Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What If It Isn't Facebook?

A bit of squiggly "journalism" which appears to promote a finance newsletter offers a defense for Facebook's ginormous $85-100B pre-IPO valuation:

The basic reasoning behind Facebook's valuation goes something like this: every new technology cycle is dominated by one company, and that company usually ends up being worth around $200 billion. Microsoft dominated the PC era, and Google dominated the search era. Facebook is going to dominate the social era, and therefore it's going to be worth $200 billion some day. Discount that to today and $100 billion looks like a steal.

It's widely considered a foregone conclusion that A) the era which follows Google's traffic era is the social era, and B) Facebook will dominate it. The details are kind of flawed:

Facebook is becoming one of the biggest sources and referrers of traffic on the internet—and on the internet traffic is money. The reason why Google became the most valuable and feared internet company was because most of the traffic on the internet came from Google.

This analysis tries to have its cake and eat it too. Facebook will be king, because the Google era will end soon; and Facebook will be king, because by the metrics which defined the previous era, it's almost as good as Google. But how awesome is Google, if you measure it by the number of cardboard boxes containing disks containing software that it has shipped to Circuit City? The whole point of a new era is that the old metrics don't apply. This "Facebook will be king" mania is all over the Web, and everywhere you find it, you see this same obvious oversight.

If you read Daring Fireball, you know that Apple criticism is all over the Web as well, along with perpetual reports that the stock's price is about to fall -- reports which almost never come true. In fact, those reports differ so wildly from reality that Andy Zaky claims Apple's the most undervalued large cap stock in the country:

it is now an incontestable FACT that Apple is the most undervalued and underappreciated large-cap growth company in America. The stock trades at an extremely depressed valuation that Wall Street isn’t taking seriously (8.25 Forward P/E Ratio), the company’s growth continues to outpace every large cap company on the entire S&P 500, and the company’s growth rate percentage – defying all laws of gravity – continues to accelerate without any sign of abating...

There seems to be an ever-present sentiment-war being waged against Apple as it is constantly hit from all sides in a very concerted way. And this is not something new. It’s been going on for years with Apple. With the recent passing of Steve Jobs, it has only gotten much much worse. I’m here to try and balance the scales a little by reminding everyone about the simple truth concerning Apple. While the company’s earnings have absolutely skyrocketed since 2008, to the dismay of investors and to the delight of Business Insider, the stock has gone nowhere.

You can track the "sentiment-war," aka incomprehensible excessive negativity in Apple media coverage, on Daring Fireball if you want -- there's definitely more than enough evidence -- but let's just compare two excerpts here. First, from Andy Zaky's piece:

In just four years, Apple’s earnings have grown 600% to $27.68, and its revenue skyrocketed 341% to $108.2 billion.

Second, from the Facebook post:

The basic reasoning behind Facebook's valuation goes something like this: every new technology cycle is dominated by one company, and that company usually ends up being worth around $200 billion.

Apple made $13B last fiscal quarter; that's over a billion dollars per week. This trend would not have to continue for a very long time in order for Apple to be considered a $200B company. What's funny about Silicon Valley is that even if Apple passes $200B, continues to operate as the primary distribution system for the global music industry, and successfully leverages its fantastic Apple TV product and iTunes movie/TV downloads to replace film and TV distribution as well, Silicon Valley will probably still be yapping about the Facebook era replacing the Google era.

While Apple will still be making money.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Flying People In New York

Three people-shaped remote control planes create the illusion of humans in flight.

Awesome FluentConf Talk Proposal

Fluent is an O'Reilly conf, and it's at almost the same time as BackboneConf, but you should still give it a shot! First, Peter Cooper's one of the organizers, and second, this is one of the talk proposals:

I think it's going to be good.

Can You Dig It?

Agents even checked the pair's cases for [SHOVELS] and suspected that Emily was to act as "lookout" while Leigh raided the film beauty's tomb.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I'm Totally Against Killing Hollywood

I've worked in Hollywood, and Y Combinator made me laugh. They've got great companies under their belt, and I even know some of the founders they've helped make wealthy, but Hacker News devolved into farce, even more so than usual, following Paul Graham's request for startups to kill Hollywood.

