Category Archives: The Internets

In which SoundCloud sends me a hilarious takedown notice

Anand and SchatarSo today I got this interesting message from Soundcloud:

Hi chaircrusher,

Our automatic content protection system has detected that your sound “Rubber Duckie (Wub Machine Remix)” may contain the following copyright content: “Get Some Fruit (Wubstep Dubstep Remix)” by Anand Bhatt, owned by Favorecido Productions. As a result, its publication on your profile has been blocked.

You can dispute this report, if you believe the copyright content has been mistakenly identified or if you have obtained all the necessary rights, licenses and/or permissions to upload and share this material on SoundCloud.

Please do so by filling out our dispute webform at the following link:https://soundcloud.com/settings/disputes/6512879

If you would like to learn more about copyright, please visit our copyright information page.

Thanks,

The SoundCloud Copyright Team

FYI I didn’t even remember uploading it to Soundcloud — it was just a joke that took about 5 minutes to put together. I kind of love how it turned out, since Sesame Street is embedded in my DNA. If you need to hear it:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

http://www.cornwarning.com/xfer/RubberDucky-WubMachine.mp3

There are several things that are awesome about this:

  • Soundcloud’s automated copyright infringement detector did NOT detect my actual ‘infringement,’ which was against Jeff Moss and Jim Henson, who wrote and performed the original Rubber Duckie.   I claim this is fair use, but I’m not going to the wall on that; this was a JOKE track, it isn’t worth it.
  • Soundcloud’s audio fingerprint software did detect that there was some common source material in the Rubber Duckie Wubstep remix and that track by Anand Bhatt. That common material is there because Bhatt and I did the same thing: Took an audio file and fed it to the Wub Machine, which is a neat hack that ‘converts’ any audio file into bad dubstep.  Feed the Wub Machine random songs, traffic noises, outgoing voicemail messages yadda yadda, and hey presto! Bad dubstep! it’s hours (well, minutes) of fun.
  • The most hilarious part of this debacle?  This guy Anand Bhatt has released a digital EP which you can buy here on Amazon.  Bhatt took what sounds like random crappy songs, ran them through the Wub Machine and released them as his own original ‘remixes’!

What conclusions can I draw from this?

  • Soundcloud’s audio fingerprint software is able to detect common elements in two songs.  That’s great, but it can’t distinguish between one song sampling another, and two songs containing common source material.  So it’s going to generate thousands of false positives.  I guarantee that the worst-paid people at Soundcloud are the poor shmoes who have to wade through all the people contesting false positives for copyright infringement.
  • Anand Bhatt is a complete tosser.  Don’t believe me?  Visit his mega-awesome website, or his Amazon Store.  All those pictures at the Grammies are curiously absent of any other people, as though he snuck in after hours to get his picture taken in front of the Grammy background.  This man has been spending his time inventing an imaginary international rockstar career.

Here’s the transcendent, timeless, original “Rubber Duckie”

Kiss My Teeth?

This showed up on my little provincial radar from following UK Bass producers like Cooly G, Roska — KMT, or Kiss My Teeth

This is, (and correct me if I’m wrong), a vocal sound people make, which is more accurately sucking one’s teeth. You press your tongue against your teeth and by sucking make a ‘Tschioak’ sound. It’s an expression of impatience, or disapproval, or disgust.

There’s some information about this on the interwebs, as at Urbandictionary.com, and an academic paper on the subject. There are blog posts about its use in Guyana.

Now I’ve heard white folks from Iowa use the KMT sound, apparently in the same way it’s used in the UK, Jamaica and elsewhere. But I’ve never heard of it having a name; apparently it’s such a commonplace in the UK, that the acronym is instantly recognizable.

I have no insights about this at all; this is more of an Andy Rooney observation.


“Trisha” is on UK TV, and the joke is apparently that ‘she’ is Jamaican. This video makes it look as though “Kiss My Teeth” is one of Trisha’s catch phrases.

Je suis l’ennemi de l’État

This is a Moveon.org prank video thing, where they stick your name and photo (from facebook) in a fake news story about Glen Beck. It’s been done before — but when my utterly ridiculous Facebook profile photo showed up in the video it cracked me up.



