100SILEX, de 0 ŕ 100 s: otherwise
1132 Mammoth Modular Synthesizer At MIT Museum
Just got an update from Joe Paradiso on his homebuilt mammoth analog modular synthesizer. He’s installed it in the MIT Museum and has completed a fairly epic patch which you can listen to (24 hours a day!) here. Joe will be at the museum this Thursday and Friday (2/23 and 2/24) at 1pm, demoing the synth to visitors, so be sure to stop by if you’re in the neighborhood. Here’s some info from Joe on the construction and inspiration for the latest patch. The second patch I made at the MIT Museum is totally done now, and you can hear it live on the stream. Listen to it at http://synth.media.mit.edu, and let me know what you think if you’re inclined – it’s running in physical space in Quad, of course – stereo on the stream. Note that this one has absolutely NO sequencer of any sort on it – all of the patterns you hear were made entirely from hand-patched logic (counters, ands, ors, flip flops, ring counters, rate multipliers, etc.). It’s an entirely different kind of composition environment from the norm – you really need to simultaneously be an engineer while being an artist and something of a performer. The inspiration for this patch started with the Boredoms – if you don’t know who they are, you should (http://www.boredoms.jp/). In particular, I was thinking of SuperRoots 9. The beauty of the patching interface is that you can never exactly nail what you start out to attain, but on the other hand, you get drawn into places you wouldn’t have normally gone once you start. The 3 drummers that Yamantaka Eye performs with lay down a compelling rhythm that my hand-patched logic and analog processing can’t match, of course. But this patch definitely has a strange jumpy groove once it gets into gear, and the 2-chord pad is archetypical too. Yes, Boredoms rule today! BTW, this patch took every cord I had, plus a good 30 more wires just shoved into the pin jacks – check out the photos here and here – the latter shows the kind of logic section patching complexity you need to build a sonic environment like this one. I’m ripping this baby out next Thursday, as I’ll be at the museum next Thursday and Friday (2/23 and 2/24) at 1pm to demonstrate the synthesizer to visitors – doing some very simple patches and showing off what the modules do in case anybody is interested in this. It will run continuously until then. Otherwise, enjoy the stream – there are moments of introspective drift in-between wild percussion (yes, Boredoms!). I might pull the percussion line back so it doesn’t come so often or regularly, but it’s essentially a wrap.
http://synth.media.mit.edu/

719 Facebook owns us — Copy me happy
Facebook has become the event planning system. It’s the place where you have all your friends (and other people) somewhat sorted and organized. All in all, it’s the organized system in the chaos that is otherwise known as the internets. This is leading Facebook towards a virtual monopoly. There are lots of issues with monopolies, but one of the more interesting ones when it comes to Facebook is the impact is has on our social lives, online as well as offline.
http://blog.brokep.com/2010/04/24/facebook-owns-us/

706 Geometry, Surfaces, Curves, Polyhedra
POV-Ray: A Tool for Creating Engaging Visualisation of Geometry Various notes on polygons and meshes Includes Surface (polygon) simplification, Clipping a polygonal facet with an arbitrary plane, Surface Relaxation and Smoothing of polygonal data, Mesh crumpling, splitting polygons, two sided facets, polygon types. Philosophy is written in this grand book - I mean universe - which stands continuously open to our gaze, but which cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language in which it is written. It is written in the language of mathematics, and its characters are triangles, circles and other geometric figures, without which it is humanly impossible to understand a single word of it; without these, one is wandering about in a dark labyrinth. Galileo (1623) Distance between a point, a line and a plane The intersection of a line with another line (2D) The closest line between two lines (3D) The intersection of a line with a plane Mathematics describing a plane The intersection of two planes The intersection of three planes Polygon area and centroid calculation Inside / outside polygon test Reflection of a ray Direction Cosines Eulers number and closed surfaces Determining whether a line segment intersects a facet Coordinate transformations on the plane (2D) Cartesian, Cylindrical, and Spherical Euler angles and coordinate transformations Converting between left and right coordinate systems Clipping a line with a polygon Clockwise test for polygons in 2D Test for concave/convex polygon in 2D Area of (planar) polygons in 3D Spheres, equations and terminology The intersection of a line and a sphere (or a circle) Equation of the circle through 3 points Equation of the sphere through 4 points Intersecting area of circles on a plane Rotation of a point about an arbitrary axis Creating a plane/disk perpendicular to a line segment Intersection of two circles on the plane Circumference of an ellipse Intersection of two spheres Distributing Points on a Sphere Quadric equations in x and y of degree 2 Fowler angles: Comparing angles without trigonometry Contouring Algorithm Description of an efficient contouring algorithm