While the move represents terrific social media marketing on Y Combinator's part, and reflects an admirable committment to the hacker community and to the idea of solving problems with new businesses, the announcement featured weak logic, unexamined assumptions, and a total obliviousness to the realities of filmmaking. Some members of the Hacker News community fixed the filmmaking ignorance part of the equation in the ensuing discussion of the piece, and subsequent discussions of related links, but most made the problem worse, and none did anything to repair the impaired reasoning and unfounded assumptions. The site's silly, half-baked discussions provided such hilarious, nonsensical entertainment that I immediately turned off my iPad and went to a theater so I could instead watch a beautiful woman dressed entirely in skintight black leather shoot the ever-living fuck out of some werewolves.

It was awesome. When only 27% of critics on Rotten Tomatoes like a movie, but 80% of the audience does, you know you're in for a terrific evening's demented idiocy. It was also nice to follow one form of demented idiocy with another. In some ways, the only difference between Underworld: Awakening and Hacker News is that the Underworld series can recognize its own silliness and enjoy it. The other difference, of course, would be the beautiful woman in skintight black leather shooting the ever-living fuck out of some werewolves. I think it's obvious Hacker News would be better if it had that element.

Although there are definitely merits to Y Combinator's request, the most obvious implementation of the request would be to travel backwards in time and invest in YouTube and Netflix. Since that implementation requires the existence of such phenomenal tech it would make any VC wet their pants, let's look into less naive implementations. To do that, unfortunately, we have to look at the request in detail, and the devil is in the details.

Paul Graham starts out with a bold and unexplained assertion:

Hollywood appears to have peaked.

Considering that Hollywood nearly single-handedly destroyed the Internet, this is kind of like saying Darth Vader has peaked. You could get away with saying that if you just blew up the Death Star, and I imagine a lot of people felt that way after defeating SOPA, but the question is whether SOPA was in fact the Death Star. I don't think so. I think their Death Star is Chris Dodd, who boldly threatened to stop giving Congresspeople money if they continued failing to pass the laws he demanded and, apparently, paid for:

Those who count on quote 'Hollywood' for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who's going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don't ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don't pay any attention to me when my job is at stake

Chris Dodd is one hell of a Death Star. He survived numerous ethics committee investigations while in Congress, swore never to become a lobbyist after leaving office, but became a very well-paid lobbyist for the MPAA immediately after leaving office, and boasts a history of corruption and graft which is almost legendary, and which also appears to be family tradition. His father Thomas Dodd was one of the only Senators in the 20th Century to be censured and removed from office, and that happened because of ethics violations.

I think that Death Star is still locked and fucking loaded. Despite the naked corruption in Dodd's statement, Federal law enforcement agencies are not going after him for bribery, or racketeering, or money laundering -- despite filing charges of bribery and money laundering against the file-sharing web site Megaupload:

The Justice Department's tactics, including accusing a file-sharing website of racketeering, money laundering, in addition to copyright violations, has some U.S. legal experts asking whether the case would stand up in court. "These actions, more suitable to the type of steps that the government takes against an organized-crime enterprise dedicated to murder, theft, and racketeering, are astonishing," said Jeff Ifrah, an attorney who co-chairs the American Bar Association's criminal justice section and committee on white collar crime, via phone...

...the government's racketeering charge--typically only used for mob cases involving drugs or gambling--suggests to Ifrah that prosecutors are overreaching. "The allegations here are very similar to the allegations that were made in the YouTube case," in which Viacom accused the video-sharing site of hosting almost 160,000 unauthorized pieces of content, he said. "Certainly no one accused YouTube of having mob-like activities."

I'm not even going to go into the fucked-up-ed-ness of racketeering and money laundering charges against Megaupload when there aren't racketeering or money laundering charges for the banks following the 2008 financial crisis. I bring this up purely to point out that "Hollywood appears to have peaked" is a bolder statement than Paul Graham gave himself credit for making, a controversial idea to address in detail rather than to gloss over in passing.

He finally substantiates it a little further down:

SOPA brought it to our attention that Hollywood is dying. They must be dying if they're resorting to such tactics. If movies and TV were growing rapidly, that growth would take up all their attention. When a striker is fouled in the penalty area, he doesn't stop as long as he still has control of the ball; it's only when he's beaten that he turns to appeal to the ref. SOPA shows Hollywood is beaten.

If evidence of political corruption, racketeering, and attempts to control the marketplace through government activity reveal dying industries, then real estate is a dying industry too, as well as high finance and numerous others. Considering how pervasive political corruption is in the United States today, almost every single industry in the American economy is dying by Paul Graham's reasoning, except for those few industries which are so new that legislation does not yet exist for them. Agriculture has been dying, by this metric, for at least a hundred years.