My profile photo, note the phantom lights and Newcastle Brown Ale…

Which was taken by the inimitable Dina:

Time for a Buzz Kill — I’m killing Buzz

So in the last year I count Google at two strikes. First off Wave is… pretty useless, as it turns out. The one place it would be great — collaboration and ad hoc interest groups — don’t really work so well, primarily for performance reasons. Try loading a wave with 300 entries sometimes. It’s im-fucking-possiblly slow.

Google Buzz is another whiff. I don’t really care about the privacy issues, because I don’t regard GMail as being private. Like any other part of society outside of sitting in the dark in a Faraday cage, it isn’t private unless no one cares.

What bothers me about it is that it looks clumsy. It tells me I have new stuff and if I look at the buzz list, I can’t actually see what’s new. It also tries to aggregate things like Twitter and Google Reader, but provides a vastly inferior presentation. So I end up going back to Twitter or Google Reader to see what’s up. Which means Buzz is just redundant.

At this point, Google has a significant percentage of the smartest programmers and designers on the planet working for them, and lately they’ve been turning out clumsy crap. What’s up with that? I’m so into GMail and Google Reader to organize my online life — they’re pretty much exactly what I need and nothing more. Google Docs means I don’t even have to screw with installing a word processor on my machines.

But when Google fucks up, they put both feet in. Remember before Google Personalized Home Pages started to suck? I’d give them my constructive feedback and criticism, but I’ve never gotten any acknowledgement from them when I’ve tried to contact them about anything, so they might as well be inside a black hole. A black hole that spews internet applications.

Clip Art Fail

So the brother of a friend of ours was killed in an auto accident yesterday morning. This is awful, but the local paper in his area thought the article on their web site needed head on collision CLIP ART as an illustration. What the fucking fuck?

Which made me curious. Is there tragedy clip art for the busy editor on the go? Is there, for example, genocide clip art? Turns out there are stock photos from various genocides, but what came up as the top Google Search result was just so bad I had to share:

This is obviously one of those sites who play tricks to show up at the top of Google search results, but maybe they should rethink this strategy.

HOWTO: Upgrade XP (32 bit) with the downloadable Windows 7

I had a real adventure last night, installing Windows 7. I ran into a problem so infuriating, and yet so completely boneheaded and ridiculous that I had to laugh. It’s described here. In essence, if you bought the EDU $29.95 Windows 7 Home Premium from Microsoft, the download file won’t actually work on 32-bit Windows XP. It unpacks all the files, and then tries to run a 64-bit
executable. Then it claims it can’t write to the install directory, instead of telling you the real problem — it can’t run the installer program.

Thank Jebus for the Internets — googling the error message turned up the forum discussion linked above and these
instructions on building a bootable Windows 7 Installation Disk.

I ran into another problem then — it might have been my issue, selecting the wrong install option from the menu, but I tried installs onto an existing Windows XP partition, and both ended up in an unbootable disk. Finally I punted — in XP, I deleted the partition on my new Windows 7 boot hard disk, and told it to do a full install. I was concerned this wouldn’t work, since I had the Upgrade and not the Full version, but apparently having a bootable XP disk elsewhere in the system let it do a clean install on an unformatted disk. Huzzah.

So I’ve spent several hours installing hardware drivers and my working set of software. Windows 7 feels faster than XP on the same hardware, but I’m not sure how much is actual performance improvements, and how much is having my main hard drive be a newer, faster hard drive.

The one big boo-hiss goes to M-Audio, who don’t have drivers for the Midisport 2×2 for 64 bit Vista or 7. WTF guys? Everything else seems to work great!

E-Mail ettiquette: the ‘you go girl’ e-mail.

Something has been irking me that probably should not.  To wit: electronic messages that don’t say anything but “That’s Excellent!” or “Nice job!” or “Happy Birthday!”

Maybe it’s rude of me to be irked, but messages that have information other than that seem kind of pointless.  They are, in effect, like the ‘ACK’ in communications protocol, whose only content is ‘message received.’

