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1522 5 Simple steps to secure TT-RSS reader
secure tt-rss, tt-rss security
5 Simple steps to secure TT-RSS reader
July 27, 2015 by Anand Leave a Comment
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We recently presented Tiny Tiny RSS to you as a great alternative to Google reader, which is one more way you can extend the functionality of your home server or your hosting space. Hopefully, you already exported your data from Google Reader. In this post, we will show you how to secure TT-RSS reader to prevent unauthorized access. Tiny Tiny RSS is an open source web-based news feed (RSS/Atom) reader and aggregator, designed to allow you to read news from any location, while feeling as close to a real desktop application as possible. As we previously explained, it makes an ideal candidate to replace Google Reader. While there are services like Feedly and Newsblur grabbing the crowd Google Reader, which some of you may prefer, there are a group of people who would like to run a RSS reader on their own server and keep things private. Assuming that you have already installed Tiny Tiny RSS on your alternative to Google reader or hosting space, we will now show you how to secure TT-RSS reader.
Secure TT-RSS Reader
One of the main reasons to move to an RSS aggregator like TT-RSS is maintaining your privacy. So if you do not secure TT-RSS reader well you are not only making your data available public but also making your system vulnerable to potential attacks. Choosing a strong username and password while setting your TT-RSS is the first basic thing that you can do to secure TT-RSS reader. Listed below are few more ways you can increase TT-RSS readerâs security.
1. Rename TT-RSS Folder
One of the first lines of defense is to not use tt-rss in your URL to access your TT-RSS reader. To do this on your hosting account, use a folder name other than tt-rss while installing TT-RSS. On your Linux home server, edit /etc/tt-rss/apache.conf and change the first /tt-rss to something else. An example is shown below.
TT-RSS Rename URL
TT-RSS Rename URL
After making the change, restart your TT-RSS and Apache to apply the changes:
sudo service tt-rss restart
sudo serivce apache2 reload
Your TT-RSS reader is now available through the new URL (example: http://mydomain.com/myreader) only.
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2. Enable SSL
Accessing TT-RSS through http sends all information as unencrypted data. This could mean less privacy due to potential sniffing. The solution is to encrypt the data during transfer, which makes sniffing by hackers harder. To enable and enforce HTTPS access on Linux servers with Apache, install the following run-time libraries:
sudo apt-get install libssl0.9.8 libpam0g openssl
Restart your Apache server as shown above. You should now be able to access your TT-RSS reader with HTTPS. Note that you may have to have a SSL certificate generated. Refer to Apache documentation if you want to generate your own certificate. By default, the system will install self-signed certificates for you. These certificates are likely to raise warnings when you point your browser to the site.
3. Disable Single User Mode
By default the single user mode is already disabled (in /etc/tt-rss/config.php). Enabling single user mode will also disable TT-RSS login system. Therefore, keep the single user mode disabled.
Disable Single User Mode
Disable Single User Mode
A better way to make it a single user system is by limiting the number of registrations to 1 as described below. For whatever reason, you still want to enable single user mode, make sure you implement Apache Authentication method described below.
4. Self Registrations
Self registrations allow a visitor to register themselves, which could reduce TT-RSS security. If your TT-RSS will be for personal use only, then you may want to disable user registration by setting âENABLE_REGISTRATIONâ to âfalseâ.
TT-RSS Self Registrations
TT-RSS Self Registrations
To further secure TT-RSS Reader, uou may also want to change âREG_MAX_USERSâ to â1â to make your account the only account on TT-RSS.
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5. Apache Authentication
Last but not the least, enable Authentication. This is even more important if you have enabled âSingle User Modeâ describe above. Every time you access TT-RSS, you will be asked for a username and password as shown in the picture below:
Secure TT-RSS Reader
On your hosting account this equivalent to password protecting a directory, in this case the TT-RSS directory. To do this on your Ubuntu server, you will have to create a .htpasswd file. More information is available in Apache documentation. But the easiest way to achieve this is to use one of the htpasswd generators available online.
After you enter the username and password two code blocks will be generated. Copy the contents of the .htpasswd code block and save it to /etc/apache2/.htpasswd_ttrss. Next, copy the contents of the .htaccess code block and add it to /etc/tt-rss/apache.conf as shown below:
TT-RSS Apache Authentication
TT-RSS Apache Authentication
Save and exit. Restart both TT-RSS and Apache previous shown above. You should be prompted for a password every time you try to access TT-RSS. Some may think that this double authentication method is an extra inconvenience. But I would rather be safe than sorry.
Go ahead, secure Tiny Tiny RSS Reader and enjoy reading articles on your private secure RSS Reader.
1517 THE MUTANT MACHINE Dynamic Analog Percussion Engine
MICROCONTROLLER FREE ANALOG PERCUSSION SYNTHESIS
unique Inverter Core oscillators form the MEMBRANE. Each analog oscillator has three waveforms to select from
capable of synthesizing everything from heavy-hitting bassdrums to classic 909-style snares and other complex timbres
modular design gives the Machine many auxiliary purposes, great for modular sound design of many varieties, and not just percussion
the SNAPPY section is comprised of a voltage controlled noise oscillator, for modelling the noisy part of drum timbres
both MEMBRANE and SNAPPY elements have an external input for replacing the built-in sound sources, opening up many avenues of possibility
13 control voltage and audio inputs, for a fully modular drum experience
7 audio and CV/gate outputs for maximum integration with other modules
dedicated outputs for each WAVE and NOISE oscillator mean you can use the Machine as a complex VCO in your system, when not synthesizing percussion
WAVEFORM SCANNING FEATURE GENERATES COMPLEX TIMBRES
the MEMBRANEâs waveforms can be scanned through automatically by the wavescannerâs voltage controlled clock generator, or an external clock or VCO can be used
SCAN FREQ CV forms a unique form of timbre control, making the Machine act like a complex oscillator at its WAVES output
the ENABLE input allows you to gate the wavescanner on and off with a CV or gate signal
ARCHITECTURE OF THE MACHINE
The Mutant Machine is a dynamic analog instrument capable of generating a wide palette of sounds, ranging from various forms of analog percussion to complex drones and oscillations. To achieve this, the Machine features two synthesis sections which are summed together at the final output: MEMBRANE and SNAPPY. Like the other Mutant Drums, the MEMBRANE and SNAPPY circuits began their mutation as classic analog percussion techniques and have been reimagined for 21st century modular synthesis.
The MEMBRANE forms the main body of the sound by way of two analog VCOs, and the SNAPPY section further adds to the timbre by contributing noisy elements to the mix. A noisy CLICK which occurs at the beginning of the SNAPPY sound can have its volume adjusted independent of the main decaying SNAPPY texture.
