco
  16. Neba – Ferry Corsten presents Gouryella

Digital licence woes and problems ripped large

itunes hits 5 billion

Digital licensing and ownership has been discussed in the past a lot, back then it was therotical. But its interesting to revisit the discussion in more modern times with the new ecosystems which have become common place.

Ok fair enough it’s from Torrentfreak but still interesting a read.

The digital world has made it much easier to buy and consume entertainment.

Whether it’s a movie, music track, or book, a shiny “buy now” button is usually just a few keystrokes away.

Millions of people have now replaced their physical media collections for digital ones, often stored in the cloud. While that can be rather convenient, it comes with restrictions that are unheard of offline.

This is best illustrated by an analogy I read a few years ago in a research paper by Aaron Perzanowski and Chris Jay Hoofnagle, titled: “What We Buy When We Buy Now.”

Our listening project conversation in full

Ian and Kate

Remember ages ago when a slice of me and Kate’s conversation for the listening project ended up on BBC Radio Manchester and BBC Radio 4? There was much more to the whole conversation and you can understand how I ended up ruff camping on a Irish cliff face in a camper van.

Holiday with Kate in Ireland

It will be forever in the National Archives for generations to hear.

Conversation between friends, Kate and Ian, about the benefits of travelling and the differences in what they want from a holiday.

The Listening Project conversations collectively form a picture of our lives and relationships today. Recordings were made by BBC producers of people sharing an intimate conversation, lasting up to an hour and on a topic of the speakers’ choice.

Kate and Ian have been friends since 2007. They met when Ian moved to Manchester from London. They talk about the benefits of travelling and the differences in what they want from a holiday – Ian likes the big city buzz whereas Kate prefers the quiet of the countryside. They discuss Airbnb, a home rental website that Ian uses to rent out his home. They also talk about the differences and similarities in their personalities.

Films you might have missed in 2017

One perfect shot have their best movies and it prompted me to rewrite about some of the films you may have missed last year.

Marshall

This is court room battle with Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice. At a time when racism denied him the ability to represent a client. Its smart, sometimes funny and sometimes tragic. Its a excellent watch and compelling story shot well.

The Show

This was a surprising film. The cinematography isn’t great and the story tends to lag in some parts but as a whole the film actually spiked my interest. Not for the faint hearted but not the usual nonsense horror you see.

Detroit

If you haven’t seen Detroit, I don’t know what to say to you. Everytime I watch it, it makes me pretty sad to know its all based on real memories. Its super compelling and the pacing is perfect, with elements of lag to add emphasis to the scene.

Radius

Surprising indie film, about a man who kills everyone within a certain radius of himself. As the film unfolds, we get to learn more about him, her and why. Its cleverly unfolding with enough pace to keep you interested. Easily missed but a real gem.

The Wall

I don’t usually like war films but this one involves 2 people and a voice (check the credits!). Doug Liman’s director touch makes the deadly cat-and-mouse tension so thick you can feel the sand in the air. Its amazing what you can do with a good story and a good director.

Gifted

This film can be summed up as a fight for a child’s freedom or the fight for her gift. Somewhat feel good but its got a strong message about living and freedom. Don’t miss this film!

2:22

I quite enjoy these types of films, its like groundhog day, one of my favourite shows which got canned was daybreak. Time looping with different tries ending in the same or very similar results.

Extortion

Drama with some horrific cliffhangers which gets you wondering what on earth you would do? Really got me, especially some of the twists and turns.

Aftermath

Best Arnie movie in a long time, I would say. Its slow building film not about the accident of the mid airplane crash but the need for closure & resolution. Based on a real mid aircrash, its excellently done with each character transforming over the course of film. Surprising ending too

Jungle

I wasn’t sure I could see Harry Potter in the Jungle but this surprised me at how harrowing this film is. Bit like Extortion, it makes you wonder what you would do – although you won’t catch me in a jungle to be fair. Think of this film like 127 hours and touching the void. Another true life story dramatised

25th Anniversary of Ghostwatch

I saw this in Kim by the Sea after volleyball today. As I tweeted it, I realized many people wouldn’t know what it was because they were too young, not born or wasn’t in the UK to see it unfold live.

From Wikipedia

Ghostwatch is a British realityhorror/mockumentarytelevision film, first broadcast on BBC1 on Halloween night, 1992. Written by Stephen Volk, and directed by Lesley Manning, the drama was produced for the BBCanthology seriesScreen One by Richard Broke, Ruth Baumgarten and Derek Nelson.