Speaking of historical perspective, the Catholic Church experienced a period of extraordinary corruption more than five hundred years ago, during which time popes waged wars, had mistresses, and in some cases even died from sexual exhaustion in the beds of married women. Logically, if political corruption and government thuggery are hallmarks of dying institutions, the Catholic Church must be a historical relic that ceased to exist shortly after this period. However, it kept going another 500 years, and in fact still seems to be around. Not only that, it built nearly every hospital and orphanage in Europe in a period which followed after its apex of corruption. There's a good chance that when humanity colonizes Mars, there's going to be a Martian archdiocese. This is just one of countless examples of an institution which failed to collapse under the weight of its own corruption.

Graham's argument doesn't just operate in defiance of historical precedent, but also in defiance of easily obtainable facts. Studios are seeing tremendous growth today; even though American audiences are shrinking, audiences worldwide are booming. Globalization has been very, very good to Hollywood. Many movies don't even premiere in the United States any more. And as for history, the studios have always been brutally dominant, cynically exploitative, and extremely corrupt, and, despite Graham's argument, were so even during their periods of greatest growth. Why else would writers and actors have unions?

(Tangent: One of the bizarre ironies of the way geeks seem to see Hollywood is that you can frequently see the same people who disparage the studios for their abuse of capital and the political process also disparaging actors and writers for belonging to unions. I can understand the first part of this -- the idea that using power and money like a sword makes you a dickhead -- but it's an utter mystery to me how people get from there to the conclusion that carrying around a big iron shield makes you a fool. The argument seems to be that unions are bureaucratic, but guess what? Big iron shields are heavy and clunky. They still beat getting stabbed.)

Anyway, this all started with Paul Graham's first sentence, "Hollywood appears to have peaked." That is, at best, debatable. Let's look at sentence number two:

If [Hollywood] were an ordinary industry (film cameras, say, or typewriters), it could look forward to a couple decades of peaceful decline.

It's a little odd to see this only days after Kodak files for bankruptcy. Film cameras have actually seen a pretty rapid and intense decline.

Anyway, I'm not going to do any more line-by-line bullshit detection here, because it would take way too long, and because I think you have to take it with a grain of salt whenever Silicon Valley claims it's about to kill Hollywood. I first heard that in 1995 or so, in the pages of Wired magazine, and I have a feeling we'll all still be hearing it in 2025 and 2035 as well.

I lived in San Francisco during the late 90s, and during that time, I was acutely aware of a perceived rivalry between San Francisco and Los Angeles -- but when I moved to Los Angeles in 2007, I discovered that nobody in LA had ever even heard of this rivalry. An acute one-sided rivalry is not a rivalry at all; it's just a sad case of jealousy. I think Y Combinator's presence in Silicon Valley, although obviously advantageous for many other reasons, may have tainted its perception of Hollywood in the same way.

Y Combinator and Paul Graham both actually do pretty awesome things from time to time, and I think the general idea of technology transforming Hollywood, and changing its power structure, is absolutely worth thinking about. I've worked for companies in this space, and although I can't reveal any details, I can say that filmmakers and storytellers make a lot of fucking money on YouTube these days without any participation in what Paul Graham means by "Hollywood" (he appears to be referring only to studios and distributors, as opposed to creative talent or production crews). I can also say that there's plenty of creative talent which was absolutely on the right side of the fight against SOPA -- for example, actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Rosario Dawson, and screenwriter John August.

These are just randomly selected Hollywood creatives who I follow on Twitter. There are plenty more who feel the same way.

The Y Combinator announcement does contain one remaining piece of what is, I am sure, entirely accidental bullshit, which I do want to attack:

at this level, technological progress is probably predetermined...

Whatever people are going to do for fun in 20 years is probably predetermined. Winning is more a matter of discovering it than making it happen. In this respect at least, you can't push history off its course.

It's hard to understand this argument without A) believing in God and B) believing God favors Paul Graham. I'm British, so I don't discuss my religious beliefs in public, but I would like to point out that Graham does not furnish any particular reason for his faith in destiny or the chosen course of history.

I'd especially like to highlight this sentence:

Winning is more a matter of discovering [whatever people are going to do for fun in 20 years] than making it happen.