as it appeared in Byte magazine. (Byte Magazine, 1987) and a more general approach for arbitrary contour planes and polygonal meshes. Spherical projections Methods for mapping points on a spherical surface onto a plane, stereographic and cylindrical (including Mercator) projections. Includes Aitoff map projection: Conversion to/from longitude/latitude (spherical map) Projection types Classification of projections from 3D to 2D and specific examples of oblique projections. A triangle was an improvement to the square wheel. It eliminated one bump. BC comics Planar (stretching) distortion in the plane Including Anamorphic projections and Mappings in the Complex Plane (Otherwise known as Conformal maps) Polygonising a scalar field Otherwise known as marching cubes and marching tetrahedrons. HyperSpace (Historic) A Macintosh 4 dimensional geometry viewer and manual.
http://local.wasp.uwa.edu.au/~pbourke/geometry/

616 Alphabet Soup modular synth
The STS Serge Modular can be a daunting system at first blush, especially for those who come from an "East Coast" modular synth background. My first synthesizers were Moog analogs and my first Analog Modular Synth was an Arrick "Dotcom" system - so I started out with East Coast paradigms that I had to "unlearn" in order to use my Serge Modular to the fullest. For those of you coming from a similar background or those just discovering the Serge Modular for the first time, these "Alphabet Soup" pages are dedicated to you! The Serge Modular is intuitive and fun to use - especially when you realize the main difference between a Serge Modular and most others has to do with the size of the building blocks, where a Moog or similar modular will have monolithic building blocks like ADSRs and Oscillators, the Serge can be more "low-level" in that you can build ADSRs and oscillators from Serge modules or, more properly, Function Blocks. These Function Blocks usually come bearing arcane names that have been shortened to an "Alphabet Soup" conglomeration of acronyms. In this series of articles, I'll be talking about some of the ways to approach these Function Blocks to create much more useful, surprising, complex or just simply fun synthesis features. The first function block we're going to look at is the "DSG", otherwise known as the Dual Universal Slope Generator. This mild-mannered module is in some ways the most powerful one in the entire Serge catalog because it can become so many different things depending on where you place the patch cords...as you'll soon see.
http://www.carbon111.com/alphabet1.html

484 Why did so many successful entrepreneurs and startups come out of PayPal? Answered by Insiders
Why did so many successful entrepreneurs and startups come out of PayPal? I long have been fascinated by the extraordinary achievement from the ex-Paypal team and wonder about the reasons behind their success. In the past, mass media tried to answer this question several times but still couldn’t give us a clear answer. I once asked David Sacks the same question during an event in Los Angeles. He told me the secret is that Paypal has built a “scrappy” culture. No matter what problems they faced, they would find a way to solve them. I kind of got the idea, but was still confused about the execution details. So when I saw some of the past Paypal employees answering this question on Quora, I was super excited! After all, they should be the only ones who can tell people the inside stories. Below are some highlights of their answers. *If you want to check out the sources or leave your comments, please go to here and here. On Talent Management “Peter and Max assembled an unusual critical mass of entrepreneurial talent, primarily due to their ability to recognize young people with extraordinary ability (the median age of *execs* on the S1 filing was 30). But the poor economy allowed us to close an abnormal number of offers, as virtually nobody other than eBay and (in part) google was hiring in 2000-02.” (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal) “Extreme Focus (driven by Peter): Peter required that everyone be tasked with exactly one priority. He would refuse to discuss virtually anything else with you except what was currently assigned as your #1 initiative. Even our annual review forms in 2001 required each employee to identify their single most valuable contribution to the company.” (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal) “Dedication to individual accomplishment: Teams were almost considered socialist institutions. Most great innovations at PayPal were driven by one person who then conscripted others to support, adopt, implement the new idea. If you identified the 8-12 most critical innovations at PayPal (or perhaps even the most important 25), almost every one had a single person inspire it (and often it drive it to implementation). As a result, David enforced an anti-meeting culture where any meeting that included more than 3-4 people was deemed suspect and subject to immediate adjournment if he gauged it inefficient. Our annual review forms in 2002 included a direction to rate the employee on “avoids imposing on others’ time, e.g. scheduling unnecessary meetings.” (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal) “Refusal to accept constraints, external or internal:We were expected to pursue our #1 priority with extreme dispatch (NOW) and vigor. To borrow an apt