Despite having been recorded weeks in advance, the narrative was presented as live television. During and following its first and only UK television broadcast, the show attracted a considerable furore,[1] resulting in an estimated 30,000 calls to the BBC switchboard in a single hour.

Ghostwatch has never been repeated on UK television. It has been repeated internationally, on stations such as the Canadian digital channel Scream for Halloween 2004, and the Belgian channel Canvas in 2008. In 2017, Ghostwatch was added to the American streaming video service Shudder

It does seem crazy the BBC putting out a fake ghost programme on prime time national TV. It reminds me of war of the worlds radio play.

Remember the *.mod

FastTracker 2

I was reminded of Mod files a while ago.

From Wikipedia

Module files (MOD musictracker music) are a family of music file formats originating from the MOD file format on Amiga systems used in the late 1980s. Those who produce these files (using the software called music trackers) and listen to them, form the worldwide MOD scene, a part of the demoscenesubculture. Module files are often chiptunes.

The mass interchange of “MOD music” or “tracker music” (music stored in module files created with trackers) evolved from early FIDO networks. Many websites host large numbers of these files, the most comprehensive of them being the Mod Archive.

Nowadays most module files, including ones in zipped form, are supported by most popular media players such as WinampVLCFoobar2000AmarokExaile and many others (mainly due to inclusion of common playback libraries such as libmodplug for gstreamer).

Great thing was you could consume them but it was super easy to just remix them and play with them. The player was the maker; consumer/maker in one package.

Module files store several “patterns” or “pages” of music data in a form similar to that of a spreadsheet. These patterns contain note numbers, instrument numbers, and controller messages. The number of notes that can be played simultaneously depends on how many “tracks” there are per pattern. They also contain digitally recorded samples as well as coding for sequencing the samples in playback. The programs that are used to create these files provide composers with the means to control and manipulate sound samples in almost limitless ways to produce music.

Even if you didn’t understand what all those numbers and patterns were, you could play and try without worry or judgment. Similar to the Sonic PI?

A disadvantage of module files is that there is no real standard specification in how the modules should be played back properly, which may result in modules sounding slightly different in different players. This is mostly due to effects that can be applied to the samples in the module file and how the authors of different players choose to implement them.

Oh boy this was a killer…

I used Protracker originally (mod format), then switched to fast tracker 2 when I made my first PC (xm format). It would import mods but saving them out as mod wouldn’t be compatible with other players.

Theres certainly something about *.mod which seems to be missing in the modern times.

How to DJ with the Pacemaker device and a real mixer

Mixing with the pacemaker device

I love mixing with my Pacemaker but I have to admit there are some limitations like the crossfader and effects are a little tricky to do at the same time. So when I bought another pacemaker off ebay cheap and upgraded the battery and HDD to a SSD, I also upgraded that Pacemaker firmware, to include other features like beat-aware loops. That firmware can’t record mixes in the same way unfortunately.

So I’ve always thought maybe I could use the pacemaker with a mixer and record the mix over analogue means. Si gave me one of his old mixers a while ago, so for ages I thought about it but done little about it.

Till now!

Here’s the mix I messed with around earlier.

Ok its not great but I was tweaking the setup while I was recording.

Mixing with the pacemaker device

So how did I do it…

The pacemaker has two outputs, so I pushed deck A to the main output and deck B to the headphone output. This means the pacemaker crossfader can never be used or touched while mixing. You only use the deck selection to choose the track you want to adjust or play with.

Mixing with the pacemaker device

Deck A the main output is cabled to the Channel 1 on my mixer, while Deck B the headphone deck is output to Channel 3 on the mixer. (Channel 2 is mainly for the microphone and other things on the mixer)

Mixing with the pacemaker device

I had to adjust the volume and gain on each channel and the pacemaker its self but generally I got it right with some tweaking. I hooked up the output of the mixer to my amp and speakers, while the monitor went out to my laptop with a splitter as its a combined mic/headphone jack.

Mixing with the pacemaker device

I recorded everything with Audacity and checked the levels on the laptop.

The results are not bad… It does feel really weird to be using the Pacemaker device and not using the crossfader on the device. In actual fact I messed up a few times earlier on, by using the devices crossfader. I also decided I needed some kind of stand for the device and used a box to mount it half way through the test set.

It was odd but worked, more experimentation is needed…