Case in point, I’ve achieved some sort of critical mass on facebook where I received nearly 50 messages on my birthday.  On the one hand, awesome that you all noticed. On the other hand, as email programs will tell you sometimes, “message has no body.”

My tendency is to follow these guidelines 1) No blog post unless I have something to say I don’t hear anyone else saying 2) No two word e-mails, unless I’m answering a direct question. 3) No e-mailing someone to see why they didn’t answer my e-mail.

Does this make me seem uncommunicative? Maybe.  But I’m a computer programmer, I’m a big fan of the ‘no news is good news’ theory: the nominal behavior of any system is to be silent unless it has a problem or news.  I think what people are trying to do is to convey a one bit message — I acknowledge you.  I enjoy being acknowledged but somehow wish for more.

So hey, for all y’all. If you don’t hear from me, assume I still love you and think you’re the most. Except for you, and you, and you. You know who you are.

PS I was actually kind of touched by the person who e-mailed me yesterday and apologized for not sending me a facebook ‘Happy Birthday!!!’  Somehow,  apologizing for not doing something that I’m not sure I wanted him to do in the first place feels better than if he’d gone and done it.  Confused? Me too!

Crystal Cat Urine: YouTube Ads Punk Dan Deacon

I had an interesting talk a couple weeks ago with my brother about his job at Digg, and Diggs interaction with the people at Google. Without going into the industry gossip, the takeaway from the chat is that above all else, Google values algorithms. Their business model, the companies they’re interested in acquiring, is all built around two things: collecting data and doing interesting and lucrative things with that data.

Well, to paraphrase Robbie Burns, the best-laid algorithms o’ mice an ‘men gang aft agley.

Cette vidéo n'est pas sur les chats.
Cette vidéo n'est pas sur les chats.

Fun for some value of fun: W3C HTML Validation

So for ‘fun’ I ran http://www.cornwarning.com/Tickertape through the W3C Markup Validator.

Actually, the thing I was concerned about is that the page looked fucked up in IE8, and presumably other browsers. Haven’t rechecked it yet, since I’m on a Mac at work. But at a minimum it found a bunch of small coding errors. No doubt I wouldn’t have had these problems if I’d been using an HTML editor more capable than emacs, but I haven’t yet found a WYSIWYG editor that’s free and doesn’t screw you somehow…

Anyway I learned some stuff, like XHTML transitional wants ‘self contained’ tags to self terminate, e.g. <br> should be <br />, and attribute values should always be in quotes. I’m not sure the permissive nature of web browsers’ HTML parsers has done us any favors.

I also (DUH) am a big believer in standards compliance. Yeah I’m looking at you Microsoft.

Use Audio Player WordPress Plugin outside WordPress Blogs

I figured this out yesterday, and it is the sort of thing a lot of people would like to do and haven’t figured out yet.

First off, this is the audio player:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


and you can read up on it at the AudioPlayer website. It’s very easy to integrate in WordPress, and putting a player in a post looks like this:

[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/xfer/quicktime-vs-the-upsetter.mp3]

Second off, my ‘easy’ way to integrate it outside WordPress:
0. Make sure you can use PHP with your web server. This is pretty standard anymore; you’d probably have to install your own build of Apache to avoid having PHP.

1. First put this php function in a file. My version is here:http://www.cornwarning.com/php-includes/audioplayer.php

<?php
function audioplayer($audioURL,$playerIndex )
{
echo "<script language=\"JavaScript\"
src=\"http://YOURPATH/audio-player.js\">
</script>
<object type=\"application/x-shockwave-flash\"
data=\"http://YOURPATH/player.swf\"
id=\"audioplayer1\" height=\"24\" width=\"150\">
<param name=\"movie\" value=\"http://YOURPATH/player.swf\">
<param name=\"FlashVars\"
value=\"playerID=$playerIndex&soundFile=$audioURL\">
<param name=\"quality\" value=\"high\">
<param name=\"menu\" value=\"false\">
<param name=\"wmode\" value=\"transparent\">
</object>";
}
?>

2. You will need two files to make the player work: audio-player.js, and player.swf. In a WordPress install these will be in wp-content/plugins/audio-player/assets. Copy these someplace in your web directory — maybe the same place you put audioplayer.php. Then replace YOURPATH with the URL for that directory.