phrase, employees were expected to “come to work every day willing to be fired, to circumvent any order aimed at stopping your dream.” Jeremy Stoppelman has relayed elsewhere the story about an email he sent around criticizing management that he expected to get him fired and instead got him promoted. Peter did not accept no for answer: If you couldn’t solve the problem, someone else would be soon assigned to do it.” (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal) “Driven problem solvers: PayPal had a strong bias toward hiring (and promoting / encouraging, as Keith mentions) smart, driven problem solvers, rather than subject matter experts. Very few of the top performers at the company had any prior experience with payments, and many of the best employees had little or no prior background building Internet products. I worked on the fraud analytics team at PayPal, and most of our best people had never before done anything related to fraud detection. If he’d approached things “traditionally”, Max would have gone out and hired people who had been building logistic regression models for banks for 20 years but never innovated, and fraud losses would likely have swallowed the company.” (by Mike Greenfield, former Sr. Fraud R&D Scientist of Paypal) “Self-sufficiency – individuals and small teams were given fairly complex objectives and expected to figure out how to achieve them on their own. If you needed to integrate with an outside vendor, you picked up the phone yourself and called; you didn’t wait for a BD person to become available. You did (the first version of) mockups and wireframes yourself; you didn’t wait for a designer to become available. You wrote (the first draft of) site copy yourself; you didn’t wait for a content writer.” (by Yee Lee, former Product & BU GM of Paypal) On Culture & Ideology “Extreme bias towards action – early PayPal was simply a really *productive* workplace. This was partly driven by the culture of self-sufficiency. PayPal is and was, after all, a web service; and the company managed to ship prodigious amounts of relatively high-quality web software for a lot of years in a row early on. Yes, we had the usual politics between functional groups, but either individual heroes or small, high-trust teams more often than not found ways to deliver projects on-time.” (by Yee Lee, former Product & BU GM of Paypal) “Willingness to try – even in a data-driven culture, you’ll always run in to folks who either don’t believe you have collected the right supporting data for a given decision or who just aren’t comfortable when data contradicts their gut feeling. In many companies, those individuals would be the death of decision-making. At PayPal, I felt like you could almost always get someone to give it a *try* and then let performance data tell us whether to maintain the decision or rollback.” (by Yee Lee, former Product & BU GM of Paypal) “Data-driven decision making – PayPal was filled with smart, opinionated people who were often at logger-heads. The way to win arguments was to bring data to bear. So you never started a sentence like this “I feel like it’s a problem that our users can’t do X”, instead you’d do your homework first and then come to the table with “35% of our [insert some key metric here] are caused by the lack of X functionality…” (by Yee Lee, former Product & BU GM of Paypal) “Radical transparency on metrics: All employees were expected to be facile with the metrics driving the business. Otherwise, how could one expect each employee to make rational calculations and decisions on their own every day? To enforce this norm, almost every all-hands meeting consisted of distributing a printed Excel spreadsheet to the assembled masses and Peter conducting a line by line review of our performance (this is only a modest exaggeration).” (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal) “Vigorous debate, often via email: Almost every important issue had champions and critics. These were normally resolved not by official edict but by a vigorous debate that could be very intense. Being able to articulate and defend a strategy or product in a succinct, compelling manner with empirical analysis and withstand a withering critique was a key attribute of almost every key contributor. I still recall the trepidation I confronted when I was informed that I needed to defend the feasibility of my favorite “baby” to Max for the first time.” (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal) “Extreme Pressure – PayPal was a very difficult business with many major issues to solve. We were able to see our colleagues work under extreme pressure and hence we learned who we could rely on and trust.” (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)
http://primitus.com/blog/why-did-so-many-successful-entrepreneurs-and-startups-come-out-of-paypal-answered-by-insiders/

448 HTML Ampersand Character Codes
These are character sequences that may appear in HTML documents; they represent sometimes useful symbols that are not part of the standard ASCII set or that would be difficult or impossible to type otherwise (e.g. the less-than sign, which would always be mistaken for the beginning of an HTML tag). Case is signinficant. The content of this table has been throughly tested. If the character that appears in the first column does not fit the description in the third column, your browser has a screw loose.