The waveforms which make up the MEMBRANE can be selected manually by button press, or the WAVESCANNER can be used to automatically scan through the available analog waveforms. By modulating the frequency through which waves are scanned, unique, complex sounds are created.
Experimentation is encouraged by the many modulation inputs and outputs available to you. The Machine features 8 CV and gate inputs for modulation as well as two external audio inputs, for bringing other modules into the Machineâs core. There are many audio outputs for maximum versatility, allowing you to use the Machine to create drones and alien timbres for use elsewhere in the modular analog system.
1386 Retro Synth Ads: Sound Master Memory Rhythm SR-88, Keyboard 1982
Sound Master Memory Rhythm SR-88 drum machine 1-page advertisement from page 67 in Keyboard Magazine August 1982.
Hmmm. Not sure how I feel about this ad. There just seems to be a lot going on.
For example, am I supposed to know who "The Rhythm Section" is? The fact that they include themselves in an already long ad title suggests they must be some kind of a big deal. And then you find their name again in the bottom left-hand corner:
"The SR-88. Another innovative product from The Rhythm Section by Sound Master Distributed exclusively by JTG of Nashville."
So, let me get this straight. JTG of Nashville is the distributor of the SR-88 which was created by The Rhythm Section which is somehow owned or operated by Sound Master.
That is waaaaay to much information. Sounds like something political is going on there, and readers unfortunately get stuck in the middle of it.
There also seems to be a lot of ad-copy which actually doesn t give me much information. Reason #4 gives readers the most info including instant stop/start, variable tone and output switches, and a write/play mode indicator. The most I glean out of the four other reasons put together is: 16 rhythms, clock pulse and a price of under $200.
The actual specs that are probably most important to potential buyers are inexplicably shoved into the bottom right-hand corner.
Luckily for me, there are a few resources on the Web with more information about this beast. Unluckily for blog readers, as soon as I started looking for more info, I got swept up in a certain SR-88/Boss DR-55 controversy.
Comparing the SR-88 and Boss DR-55
One of the first Web sites I hit while looking for info on the SR-88 was Dubsounds.com. The site includes a great little write-up on the SR-88, but, more interesting was finding out about a little controversy about whether the SR-88 or the very similar Boss DR-55 came out first.
The two do seem mighty similar in functionality. For comparison purposes, I did a quick search on MATRIXSYNTH to find more photos. . A great photo of a gray SR-88 can be found in this December 2005 SR-88 MATRIXSYNTH auction post and the less common, but definitely more cool, blue SR-88 can be seen in this January 2011 MATRIXSYNTH auction post.
Comparing the two to the Amdek RMK-100
Interestingly, it s not just these two machines that look and function similarly. In this May 2009 MATRIXSYNTH SR-88 auction post commenter "PAC" notices:
"Interesting. I have an Amdek RMK-100 (sold as kit), very similar!"
Never heard of it, so I Googled "Amdek RMK-100" to see just how similar it was to both the DR-55 and the SR-88. Turns out (according to the Internet) that Amdek products were made by Boss/Roland back in 80s, and, not only that, but that the RMK-100 is actually the kit version of the Boss DR-55. Makes sense on why it would also be similar to the SR-88.
I found an ebay auction for an Amdek RMK-100 going on right now with a great photo of the front panel (see below), and indeed it does share a lot with the DR-55 and SR-88 - but definitely not identical to either one.
For example, it looks like the Amdek and SR-88 share a similar filler function that as far as I can tell is not available on the DR-55. And the DR-55 and the RMK-100 share a similar accent function that I don t see on the SR-88.
Now where does the Electro Dynamics Corporation Programmable Rhythm SR-99 fit in?
I also came across another machine with similar features - the Programmable Rhythm SR-99. No - not manufactured by Sound Master, but by Electro Dynamics Corporation. And, it too resembles the others in functionality, and especially the SR-88 in design also.
I ve included a row of photos below to help make the comparison between the two. The SR-88 photo is from the 2005 MATRIXSYNTH auction post and the EDC SR-99 photo is from the excellent BigBlueWave.co.uk site. I ve also thrown in a photo from another recent E-bay listing that included both - plus boxes and manuals! Sick!
Obviously, Sound Master and EDC are somehow connected, although I can t find any info on the Internet concerning these two companies. I do know that they were both advertising separately in Keyboard Magazine in late 1983, making it unlikely that one of the companies changed their name to the other. Anyone know anything?
And then there is the Clef Master Rhythm...
Now, I m going to throw in a late entry. It s Sunday night, and I just came across this August 2010 MATRIXSYNTH auction post for the Clef Master Rhythm. It not only shares part of the name of one of the other units ("Master"), it too has many features of the other rhythm machines, and identical innards as the DR-55, but is expanded to include even more sounds:
"This is essentially a fully expanded Boss DR-55 feature-wise and tone-wise. The circuits are identical (schematically and tonally) to the Boss DR-55, but the Clef Master Rhythm gives you way more instruments than the Boss DR-55..."
Interestingly, according to the post, it pre-dates the Boss DR-55 - and also came in a kit form like the Amdek.
"The Clef Master Rhythm came out a little before the Boss DR-55 in late 1979/early 1980. It was sold in two versions and available in greater quantities in Europe than in the United States. One version was a kit that the user put together and another one was a prebuilt machine."
A photo from the MATRIXSYNTH post really helps show the similarities in functions with the others:
What does it all mean?
So, looking at all five machines, its almost like there was a rhythm machine salad bar of some sort in Japan, and each company stepped up to it and picked out which features they wanted to include in their product.
And that begs the question - since we know there was a kit form available and there are claims that the Clef Master even has the same circuits as the DR-55, could all five products (and probably others) have used the exact same internal parts - each company choosing which features to include and then customizing in their respective rhythm machine? And if so, were those parts supplied by Amdek, or did all five get their internal parts from some other manufacturer?
And if that is the case, then the question of whether the SR-88 or DR-55 came first doesn t really matter much, since it is likely that the kit components would have been available first. Plus, we have that one auction post with the claim that the Clef Master came out before the DR-55 - making it all even more confusing to figure out.
Or, am I totally off the mark on all this? Were they all created separately? Maybe I ve just been fixated on this a little too much...
I ll keep on looking for more info on these companies and any connection they might have, but if anyone want to buy all four and open them up to take a look - it would be muchly appreciated. :D
Posted by RetroSynthAds at 12:05 PM
Labels: 1982, amdek, clef master, dr-55, drum machine, electro dynamics corporation, keyboard magazine, rmk-100, Sound Master, sr-88, sr-99
Here s a funny thing - I seem to remember Clef in the early 1980s as a British company that made electronic pianos (touch-sensitive ones!) in kit form. Deep in the back of my mind I recall seeing them at a music fair in London with a couple of their pianos and some drum machines including a prototype drum/bass/chord sequencer called something like a "Band-Box". But it WAS a long time ago.