Let's see what Steve Jobs thinks about that:

This contrast is actually really easy to understand. Steve Jobs built Apple around creating cool stuff, while Paul Graham built Y Combinator around finding other people who were probably going to build cool stuff whether or not he came along. So Steve Jobs believed that winning was about making the future happen, and Paul Graham believes it's about finding the future before it happens. I'm not trying to shit all over Paul Graham here, I know people who've done well in Y Combinator startups and I wish him the best, but I think his question is just lame. He asked the startup and hacker communities what the predetermined answer to Hollywood will be; Steve Jobs would ask what future we want to create. That's just a much cooler question.

Personally, I am a programmer, an actor, and a musician. I want to write code, make music, and make movies, so the future I want to create is a future in which I do those things. In the past I've made most of my money from programming and a little bit from making videos and selling them on my blog. Although I didn't even realize it at the time, I was technically, while making a living selling videos on my blog, a working filmmaker, in the same sense that Geoffrey Grosenbach, Gary Bernhardt, and Ryan Bates are all technically working filmmakers.

I liked that. It was cool! So the immediate future I'm working to create is one where I make my living by making and selling videos about how to make music by writing code. I've built a terrific new video along these lines and am in the process of creating more. Hollywood represents no threat to me, helped me learn the skills to make this possible, and presents terrific opportunities for me in all three of these interests. The long-term future I'm working to create involves seizing those other opportunities. Hollywood's a great place to be for this.

I don't need or want Hollywood to die. As an actor, I got a part in a web series the other day; my friend who's producing and writing it hopes to sell it to Hollywood, and I hope he succeeds. I also know we can put it on YouTube and potentially see it succeed with or without Hollywood's involvement. At the same time, I'm lucky enough to know filmmakers and actors who are doing awesome things in Hollywood, and I want them to keep on doing that. There's certainly corruption and dickheadishness at the top end of Hollywood's money and power pyramids, but that wouldn't be a problem at all if we didn't have such a corrupt lawmaking process in the United States. If we're going to kill anything, let's kill the lobbying industry and replace it with a morally defensible process we don't have to be ashamed of whenever we talk to people who live in functioning democracies.

Y Combinator's anger makes sense, but their target is the wrong target, and I could have spotted the holes in their strategic analysis back when I was twelve.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Let's End Lamar Smith's Political Career

Update: Reddit is way ahead of me.

Y Combinator is right to be mad, but wrong about the target. SOPA sponsor Lamar Smith is back with an amendment to a child pornography bill (and who would object to that?) which would require ISPs to track your every move online for 18 months:

Each time you use a credit card, each time you read your bank statement, all of your IP information and your search history will be required by your ISP to be stored for 18 months at all times...

While it was legal for the government to issue a subpoena for the viewing of the information they speak about here before, it was not part of the law that internet service providers capture or retain that information at any point. In effect, while before the authorities would need to first find a reason for you to need to be watched to get the ISP to start collecting information from you, that information will already exist on file, effectively meaning you’re being watched and recorded even if you’ve done nothing wrong...

This bill needs to be stopped, and if I might go one better, Lamar Smith needs to be stopped, for the good of the internet and YOUR privacy.

Smith also attempted to expand the DMCA in 2006, again pushing for new wiretapping privileges for police. It's a question whether this guy is trying harder to destroy the Internet or the Fourth Amendment, but imagine how awesome it would be if that was just an academic question about a guy who didn't have a career in politics any more.

The bad news is he's been in office since 1987 and has won his most recent elections with crushing victories. The good news is he's a Republican, and SOPA is wildly anti-business; the other bad news is it may be tough to make that stick, because it's only obvious to the technologically literate. Fortunately, he also he has motivated, successful enemies on his home turf; his district includes parts of staunchly Democratic Austin, and that's because the Supreme Court ordered his Congressional district redrawn after the League of United Latin American Citizens won a gerrymandering lawsuit against then-governor Rick Perry. This probably also means he's extremely corrupt, but it's hard to imagine SOPA coming from anybody who wasn't extremely corrupt in the first place.

Let's all form a political action committee called the Coalition To Defend The Internet From Ignorant, Corrupt Assholes and get contributions from every millionaire in Silicon Valley so we can deep-six this guy so completely "Lamar Smith" becomes a synonym for "no career in politics ever again."

