Pandora – Music recommendation radio that works

I just started playing around with Pandora, a recommendation radio built on the Music Genome Project. Just wanted to share that this is the first time I have tried a recommendation radio that actually works and that actually recommends stuff that I like! After my first half hour of use it seems a bit US-focused, but I’ll have to try it out some more before I can jump to any conclusions.

This is a service that meets some of the most basic requirements for something that could be a hit:
1. It is easy to understand the concept
2. It is easy to use
3. The price seems right

Unfortunately, the sound quality is not perfect, but I guess that will be better as time goes by and the general quality goes up regarding network speed, cost of storage etc… Now, could you give me Pandora for my Media Center please?

Pandora – Music recommendation radio that works

Make war, not love!

It’s old news, but a mod for “Grand Theft Auto – San Andreas” expands the game with some extra functionallity that actually lets the character you are playing make love. The game in it’s original state lets your character kill people, deal drugs, steal cars, shoot, knock people out etc.. For the americans, the original functionallity is OK. The game had a rating of “M” (Mature), that means suitable for people of 17 or older.

The odd thing is that the so called “hotcoffee” mod that added the functionallity for making love made the americans go completely mad. They are taking the game off the shelves and have changed the rating to “AO” (Adults Only), that is 18 years and over. The highest level possible.

As the brilliant Maddox states it:

I want to shoot people in the face, bang prostitutes, traffic drugs, steal cars, and terrorize police officers without this filthy smut in my game.

Now, I am reading that the FBI seems to find the war on porn more important than the war on terror.

Mostly I actually like Americans and some important parts of their culture, but this is just completely insane…

Make war, not love!

Chris Anderson on Media Centers

Usually I don’t post links on this blog unless I have something to add to what the link is all about. This time I will make an exception. Chris Anderson has a very interesting article about Media Center PCs on his Long Tail blog. And, I can’t add much more than “I totally agree” and “I’ll recommend you to read it“. Chris is the editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine and a very interesting thinker and writer.

From the article:

For us, Media Centers have five big advantages over traditional DVRs, including TiVo.

* No monthly fees.
* Centralized storage means that all TVs around the house have instant access to the same content.
* Unlimited storage capacity.
* Can stream all the other media on your PC to any TV, including music and home videos.
* By DVR standards, it’s a relatively open platform (certainly compared to the DVRs offered by your cable company), and there are an increasing number of plug-ins that expand its features.

Finally, there’s a strong Long Tail angle to the Media Center. It is, at its core, a platform for unlimited-choice TV. It connects the Internet to the TV screens around your house via a simple, TiVo-like interface. Right now, most of the video content comes over the broadcast network, is cached on your PC, and then streamed over your home network. But that content can just as easily come from anywhere on the net, and independent video marketplaces such as Brightcove and Akimbo are planning to release their services as Media Center plug-ins to deliver just that.

Via Ian Dixon

Chris Anderson on Media Centers

A blog in a printed paper – what’s next?

In my post about how abused the term “media center” is I mentioned that the biggest newspaper in Norway has a blog in their printed paper. And, they clearly states that the journalist writing the coloumn is a blogger.

It is amazing how technical terms is misproperly used by the same journalists that hypes stuff up into the skies. There is close to nothing in the definition of a blog that suggests that it is possible to have one in a printed paper. Who on earth are VG adressing when they call their coloumn a blog? The people that knows what a blog is shake their head and call VG stupid. And, how much sense does it make to call it a blog if you adress the people that doesn’t know what a blog is?

Beats me. And confuses the people that tries to learn what this new phenomenon is.

VG – How about adding a podcast to your printed paper as well?

…and then there is all the commercial companies that totally don’t get it as well.

A blog in a printed paper – what’s next?

Tivo just made a very stupid move!

I just updated my HTPC Frontend Roundup because it is a quite good guide to alternatives if you don’t want a PVR where the content producers can delete whatever they want. From the update:

Tivo has recently made headlines as people have discovered a horrible functionallity that lets content providers delete shows on your box. My god, what a stupid move!

Kind of like:
You can buy this VHS tape, but you’ll hand over the keys to your apartment so that the content producers can come and take it when they decide that you shouldn’t be able to watch your recording anymore.

Original post: HTPC Frontend Roundup

Tivo just made a very stupid move!

The Telecrapper 2000

I remember back when I had an ISDN line. I used our computer as an answering machine and had the possibility to make personalized messages depending on the number of the caller.

For the people calling from an “empty” number, i.e. telemarketers, I routed them directly to the answering machine and simply said “Based on the number you are calling from it seems like you are a telemarketer. Please leave a message and I will call you back“. The only messages I got was some mumbling about “what is this?” etc..

Now, welcome the Telecrapper 2000. Record a series of short audio files and activate the Telecrapper. It will answer your phone with one of the files. Each time it senses silence for a given time from the caller it plays another file. This can lead to some fantastic virtual conversations with telemarketers.

You find a conversation done by Telecrapper 2000 with a real telemarketer, illustrated with a nice flash animation here. There are more audio examles at the bottom of the Telecrapper 2000 page.

We closed our fixed line a long time ago, and the telemarketers seem to stay away from my mobile. But, I guess that won’t last forver. I see a market for a Telecrapper 2000 software for Symbian already…

Via (Hack a day)

The Telecrapper 2000