February 12, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Looks like (for once) my memory didn t fail me. Here is a 1982 ad for Clef Electronics showing all the products I mentioned, plus a natty-looking little monosynth! BTW, I owned an EDC SR99 drum machine in the mid-1980s, but replaced it with a Yamaha RX-21 a couple of years later.
February 12, 2012 at 12:46 PM
1245 Let me google that for you
For all those people who find it more convenient to bother you with their question rather than google it for themselves.
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1215 Panasonic Toughbook CF-T8 review | Laptops and netbooks Reviews | TechRadar
Panasonic Toughbook CF-T8 review - Panasonic have yet to release an Eee-style netbook PC; and with good reason - their Toughbook range of laptops has been hugely successful, and new, interesting additions to their line of ruggedised PCs are coming thick and fast. Buying advice from the leading technology site
1010 PowerFX Vocaloid 2 Sweet Ann
Yamahas Vocaloid technology has now been upgraded to version 2 and Sweet Ann, from PowerFX, is the first virtual singer based on the new release. So just how much further forward have Yamaha moved their intriguing vocal synthesis technology?
software, review, PowerFX, Vocaloid 2, Sweet Ann, Singing Synthesis, PC, John Walden, Yamaha, Vocaloid, technology, virtual singer, vocal synthesis, real-time, VST Instrument
992 Troy Hunt: Whoâs who of bad password practices â banks, airlines and more
Troy Hunt on observations, musings and conjecture about the world of software and technology
Troy Hunt, blog, .NET, Azure, Backup, Bing, Blogger, Career Development, Code Quality, Conference, Database, Design Utopia, DotNetNuke, Enterprise Software Platform, Internet Explorer, iPhone, K2, LinkedIn, Media, NDepend, Online Identity, OWASP, People Management, Personal Development, Product Review, ReSharper, Security, SharePoint, Silverlight, Software Quality, SQL Injection, SQL Server, Subversion, Travel, Twitter, Visual Studio, Windows Mobile, XSS,
Ah, passwords. Love âem or hate âem, theyâre a necessary evil of the digital age. The reality is we all end up with an alphabet soup of passwords spread over dozens of various sites and services across the internet. Whilst we might not always practice it, we all know the theory of creating a good password; uniqueness, randomness and length. The more of each, the better.
Of course we frequently donât do this because of all sorts of human factors such as convenience, memory or simple unawareness of the risks. Still, when itâs a case of individuals electing not to create secure passwords, they really only have themselves to blame.
But what happens when the website wonât allow you to create a secure password? Or at least when they severely constrain your ability to create long, random, unique passwords? And what about when they donât allow you to send it between your computer and their server securely?
Even worse, what happens when our most âsecureâ institutions implement lazy password policies? Unfortunately, all of this is pretty rampant practice.
967 Anarchestra: www.anarchestra.net
Anarchestra is a group of exerimental musical instruments and the people who play them. The instruments, built by Alex Ferris, are predominantly steel with a few adapted parts, such as tuning machines and mouthpieces. The instruments were built to encourage non-musicians to explore the making of sound, to allow experienced musicians to make sound unconstricted by their technical habits and preconceptions, and to provide an alternative vocabulary of musical sounds.
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962 25 Abandoned Soviet Monuments that look like they're from the Future | Crack Two
These structures were commissioned by former Yugoslavian president Josip Broz Tito in the 1960s and 70s to commemorate sites where WWII battles took place (like TjentiĹĄte, Kozara and KadinjaÄa), or where concentration camps stood (like Jasenovac and NiĹĄ). They were designed by different sculptors (DuĹĄan DĹžamonja, Vojin BakiÄ, Miodrag Ĺ˝ivkoviÄ, Jordan and Iskra Grabul, to name a few) and architects (Bogdan BogdanoviÄ, Gradimir MedakoviÄ...), conveying powerful visual impact to show the confidence and strength of the Socialist Republic. In the 1980s, these monuments attracted millions of visitors per year, especially young pioneers for their "patriotic education." After the Republic dissolved in early 1990s, they were completely abandoned, and their symbolic meanings were forever lost.
From 2006 to 2009, Kempenaers toured around the ex-Yugoslavia region (now Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, etc.) with the help of a 1975 map of memorials, bringing before our eyes a series of melancholy yet striking images. His photos raise a question: can these former monuments continue to exist as pure sculptures? On one hand, their physical dilapidated condition and institutional neglect reflect a more general social historical fracturing. And on the other hand, they are still of stunning beauty without any symbolic significances. I know this may sound schizophrenic if you also read my last post. But maybe there are forms that can transcend meaning...
868 How Facebook Ships Code ÂŤ FrameThink â Frameworks for Thinking People
Iâm fascinated by the way Facebook operates. Itâs a very unique environment, not easily replicated (nor would their system work for all companies, even if they tried). These are notes gathered from talking with many friends at Facebook about how the company develops and releases software.
Itâs been over six months since I assembled these observations and Iâm sure Facebook has continuously evolved its software development practices in the meantime. So these notes are probably a little bit out-of-date. It also seems like Facebookâs developer-driven culture is coming under greater public scrutiny. So Iâm feeling more comfortable now about releasing these notesâŚ HUGE thanks to the many folks who helped put together this view inside of Facebook! Thanks are also due to folks like epriest and fryfrog who have written up corrections and edits.
What an amazing instrument! The DSI Evolver has the signature "old school" timbre down pat as well as being able to provide digital timbres reminiscent of the Waldorf Q. There's certainly a "rougher" side available as well with all the feedback implementation and controled distortion. Being able to make PM type plucked and blown sounds is just icing on the cake. Dave Smith should be commended for a job well done. Just have a look at the Panel Layout to get a taste of what this beauty can dish out - the controls are pretty much laid out in the form of a signal path graphic. Be sure to visit Dave Smith's Website!
Evolver Sound Examples
There are a lot of demos of the Evolver on the web showcasing the gutsy harsh sounds of this beast so I decided to post demos of some of my own patches as examples of the "softer" more "vintage" side of the Evolver's timbre. I make no apologies for these unpolished recordings - these are merely sound samples ;)
Resonant Plucked Pad
This pad shows some of the rich resonant nature of the filter.
This is a simple analog brass lead patch.
A fun patch with lots of motion made using my "Audio-rate Filter FM" programming tip below.
A nice bland-vanilla pad ^_^
What can I say? I love pads...
For more MP3 demos showing the full gamut of sounds the Evolver and Polyevolver are capable of, please visit the excellent website of Stefan Trippler!
The Definitive Guide to Evolver
This rather in-depth guide to the Evolver goes places and does things a mere manual can't. This labor-of-love was crafted by Anu Kirk and with his kind permission, I am offering this fantastic resource right here in PDF format!