We can use a two-pronged attack; fund Lamar Smith's Republican competitors, and find ways that they can show how pro-Hollywood and anti-business SOPA was (Republicans hate Hollywood), while at the same time also funding his liberal opponents. A Democratic victory in Smith's district is unlikely, but his Democratic opponents probably hate him enough to make some noise, and I think it's extremely likely that Texas is full of younger Republicans who would love to take his place. There's got to be at least one who understands the Internet.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Clyde: Rebuilding Archaeopteryx in CoffeeScript (And Fuck Hacking Fuck Yeah Hacking)

I'm creating videos for a new business I'm launching soon, a business along the lines of PeepCode, Destroy All Software, and Railscasts Pro. This week I made one which explains the absolute basics of how to make music with Node.js.

Some time last year I made plans with Manning to put out a book on how to hack music via programming languages, but I cancelled the project because I just didn't enjoy the traditional publishing process. I'm creating videos instead now. The first is in post-production; I'm adding a bunch of animation and simple effects to make it very, very easy to understand, and also easy to follow whether you're on an iPad, an iPhone, a computer, or an Apple TV (or similar). The next videos in this series will be a video on how to write a drum machine using well-tested CoffeeScript, and another which explains how to imbue your drum machine with probability matrix intelligence. I'll be rebuilding Archaeopteryx in CoffeeScript.

I'm calling my Archaeopteryx clone Clyde, after the great drummer Clyde Stubblefield -- known worldwide to fans of funk and hip-hop as the "Funky Drummer" from James Brown's track of the same name, believed to be the world's most sampled record -- because Archaeopteryx turned out to be a really complicated name for most people to pronounce. Clyde is a much easier name to remember.

Some people also found the code in Archaeopteryx confusing. This is because I built it without tests, to my eternal shame, and also because I didn't really understand what I needed the code to do until I had built it. I'm happy to say that so far, the code for Clyde is more succinct, and much easier to understand, than the code for the original Archaeopteryx. This is partly because of the excellent open source ecology around CoffeeScript and JavaScript, including some terrific TDD/BDD options.

After the rebuild is complete, I'll follow up with a video (or short series) where I build a Backbone application around the code. It won't be a web page which autogenerates sound. Instead, this application will combine Backbone's excellent, simple MVC with Clyde's breakbeat-generating engine to output original sheet music. I actually got the idea for this one because I'm learning the drums and I needed more varied breakbeats to practice with; this solves that problem, and also gives me a good way to teach how to use Backbone.

It's important to have complex examples, I think, because as I build this stuff, my videos are going to explain serious techniques that anybody who works with these technologies will need to master -- things like package management, TDD, and namespacing. The goal here is not just entertainment. The goal is to enhance education by making it more fun.

Studies have found that the Daily Show incorporates more information than "real" news shows, and that people who watch it end up better informed than watchers of "real" news shows.

My personal theory is that this happens because people learn more effectively when they're having fun. If you're familiar with Kathy Sierra's Head First series of books, you know there's a lot of research out there which validates this.

Because of this, I have some plans for later videos which will turn out utterly amazing if they work, but for now I'm hard at work creating more videos, so stay tuned.

Also, a note about the name.

I had planned to call my new business Fuck Yeah Hacking, but on Twitter, LA Rubyist Judson Lester pointed out that this is very similar to Zed Shaw's Programming, Motherfucker. In fact, it's too similar. People have already asked me once or twice if I was just a pseudonym for Zed Shaw, or vice versa. We are in fact different people.

I hadn't intended it like this, but "Fuck Yeah Hacking" was actually a pretty derivative name. The attitude rips off Zed, and the naming convention comes from Tumblr, where there are a staggering number of fuckyeah[whatever].tumblr.com tumblogs, including fuck yeah wolves, fuck yeah alexis krauss, and fuck yeah bowties. It's basically an entire genre. That makes Fuck Yeah Hacking doubly derivative, and that's just weak.

So it's gone.

Here's an ad for the first video, which deconstructs an excellent CSS3 animation. It's still got "Fuck Yeah Hacking" in the name, but I'm too busy to fix it right now.

This one's good, but the next one's going to be awesome.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

Coming Soon: Fuck Yeah Hacking (.com)

Fuck Yeah Hacking (.com) is my new business. Just like in 2010, I'll be making videos and selling them, but this time around they're going to be mostly technical content. I say mostly because I think I'm going to throw in some videos on how to make music with open source software and/or your iPad, just to keep things interesting.