http://rabbit.eng.miami.edu/info/htmlchars.html

428 Alain Neffe and the Home-Taped Electronic Music Revolution
Alain Neffe launched his first tape label at home in Belgium in 1981. He called it Insane Music Contact and his first installment was called Insane Music for Insane People. Thus began a nearly thirty year foray into home-made, visionary and utterly unfashionable electronic music that has hardly made anyone involved a household name. Insane Music released 55 titles in its most prolific years (1981-87). Five of these were vinyl records and the rest were cassettes tapes. Why cassettes tapes? Magnetic tape was the obvious solution to the problem facing many artists working without record contracts in those days. Cassettes could be recorded at home, produced at home, dubbed at home, and sold or traded by mail. No need for tasteless outside producers and marketing mojo—one needed only leave home to buy more tapes. Says Neffe, “I could copy the tapes on demand. Releasing an LP required that you print 500 copies and 1000 copies of the cover sleeve, and everything had to be paid up front … if the buyer didn’t like the music, he or she could wipe it out and record something else on it.” Mr. Neffe was not the only one out there recording, selling and trading tapes by mail. On both sides of the Atlantic, home cassette technology was permitting the release of much groundbreaking and breathlessly beautiful work, as well as some noxious and otherwise self-indulgent wanking—that coat of many colors we call the DIY (do-it-yourself) Revolution. As early as 1974, Albrecht/d. self-released a cassette entitled Amsterdam Op De Dam in Germany. In 1976, Throbbing Gristle was distributing tapes of their infamous live recordings, and in 1977, the French electro-industrial unit Die Form began releasing tapes on their own Bain Total label. 1980 saw the release of two monumental self-released cassettes, The Storm Bugs’ A Safe Substitute and Colin Potter’s The Ghost Office. In Japan, 1980 saw the release of Merzbow’s first two cassettes, Remblandt Assemblage and Fuckexercise. And in the USA, 1981 saw John Bender’s Plaster: The Prototypes, a laconic and mysterious series of tone and vocal poems. Home taping was not limited to electronic music. R. Stevie Moore, one of the elder living ancestors of the lo-fi rock aesthetic, began releasing distributing home-made tapes via the R. Stevie Moore Cassette Club sometime in the 1970s. And tapes of live punk shows from the era continue to trade hands. Soon, cassettes were coming from everywhere: mysterious PO boxes in the Midwest, to which you sent a blank tape and three dollars and received the tape back with something on it. The Tellus Audio Cassette Magazine was a Fluxus-inspired subscription audio-journal dedicated to music as well as poetry and drama and other forms of audio-art. Zines like Factsheet Five and Unsound devoted entire columns to the material they received from bands on home-made cassette, and demo tapes began leaking to radio stations prior to official record release dates. It was a grassroots movement that marched in association with the self-publication of zines, comics, chapbooks, and other media. The medium had begun to become the message. Insane Music for Insane People (which eventually reached 25 volumes) was a series compiling all home-made electronic music made by artists from across the globe. By including in the liner notes the contact address for each artist featured, Neffe helped pioneer a snail-mail network for those interested in more of what they heard. Artists from all over Europe and the USA, from Japan, New Zealand, and beyond contributed over the years. One could send a few dollars to Insane Music Contact, receive tapes in the mail, write to artists involved and receive more cassettes. Insane Music Contact (now known as Insane Music) has always been a vehicle for Mr. Neffe’s own electronic music projects as well, many of which are periodically active to this day. Though he now makes liberal use of the CD format, Neffe’s artistic approach remains undiluted by years of underexposure. He expects very little acknowledgment of or remuneration for his efforts, which, for him, are emotional articulation, continued experimentation, and purity. It seems nothing but