A much smaller version (400K) is here but it dosen't have internal hyperlinks.
Here's a fun repository of programming tips for the Evolver in all its incarnations. Please email me if you would like to add some.
Fingered Wave Sequence
Submitted by Dave Bryce. This brilliant technique has to be heard to be believed! Plus, its one of those cool things unique to the Evolver! This particular tip is so full of detailed information that it gets its own page!
Audio-rate Filter FM
Submitted by James Maier. Use the "Audio Mod" parameter in the Filter section to frequency-modulate the cutoff with the analog oscillator. Add resonance until the filter is just on the edge of oscillation then mod the cutoff with just a little triangle LFO set at a very slow speed. Amazing moving chorusing pad and lead sounds can be made this way.
Fatter Bass/Pad Sounds
Submitted by Mike Peake. Set the same sound in both channels (detuned saws, for instance). With the filters at the 24dB setting, increasing resonance cuts the passband as on the Moog filters. Set Envelope 3 to minimum attack, maximum decay and release, and sustain to maximum. This "creates" an offset, a continuous "on" signal while the keys are gated. Modulate one filters' resonance up (just one), or of the overall resonance level is high, us it to modulate one filters' resonance to its minimum. You get the resonant character plus the size of the non-resonant filter. Use Tri and Sine waves on that side too.
Submitted by James Maier. The Evolver can make many ultra-bright and buzzy sounds due to its extensive feedback and distortion stages but sometimes people miss the subtler side of the beast. For a warmer sound use little or no distortion, close the filter just a bit and turn off the feedback and delay lines. I've managed to get dead-on Prophet5 timbres this way.
Submitted by Mike Peake. Set the envelopes to linear, and use a Mod to modulate AmpEnv All by itself (lin through log responses with positive and negative self-modulation).
This is of course fun on the filter envelopes as well.
More Vintage Character
Submitted by Mike Peake. Oscillator Slop, set at 5, doesn't come close to the Moog and other old-timer movement, so add slight (1 or 2) LFO to pitch modulations, with individual LFOs per oscillator, and a touch of LFO to LFO rate modulation. A tad of Envelope 3 to pitch helps as well.
Don't miss out on the 12dB filter setting
Submitted by Mike Peake. The 24dB setting has much more resonance, but the 12dB setting can sound nice and plucky, and do nice slightly fuzzy pads etc.
DSI Evolver Waveshape Charts
Below are charts I've assembled of the digital waveforms and their spectra as currently used in the DSI Evolver synthesizers. Originally these waves were unique to the SCI ProphetVS vector synth.
I find these waveform/spectra graphics really usefull when programming sounds - maybe you will as well. Pay special attention to the spectra as this info is sometimes much more useful than waveshape in determining actual timbre - even before you hear what the waveform sounds like.
These are designed to be downloaded (right-click & "save target as"), and printed at 300dpi on 8.5" x 11" pages - don't resize these images before printing or you will lose useful detail. Use them as a handy refrence. This information was cobbled together from various scattered sources (with very special thanks to Achim Gratz!).
Any errors or omissions are my own. ^_^
As far as the origin of these waves is concerned, one of the original VS engineers, Chris Meyer, said:
"The original waves for the VS were created three ways - extracting single-cycles from sampled sounds, using a custom additive synthesis program, and using a program Josh (Josh Jeffe, another VS engineer) slapped together called "Hacker" where you could draw the waveshape. These were fed straight from the computer through the filter and VCA of a Pro-One to figure out what they might sound like in a patch. And by the way, no PPG waveforms appear inside the VS - we had access to them, but in the end our consciences got the better of us. We did steal some waveforms from the Korg DW6000, but only by looking at the harmonic drawings on the front panel and trying to imitate them in our additive synthesis program."
Modulation Matrix "Cheat Sheet"
This chart shows all the modulation routing available on the Evolver. This same info is available in the manual but this can be printed on a single sheet of paper as a handy refrence!
These I created just for fun and desktop "beautification" ;)
1280 X 1024
1024 X 768
800 X 600
780 The 6 Creepiest Places on Earth (Part 2) | Cracked.com
Whether it's due to their bizarre histories, suspicious coincidences or good ol' human insanity, these are the locations even the die-hardest of atheists wouldn't venture into without a crucifix and a Super Soaker full of Pope-blessed water.
767 The 5 types of programmers ÂŤ Steven Benner's Blog
In my code journeys and programming adventures Iâve encountered many strange foes, and even stranger allies. Iâve identified at least five different kinds of code warriors, some make for wonderful comrades in arms, while others seem to foil my every plan.
However they all have their place in the pantheon of software development. Without a healthy mix of these different programming styles youâll probably find your projects either take too long to complete, are not stable enough or are too perfect for humans to look upon.
The code may not be pretty, but damnit, it works!
This guy is the foundation of your company. When something goes wrong he will fix it fast and in a way that wonât break again. Of course he doesnât care about how it looks, ease of use, or any of those other trivial concerns, but he will make it happen, without a bunch of talk or time-wasting nonsense. The best way to use this person is to point at a problem and walk away.
You want to do what to my code?
This guy doesnât care about your deadlines or budgets, those are insignificant when compared to the art form that is programming. When you do finally receive the finished product you will have no option but submit to the stunning glory and radiant beauty of perfectly formatted, no, perfectly beautiful code, that is so efficient that anything you would want to do to it would do nothing but defame a masterpiece. He is the only one qualified to work on his code.
Iâm a programmer, damnit. I donât write code.
His world has one simple truth; writing code is bad. If you have to write something then youâre doing it wrong. Someone else has already done the work so just use their code. He will tell you how much faster this development practice is, even though he takes as long or longer than the other programmers. But when you get the project it will only be 20 lines of actual code and will be very easy to read. It may not be very fast, efficient, or forward-compatible, but it will be done with the least effort required.
What do you want? It works doesnât it?
The guy who couldnât care less about quality, thatâs someone elses job. He accomplishes the tasks that heâs asked to do, quickly. You may not like his work, the other programmers hate it, but management and the clients love it. As much pain as he will cause you in the future, he is single-handedly keeping your deadlines so you canât scoff at it (no matter how much you want to).
Well, thatâs a possibility, but in practice this might be a better alternative.
This guy is more interested the options than what should be done. He will spend 80% of his time staring blankly at his computer thinking up ways to accomplish a task, 15% of his time complaining about unreasonable deadlines, 4% of his time refining the options, and 1% of his time writing code. When you receive the final work it will always be accompanied by the phrase âif I had more time I could have done this the right wayâ.
Personally, Iâd have to classify myself as the perfectionist. So, which type of programmer are you? Or perhaps you know another programming archetype that is missing from my list? Post a comment below and Iâll add it to a new updated list.