I have the Twitter account, the Gmail address, and the domain, but the site itself isn't set up yet. I've finished the first video; it's going to be a bit raw, but I'm happy with the content, and the next one should be amazeballs. Because the site isn't ready yet, you can't actually buy the video, but I'll release it soon, and in the meantime, you can check out an ad/trailer for it right here:

If you're wondering, the video's coy about the naughty words because YouTube sometimes makes you log in to view "potentially offensive" content. No point making people log in just to watch my ad.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

How To Set An Alarm Clock

It's lunchtime, and I want to get up at 6am tomorrow. The obvious way to handle this is to set my alarm for 6am, but the smart way is to set it for 9pm, and remember that when the alarm rings, it's time to wind things down and get ready to go to sleep.

Bassnectar Explains: What Is Dubstep?

via create digital music

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Japan Wins At Being Awesome, Again

In case you were somehow wondering why successful research into quantum levitation might be awesome, Japanese quantum levitation researchers have put together a demo based on the 90s video game Wipeout.

Here is a short footage on our recent work on quantum levitation. We were inspired by the game Wipe'out to do our work. With this new technology, we hope to revolutionize the world of motor transport; Maybe in a near future we could assist to a real Wipe'out race.

There is no evidence, however, that Baby has yet got an atom bomb.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Request: Australian Ruby Conference, November

It will enable me to save a lot on my taxes if I also go to the Eclipse festival in north Queensland to watch the total eclipse of the sun (which no doubt heralds Mayan doom).

I'll be checking Lanyrd.

A Simple Defense Of Vertu

BoingBoing and Daring Fireball both have been making fun of Vertu recently. Vertu's a company which sells horrible crappy phones at incredible prices, often by encrusting them with diamonds. I first became aware of Vertu a while before this, through The Robb Report, a magazine for the ultra-rich.

I read it not because I'm in the market for a new yacht, but because a great writer on entrepreneurialism recommends subscribing to it so you can get used to the sheer incredible amount of money that you can charge very wealthy people for very simple things. In related news, I was just in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for the holidays, where you can easily find a set of kitchen knives with inlaid turquoise for over $2,000 -- despite the fact that they cost the store $250 at the absolute most.

Vertu's products are utter crap, and only a stupid person, a person with terrible taste and no concern for money at all, or a person in a ridiculous hurry would ever buy them -- but I can't criticize their business model. Their business model is simple: charge the highest price possible. I wouldn't buy any of their products if I was richer than Warren Buffet, but I can still see that their business operates on a very sound fundamental principle.

At Daring Fireball, John Gruber invokes a Warhol quote as the best explanation of why Vertu's ridiculous:

What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it.

He's absolutely right, but that's no reason not to charge people as much money as they're willing to pay. If you go to the store to buy something, and the money you're paying with is money you got in a silly manner, they don't tell you to come back when you have some less ridiculous money. They just give you what you're buying and tell you to have a nice day. And if some idiot wants to pay you $100 for a $1 Coke, even though they know about the $1 Coke, go ahead and let them. It's their choice.

If You Don't Dig My Non-Tech Content...

...then take heart. I've got a new domain for tech content only. I'm still working out my plan, but I believe I'll probably cross-post tech posts to both that new domain (once it's set up) and this site, so that people who want to read it all can read it all, and people who only want to read the tech stuff can only read the tech stuff. I may do this with my music content too.

Chris Hedges: "Brace Yourself. The American Empire Is Over & The Descent Is Going To Be Horrifying"

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Little Hacked-Together Music Sketch

The other night I set up two new synthesizers in what is becoming my tiny home studio. One new synth was actually a used synth, specifically a late 90s Access Virus (original series), while the other was genuinely new, a Moog Slim Phatty. I wanted to make some music with both but my recording setup wasn't ready yet, so I resorted to GarageBand on the iPad via an Alesis I/O Dock.

I started out with this beat, which I did a few weeks ago in Reason. It's actually using a riff based on "Keep You," by Class Actress; I really like this song and am planning to do a bona fide, licensed cover version soon, for which the Reason beat was an experimental sketch. Anyway, I replaced the Reason synths with hardware synths in this version. I think the Reason version actually sounds better, but that's no big shock really, because the goal of the hardware-enhanced version was just to do a proof of concept.

Here's how I did it.

I'm planning serious studio upgrades, but I'm also planning to launch some new video products (to say the least), so all things in due time, etc.