nothing could possibly catapult such heavily uncommercial sounds into the public consciousness–not even this thirty-year retrospective box-set entitled The Insane Box released (ironically, on vinyl) by the venerable Frank Maier of Vinyl-on-Demand Records, an outfit devoted to preserving the precious gems of cassette culture before the evidence disintegrates. For this retrospective (4 LPs + a 7” 45), Mr. Neffe has reached into dusty attic boxes, wherein lay unreleased (or hardly available) material by five projects of which he has been a part: BeNe GeSSeRiT, Human Flesh, Pseudo Code, I Scream and Subject. Each has a unique cerebral orientation and emotional vibe made possible by the combined efforts of invited guests; each runs the high fever of a man very much committed to a personal vision of artistic purity without virtuosity, and each is distinctly French. BeNe GeSSeRiT was not the first of Mr. Neffe’s projects to be recorded and distributed, but is, to my understanding, the genesis of his approach to music as “texts” or “photographs”, or as he puts it, “potlatch music”. On these early tracks we also detect a burgeoning interest in the endless expressive properties of the human voice, both explicitly human and as heavily-treated sound sculpture, both French and English At times, voices shout like besotted Celine parlor workers at each other from tenement windows; at other times a high-pitched female voice wails up and down like Catherine Ribeiro alone in her bathroom. In these tracks, one can also detect the half-digested influence of electro-rock luminaries Silver Apples, the avant-lashings a la Yoko Ono, and occasionally the thunder-beat of early Laibach. Primitive Casio electronics, stage whispers, delay echoes, tape loops, and a certain absurdist humor redolent of Erik Satie, neither dampen the fabric with melodrama, nor detract from the integrity of the grist, nor from the topical seriousness of the text’s subjects. BeNe GeSSeRiT is difficult music, even in the moments that risk elegy, yet it is still more accessible than some of the other Francophone avant-dada outfits of the day, such as DDAA and Étant Donnés, or Nurse with Wound in the UK. Human Flesh is decidedly more structurally cohesive and song-oriented than BeNe GeSSeRiT, and its predecessors and influences are less clear. Still there is a clear interest in the human voice, its textures and timbers when removed of sign value by backwards-masking, and the new textures that emerge when disassembled and reassembled. Even rock-oriented at times, Human Flesh chases a more delirious climax, for the hounds of the carnival are snapping at their heels as they run. This is also a project of varied angles and pursuits, sliding as it does into poetic electro-pop (the supple and Chicago-accented voice of the late Lydia Tomkiw, of Algebra Suicide, appears on two tracks), and moments of Half Japanese-style primitivism. The side-long track “Langsam” is more reminiscent of Piper-era Pink Floyd and Brainticket, as well as other Krautrock, yet is still distinctly French. These early and rare tracks are, in contrast to the more ambitious Pseudo Code and the more intimate recordings by I Scream, more oblique for being a mix-down of materials sent to Neffe from artists around the globe. The track “Sons of God?” is also notable for what is perhaps the first recorded sample of the American fire-and-brimstone preacher Ferrell Griswold, whose voice has appeared in music by Front 242, Phallus Dei, Pragha Khan, et cetera. The cassette medium, for all its benefits to individual artistic expression and culture, is for the selfsame reasons impermanent. Magnetic tape has a thirty year lifespan if properly archived, which means both that preserving their contents in other formats is important, and that paying hundreds of dollars for the original artifacts is a questionable collectors’ pursuit (nevertheless, you can watch it happen daily). With the advent of the mp3 and the efforts of Vinyl-on-Demand and other labels, Insane Music’s CD-r reissue program included, some of this exquisite material has been rescued from oblivion.
http://www.timesquotidian.com/2010/05/28/alain-neffe-and-the-home-taped-electronic-music-revolution/

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