748 30 Examples of Big Backgrounds in Web Design | Inspiration
This week we decided to gather a selection of Big Backgrounds in web design and to be honest I thought that I will find way more great examples that I actually found. I mean, as you will see here, that are plenty of nice examples of websites that use photography as their backgrounds, their 'big images backgrounds'.
746 40 Essential CSS Templates, Resources and Downloads | Speckyboy Design Magazine
Every web developer should have in their toolbox a collection of CSS tools and resources like the ones outlined in this article. A set of techniques that you rely on and that are always at the ready to cover any possible eventuality.
You will find not a selection of the latest innovative CSS techniques (there are some) in this article, merely a collection of tools, resources and downloads that can be used by web designers for solutions to everyday CSS design and coding solutions.
The resources below have been split into four categories: CSS Download Packages (all of the CSS resources offer multiple variations of each technique), Downloadable CSS Tools (the resources within this category offers specialized templates), Web, Mobile & Form Frameworks (+ tools and templates to help you get started with each); Feature-Rich and Outstanding Mobile & Web Templates and finally, a selection of tools to help with cross browser compatibility.
We donât presume that this is an ultimate collection, merely a selection of resources we have found to be indispensable. We are positive we have missed a few, and would love to hear about the tools and resources you rely upon.
710 10 Awesome Free Tools To Make Infographics
Information graphics, visual representations of data known as infographics, keep the web going these days. Web users, with their diminishing attention spans,
infographics, information graphics, data graphics
704 What Is User Experience Design? Overview, Tools And Resources - Smashing Magazine
Websites and Web applications have become progressively more complex as our industryâs technologies and methodologies advance. What used to be a one-way static medium has evolved into a very rich and interactive experience.
But regardless of how much has changed in the production process, a websiteâs success still hinges on just one thing: how users perceive it. âDoes this website give me value? Is it easy to use? Is it pleasant to use?â These are the questions that run through the minds of visitors as they interact with our products, and they form the basis of their decisions on whether to become regular users.
User experience design is all about striving to make them answer âYesâ to all of those questions. This guide aims to familiarize you with the professional discipline of UX design in the context of Web-based systems such as websites and applications.
[Offtopic: by the way, did you know that we are publishing a Smashing eBook Series? The brand new eBook #3 is Mastering Photoshop For Web Design, written by our Photoshop-expert Thomas Giannattasio.]
701 How To Convince The Client That Your Design Is Perfect - Smashing Magazine
As designers who deal with clients, we all have to face one situation, no matter how difficult and uncomfortable, and that is guiding the client to accept that your design is perfect. Now, you already have the project, so this is not a matter of convincing them to pick you for the job. This is about getting them to see that your design satisfies their requirements and contains everything they want. We all have to take on this role of virtual tour guide and lead them through the projectâs twists and turns, ensuring that the best interests of the client and website are served.
We have to be the lighthouse, guiding the clients to shore. (Image credit)
In the end, the final decision falls to the client, but there are times â and most of us have experienced them â when the clientâs lack of expertise in the field affect the quality of the design. In such times, we have a responsibility to do everything in our power to convince the client that the design is perfect as it is, and that any further alteration would impair the websiteâs ability to communicate everything it needs to. This confrontation is not welcome by either party, but it is certainly necessary.
Many designers want to avoid conflict and, as a result, cave to their clients at the slightest sign of disagreement, rather than spend time trying to convince them that they stand on the right side of the design decision. This is often a mistake and does not serve the design, which should be the paramount consideration. We owe it to our creative work to argue for whatever serves the design beyond all else, even though the client is footing the bill. We may end up having to give in to the client, but at least we tried.
Below is an overview of some tips and techniques you can employ when you find yourself butting heads with a client. These approaches might work individually or in combination, but they all at least offer a launching point to help you put your best foot forward and lead the client exactly where they need to go.
Visualizing.org is a community of creative people working to make sense of complex issues through data and designâŚ and itâs a shared space and free resource to help you achieve this goal.
By some estimates, we now create more data each year than in the entirety of prior human history. Data visualization helps us approach, interpret, and extract knowledge from this information. Over the last couple of years, weâve seen government agencies, NGOs, and companies open up their data for the public to see and use. And weâve seen data visualization figure more prominently in design curricula, conference programs, and the media. We created Visualizing.org because we want to help connect the proliferation of public dataâŚ with a community that can help us understand this dataâŚ with the general public.
What is Visualizing.org? What can I do on the site?
Visualizing is a place to showcase your work, get feedback, ensure that your work is seen by lots of people and gets used by teachers, journalists, and conference organizers to help educate the public about various world issues
Visualizing is a free resource to search for data
Use Visualizing to keep up with and be inspired by the latest work from other designers and design schools
Learn about new visualization tools, blogs, books and other resources to help your work
Everything you upload remains your sole and exclusive property and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike License
For teachers and schools:
Visualizing is a place to exhibit the collective work of your students, organize assignments and class projects, and help your students find data for their own visualizations
Weâre working on new tools to help you share teaching material with other teachers
As an Academic Partner, your students are eligible to participate in various design competitions â weâre hosting the first Visualizing Marathon in New York in October
To learn more, contact Saira Jesani
For bloggers and journalists:
Visualizing is a resource to find data visualizations about a wide variety of world issues to inform and accompany your own reporting â and itâs easy to embed visualizations and widgets from Visualizing on your own site
For conference organizers:
As a Knowledge Partner, Visualizing allows you to use data visualizations at your conferences under a Creative Commons License
To learn more, contact Saira Jesani
Visualizing is a new and fun online resource to learn more about the world in all its complexity and inter-dependence -- and become more comfortable with data and how it can be visually represented
How does it work?
The site is open and free to use. Everything you upload remains your sole and exclusive property and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike License. Simply put, this means that anyone can share, copy, remix, or build upon the visualization as long as: (i) it is used non-commercially; and (ii) the visualizationâs creator and source are credited.
685 100 Best Photoshop Tutorials of All Time that Yield Professional Results | CreativeFan
Photoshop tutorials are one of the most popular subjects on the web, as the digital art community continues to grow and new designers bring their unique skills. However, quality Photoshop tutorials that teach you a useful effect, have a quality finished result and are well explained are harder to find, and with the large number of tutorial sites available, it can be hard to sort the quality from the mundane.
best photoshop tutorials
660 What's Next: fully ergonomic laptops? | VentureBeat
When the first laptops were created around 1979 â laptops like the Grid Compass â ergonomics was not exactly a core concern. The screens were only 2-4 inches, RAM was a few hundred kilobytes, and batteries were huge. The Osbourne 1 weighed 24 pounds, perhaps making it the first portable computer and dumbbell. Hooray for convergence!