3. To use the audioplayer PHP function in an html page:

<?php include("http://YOURPATH/audioplayer.php"); ?>
<?php audioplayer("YourMP3URL",1); ?>

There you have it. Now I realize, not everyone writes their own web pages and most of the above might be pretty forbidding, but I hope that if you can write a simple web page and manage the files in your public_html, this is enough information to get you going.

The Internets: #squarespace & amiestreet.com

OK, now I get it, though since I don’t give a toss about Squarespace or iPhones, I was just annoyed and baffled by all the #squarespace tweets.

While we’re on the subject, Squarespace seems to be appealing to some people. But it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me — $8/month for hosting, and I think if you want to point your own domain at your site, you pay more. My current plan at Midphase is $6.95/month if you prepay for 3 years, and you get unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth. Sure, Squarespace does more handholding, and I guess that’s worth something, but the economics of it don’t add up.

On another note Amie Street is an interesting MP3 sale site. They don’t have everything — and I can’t figure out what determines what they get and what they don’t — but they have a crazy pricing structure, that starts out at free and tops out at $.98/song. Basically the more popular something is, the more it costs. That’s great for me because I’m not that interested in what’s popuar most of the time.

The other cool thing about Amie Street is that you can pre-pay and get a discount — e.g. I pre-paid $40 and had $50 to spend. Like I said, they aren’t Amazon, and crowdsourcing their editorial content is hit or miss, but they are cheap, and I found some stuff cheap that I really liked.

One WP blog set up & I’m an expert?

I’ve now gotten three unsolicited requests for help setting up websites. This is flattering of course, and you know, but other than general figure-shit-out skills developed as a programmer for 25 years, I’ve very little web-specific knowlege — just what I know to get by. A more accurate way to put it is that I know fuck all about developing the sort of websites my friends want me to help them build.

I thought if you threw a rock you hit a web developer these days, why me? Anyone with moderate Google skills and a not-completely-fucktarded web host can figure out setting up a WordPress blog.

Maybe it’s that I’m a nice guy and don’t charge people.

Mystery Solved: Why I Keep Getting Twitter Adds.

I have been mystified by how many Twitter adds I’ve been getting, since I don’t really bother too much with it. But I think I’ve partially solved it. Unfortunately it’s NOT because I’m so awesomely original and brilliant that everyone wants to read my blog posts.

Apparently people are setting up automated twitter feeds, that will add you if they see keywords they deem relevant in your tweets. Presumably, someone would e.g. want to see every time someone posts about ‘Dubstep’ to Twitter, so they’d start following that automated feed. Or something like that.

Which has led me to this conclusion: Twitter is for people too ADD to handle RSS aggregators as Internet Timewasters.

The Continuing Twitter Mystery

It’s like if a bunch of your friends all of a sudden started getting into Scientology. I hate to be the gazillionth person to say “I don’t get Twitter,” but I don’t get Twitter.

I will say this, it seems like 2 or 3 people a day start following me on twitter, even though all I do is post links to this blog as tweets.

And what actual adult ever aspired to ‘tweeting’ as a serious endeavor? And if you really want to get down to serious WTF, according to the Internets, Jennifer Aniston broke up with John Mayer, because he tweets too much! It’s not WTF, why did she dump him, it’s WTF, you’d rather tweet then hit that? Jebus!

And while I’m ranting — if you’re crossposting your tweets to Livejournal, you’re just annoying me. Some of my dear internet friends do that, and no offense intended, but the last thing I want from any of y’all is your out-of-context replies to @pathetic_shutin.

And when people start doing that @reply bullshit it turns me off to Twitter even more. It’s like listening to half a cell phone conversation, only when people talk on the phone, they usually give you some fucking clues in their half of the conversation as to what’s being discussed.

They dont call him Tweety for nothing
They don't call him Tweety for nothing