Modern clamshell and tablet designs have solved many of these issues: screen sizes exceed 17â, RAM can be several gigabytes, and weight can be less than three pounds, deservedly earning names like the Air. What hasnât been solved is ergonomics, and thatâs a costly problem.
The U.S. Department of Labor reported 650,000 cases of work-related muscular disorders, costing businesses an estimated $20 billion in medical claims and lost productivity. An ergonomically ideal computer setup aligns the top of the screen with our eye level, lets our arms and wrists straighten, and allows our shoulders to relax.
Because laptop screens are attached to their keyboards, they require a damaging trade-off: place the laptop at eye level and hunch our shoulders, or place the keyboard at arm level and bend our neck. Most laptop keyboards are also rectangles, requiring wrist twisting. The result is chronic neck, shoulder, and wrist pain, and with laptop use increasing, this problem will only get worse.
Of the technical queries received at Sound On Sound, many fall into the 'hardy perenial' category. One common source of these patchbays and their role in the project studio. Hugh Robjohns provides some answers...
Walk into any professional studio and you will find a patchbay (or jackfield, to use the original British term) lurking in a rack somewhere. This kind of facility might seem totally superfluous in a simple home studio, but once the number of outboard units and sound sources increases, a patchbay quickly becomes an essential facility rather than an expensive luxury. The different types available, their setup, and their exact function in a studio can be the source of considerable confusion. In an effort to set things straight, I have tried to answer many of the most common patchbay questions we receive at Sound On Sound.
652 50 Great Web Alternatives to Desktop Software
Even without the help of the ground breaking features in HTML5, web apps have come of age. While not all web apps rival their desktop counterparts, some clearly
551 The Top Idea in Your Mind
I realized recently that what one thinks about in the shower in the morning is more important than I'd thought. I knew it was a good time to have ideas. Now I'd go further: now I'd say it's hard to do a really good job on anything you don't think about in the shower.
Everyone who's worked on difficult problems is probably familiar with the phenomenon of working hard to figure something out, failing, and then suddenly seeing the answer a bit later while doing something else. There's a kind of thinking you do without trying to. I'm increasingly convinced this type of thinking is not merely helpful in solving hard problems, but necessary. The tricky part is, you can only control it indirectly. 
I think most people have one top idea in their mind at any given time. That's the idea their thoughts will drift toward when they're allowed to drift freely. And this idea will thus tend to get all the benefit of that type of thinking, while others are starved of it. Which means it's a disaster to let the wrong idea become the top one in your mind.
What made this clear to me was having an idea I didn't want as the top one in my mind for two long stretches.
Sound synthesis and sound design
Music has brought pleasure and entertainment to mankind throughout the whole of history. Each person is by nature equipped with one of the most elaborate and emotional musical instruments; the human voice. Whenever people feel good music seems to fit the occasion, and it is considered quite natural to hum or sing a song. Musical instruments have brought their own moods to music and at the current moment in human evolution there is an enormous variety of musical instruments available. The twentieth century has seen the development of a range of new and exciting electronic musical instruments. These electronic instruments are very flexible, they can produce a wide range of timbres and can be amplified to whatever loudness level sounds best for the occasion. Most of these electronic instruments are played by a keyboard, but in essence the keyboard can be replaced by any electromechanical device that is able to transform a movement caused by a human interaction into an electrical signal that can drive the sound generating core of the electronic instrument.
All sorts of technical and scientific developments have helped to create electronic instruments and the human interface to play them. Still, music is an art and not really a hard science, although music and sound have for a long time been subject to various scientific research. An important realization is that science can not really explain why much music is such a pleasure to listen to and such a joy to make. Which is not a bad thing, as probably no one is waiting for science to take the fun out of music by applying formalized rules and templates on what is also subject to âfeelâ. So, although this book covers techniques that lean heavily on scientific research, the application of these techniques will in general be aimed at creating fun. There are a lot of professionals working with sound and even more people that make music for their personal enjoyment. Mastery of sound synthesis is valuable to all of them. Still, it wonât be easy to please everyone with one single book, as some people will be more interested in how things work and others might want practical examples that just work. The aim of this book is that it can at least be used as a practical guide in workshops and courses in electronic music, covering some essential basics that are needed to operate the equipment used in sound synthesis in a way that makes some sense. Additionally it can be used to explore techniques to find out how they can help in the development of oneâs own musical style.
Sound synthesis is the art of creating sounds by using suitable electronic means, using either analog or digital electronic devices. Sound design is the art of creating particular sounds using sound synthesis techniques. The definition of sound design as used here might be confusing to some, as the name sound design is also used in the discipline in industrial design that occupies itself with how mass produced objects should sound. Examples are how the sound of cars or ladyshaves are âdesignedâ to sound pleasing while in use. Which of course has nothing to do at all with music or sound synthesizers. This book puts the emphasis on the various synthesis techniques for musical purposes and how to setup sound synthesizers to create a large range of characteristic musical sounds. The art of musical sound design is left to the artist.
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 couldnât 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 âscrappyâ 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
âPeter 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.â (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)
âExtreme 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.â (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)
âDedication 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 âavoids imposing on othersâ time, e.g. scheduling unnecessary meetings.â (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)
âRefusal 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 âcome to work every day willing to be fired, to circumvent any order aimed at stopping your dream.â 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 couldnât solve the problem, someone else would be soon assigned to do it.â (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)
âDriven 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 heâd approached things âtraditionallyâ, 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.â (by Mike Greenfield, former Sr. Fraud R&D Scientist of Paypal)
âSelf-sufficiency â 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 didnât wait for a BD person to become available. You did (the first version of) mockups and wireframes yourself; you didnât wait for a designer to become available. You wrote (the first draft of) site copy yourself; you didnât wait for a content writer.â (by Yee Lee, former Product & BU GM of Paypal)
On Culture & Ideology
âExtreme bias towards action â 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.â (by Yee Lee, former Product & BU GM of Paypal)
âWillingness to try â even in a data-driven culture, youâll always run in to folks who either donât believe you have collected the right supporting data for a given decision or who just arenât 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.â (by Yee Lee, former Product & BU GM of Paypal)
âData-driven decision making â 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 âI feel like itâs a problem that our users canât do Xâ, instead youâd do your homework first and then come to the table with â35% of our [insert some key metric here] are caused by the lack of X functionalityâŚâ (by Yee Lee, former Product & BU GM of Paypal)
âRadical 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).â (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)
âVigorous 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 âbabyâ to Max for the first time.â (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)
âExtreme Pressure â 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.â (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)
474 Why Intelligent People Fail
Why Intelligent People Fail
Content from Sternberg, R. (1994). In search of the human mind. New York: Harcourt Brace.
1. Lack of motivation. A talent is irrelevant if a person is not motivated to use it. Motivation may be external (for example, social approval) or internal (satisfaction from a job well-done, for instance). External sources tend to be transient, while internal sources tend to produce more consistent performance.
2. Lack of impulse control. Habitual impulsiveness gets in the way of optimal performance. Some people do not bring their full intellectual resources to bear on a problem but go with the first solution that pops into their heads.
3. Lack of perserverance and perseveration. Some people give up too easily, while others are unable to stop even when the quest will clearly be fruitless.
4. Using the wrong abilities. People may not be using the right abilities for the tasks in which they are engaged.
5. Inability to translate thought into action. Some people seem buried in thought. They have good ideas but rarely seem able to do anything about them.
6. Lack of product orientation. Some people seem more concerned about the process than the result of activity.
7. Inability to complete tasks. For some people nothing ever draws to a close. Perhaps itâs fear of what they would do next or fear of becoming hopelessly enmeshed in detail.
8. Failure to initiate. Still others are unwilling or unable to initiate a project. It may be indecision or fear of commitment.
9. Fear of failure. People may not reach peak performance because they avoid the really important challenges in life.
10. Procrastination. Some people are unable to act without pressure. They may also look for little things to do in order to put off the big ones.
11. Misattribution of blame. Some people always blame themselves for even the slightest mishap. Some always blame others.
12. Excessive self-pity. Some people spend more time feeling sorry for themselves than expending the effort necessary to overcome the problem.
13. Excessive dependency. Some people expect others to do for them what they ought to be doing themselves.
14. Wallowing in personal difficulties. Some people let their personal difficulties interfere grossly with their work. During the course of life, one can expect some real joys and some real sorrows. Maintaining a proper perspective is often difficult.
15. Distractibility and lack of concentration. Even some very intelligent people have very short attention spans.
16. Spreading oneself too think or too thick. Undertaking too many activities may result in none being completed on time. Undertaking too few can also result in missed opportunities and reduced levels of accomplishment.
17. Inability to delay gratification. Some people reward themselves and are rewarded by others for finishing small tasks, while avoiding bigger tasks that would earn them larger rewards.
18. Inability to see the forest for the trees. Some people become obsessed with details and are either unwilling or unable to see or deal with the larger picture in the projects they undertake.
19. Lack of balance between critical, analytical thinking and creative, synthetic thinking. It is important for people to learn what kind of thinking is expected of them in each situation.
20. Too little or too much self-confidence. Lack of self-confidence can gnaw away at a personâs ability to get things done and become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Conversely, individuals with too much self-confidence may not know when to admit they are wrong or in need of self-improvement.
444 How Do Americans Save Money? |
Americans have strong sentiments about the importance of savings, but do these sentiments correlate with their actions?
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 mojoâone needed only leave home to buy more tapes. Says Neffe, âI 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 âŚ if the buyer didnât like the music, he or she could wipe it out and record something else on it.â
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 wankingâthat 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 Bugsâ A Safe Substitute and Colin Potterâs The Ghost Office. In Japan, 1980 saw the release of Merzbowâs first two cassettes, Remblandt Assemblage and Fuckexercise. And in the USA, 1981 saw John Benderâs 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. Neffeâs 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, Neffeâs 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 consciousnessânot 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 7â 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. Neffeâs projects to be recorded and distributed, but is, to my understanding, the genesis of his approach to music as âtextsâ or âphotographsâ, or as he puts it, âpotlatch musicâ. 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 textâs 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 Ătant DonnĂŠs, 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 âLangsamâ 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 âSons of God?â 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 collectorsâ 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 Musicâs CD-r reissue program included, some of this exquisite material has been rescued from oblivion.
353 DIY music from outerspace
Welcome To MFOS, Your Synth-DIY Headquarters.
What is synth-DIY? Synth-DIY is just what the name implies. Synthesizer Do It Yourself. Many people, like me, grew up in the dawn of the analog synthesizer age (Moog, ARP, Oberheim, Buchla, RCA, EMu, Fairlight, PAIA and many others) and although we may have really wanted our very own analog synthesizer with dozens of knobs and switches they were w-a-a-a-y out of our reach financially. Now many people with a modicum of electronic skills and a renewed interest in analog synthesizers are discovering that with a schematic, a PC board and some electronic components they can do it themselves!.
MFOS' mission is to help people realize their synthesizer dreams. We do this by providing analog synthesizer projects with complete schematics, assembly drawings and professionally manufactured PC boards. If you already have electronic skills... welcome! If you would like to learn more about electronics or analog synthesizers then try these links: How can I start learning about electronics?, Analog Synth 101 and/or The MFOS Book Store. It's never to late to develop a new skill, reignite an old passion or exercise your creativity.
Keep imagining, keep inventing, stay ingenious.
340 7-things-to-stop-doing-now-on-facebook: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance
Using a Weak Password
Avoid simple names or words you can find in a dictionary, even with numbers tacked on the end. Instead, mix upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. A password should have at least eight characters. One good technique is to insert numbers or symbols in the middle of a word, such as this variant on the word "houses": hO27usEs!
Leaving Your Full Birth Date in Your Profile
More from ConsumerReports.org:
â˘ Millions of Users Exposing Personal Information
â˘ Tested: 119 Laptops, Desktops, Netbooks and iPad
â˘ Electronics Reviews
It's an ideal target for identity thieves, who could use it to obtain more information about you and potentially gain access to your bank or credit card account. If you've already entered a birth date, go to your profile page and click on the Info tab, then on Edit Information. Under the Basic Information section, choose to show only the month and day or no birthday at all.
Overlooking Useful Privacy Controls
For almost everything in your Facebook profile, you can limit access to only your friends, friends of friends, or yourself. Restrict access to photos, birth date, religious views, and family information, among other things. You can give only certain people or groups access to items such as photos, or block particular people from seeing them. Consider leaving out contact info, such as phone number and address, since you probably don't want anyone to have access to that information anyway.
Popular Stories on Yahoo!:
â˘ 20 Best Cities to Ride Out the Recession
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â˘ 7 Expenses You Can Ditch in Retirement
More from Yahoo! Finance
Posting Your Child's Name in a Caption
Don't use a child's name in photo tags or captions. If someone else does, delete it by clicking on Remove Tag. If your child isn't on Facebook and someone includes his or her name in a caption, ask that person to remove the name.
Mentioning That You'll Be Away From Home
That's like putting a "no one's home" sign on your door. Wait until you get home to tell everyone how awesome your vacation was and be vague about the date of any trip.
Letting Search Engines Find You
To help prevent strangers from accessing your page, go to the Search section of Facebook's privacy controls and select Only Friends for Facebook search results. Be sure the box for public search results isn't checked.
Permitting Youngsters to Use Facebook Unsupervised
Facebook limits its members to ages 13 and over, but children younger than that do use it. If you have a young child or teenager on Facebook, the best way to provide oversight is to become one of their online friends. Use your e-mail address as the contact for their account so that you receive their notifications and monitor their activities. "What they think is nothing can actually be pretty serious," says Charles Pavelites, a supervisory special agent at the Internet Crime Complaint Center. For example, a child who posts the comment "Mom will be home soon, I need to do the dishes" every day at the same time is revealing too much about the parents' regular comings and goings.
339 HOW TO: Market Your Small Business With No Budget
The social web makes it more cost-effective than ever to get the word out about your business, no matter what industry you're in. We spoke to the experts for their cost-cutting tips.
336 Change of Address: 20 Ways to Get to Know Your Neighbors
Being the new family on the block can be hard, especially if youâre even remotely shy. It can be hard to make friends, made even harder by the fact that almost everyone in the community already has their own group of friends. Still, there are lots of ways you can connect with them and itâs worth the effort required as there are several advantages to getting to know your neighbors. Whether itâs having someone to watch your home while you are on vacation or a helping hand when you desperately need one. Here are some tips to help you break the ice with your new neighbors
334 55 Minimal Black and White Web Designs to Inspire You | Inspiration
We already showed here a list of Yellow Web Designs and one of Blue Web Designs, but today is all about black and white. The B&W combination is great, from photography to interior design to clothes, black and white is always a good choice. Here we will show you some sites that made a very good use of this duo... Beautiful, elegant and clean pages, you will notice that sometimes having no colors around is also a very good option. Some of the pages have a detail or something in colors, but their general idea is b&w.
298 The Evolution of Privacy on Facebook
Facebook is a great service. I have a profile, and so does nearly everyone I know under the age of 60.
However, Facebook hasn't always managed its users' data well. In the beginning, it restricted the visibility of a user's personal information to just their friends and their "network" (college or school). Over the past couple of years, the default privacy settings for a Facebook user's personal information have become more and more permissive. They've also changed how your personal information is classified several times, sometimes in a manner that has been confusing for their users. This has largely been part of Facebook's effort to correlate, publish, and monetize their social graph: a massive database of entities and links that covers everything from where you live to the movies you like and the people you trust.
This blog post by Kurt Opsahl at the the EFF gives a brief timeline of Facebook's Terms of Service changes through April of 2010. It's a great overview, but I was a little disappointed it wasn't an actual timeline: hence my initial inspiration for this infographic.
280 How-To Permanently Delete Your Facebook Account
250 55 Minimal Black and White Web Designs to Inspire You | Inspiration
We already showed here a list of Yellow Web Designs and one of Blue Web Designs, but today is all about black and white. The B&W combination is great, from photography to interior design to clothes, black and white is always a good choice. Here we will show you some sites that made a very good use of this duo... Beautiful, elegant and clean pages, you will notice that sometimes having no colors around is also a very good option. Some of the pages have a detail or something in colors, but their general idea is b&w.
235 MATRIXSYNTH: Alesis Andromeda A6 Aurora Mod
This was a custom mod. I originally put a post up in August of 05 here. Anyone know the website where more info on this mod is hosted? I accidentally lost the link when mucking around with Blogger's settings a while back.
This image via Photobucket
Update: I found the original site but it is down. Some info and additional shots pulled from the Internet Archive Way Back Machine. You can find some thumbnails there, but most give you a 404 if you click on them for the larger shot. I pulled the large pics below before they are gone forever.
"Alesis made Synthesis History when they released their Alesis Andromeda A6, an analog polysynth bred with new technology and classic analog sound! Sixteen awesome voices with two types of filters, a vast modulation system, and enough bells and whistles to make the Andromeda A6 THE most highly featured analog polysynth in existence. If it only had a sloped panel...
* Take one Andromeda, lightly used (but out of warranty - very important!)
* Add one black on blue BETA Panel - because the pre-production beta panels were lacking the Pre- and Post-Filter Mix VIEW buttons, either the buttoncaps must be pulled off of the switches on the PCBs OR two holes need to be carefully drilled through the panel to accomodate. I drilled the holes after measuring about fifteen times each.
* Tilt that panel at approx. the same slope as the Korg MS-20. Requires the extending of a couple of ribbon cables inside, and some pop-rivetted braces. Not too hard.
* Custom wood endcheeks of nice Oak, plus a wood accent over the keyboard. I chose to go with thick, high quality wood to make Aurora more of a beast.
* Replace all green LEDs with red high-intensity ones. This also required changing some resistor values to increase the brightness.
* Replace the LCD with a Hantronix Blue-on-White display. Also, some resistor changes are needed.
* Have a very agreeable Alesis burn a custom Boot EPROM with the custom-designed bootup screen below.
* Build a custom top panel, complete with several additional controls (two joysticks, several switches and knobs) as well as a full 16-channel mixer with level and pan per channel, one for each of the 16 individual outs on the Andromeda.
* Add lots of careful, hard work and time, and PRESTO - you have the Aurora A6!
The Name: I went with Aurora for a couple of reasons.
1. Alliteration - AurorA - AndromedA - get it?
2. There is some legend/lore as to how the Alesis Andromeda got its name. Could be related to the Greek mythos. Could be related to the Andromeda galaxy. Could be darts thrown at dictionary pages :-) In any case, Aurora fits with the mythology bent because in Roman mythology, Aurora was the goddess of the dawn (Andromeda was rescued and married by Perseus in Greek mythos). Aurora also fits the 'celestial' thing as well, as the Aurora Borealis. Either way, it kept with what might have perhaps been Alesis' reasons for naming the Andromeda.
3. I just liked it.
4. The A6 is kept because this fits with Alesis' naming convention (QS8 = 81-key QuadraSynth, A6 = 61-key Analog). There is some rumor that A6 was a play on ASICs, the custom chips within Andromeda, but I'm assured this is just rumor :-) "
213 All Design Patterns | Open Source Design Pattern Library
Fluid is an open-source software community
Fluid builds user interfaces, designs commonly used interactions, teaches others how to build good user-centred designs, and works with other software projects to integrate our solutions into their applications.
199 20 Portable Applications Web Designers Should Have On Their USB Sticks | Design Reviver
Portable applications have been known to be used by the professional on-the-go for quite some time now. These amazingly lightweight applications allow us to
portable,usb,usb drive,web designer
189 Select Manufacturer /// PrePal
List of manufacturers currently tracked, with links to their product prices.
prepal,used,preowned,worth,value,price,price guide,for sale,music,musical,musician,instrument,gear,music gear,musical equipment,guitar,bass,rack mount,keyboard,synth,synthesizer,sampler,drum,amp,effects,manufacturers
137 Sony Ericsson J110 & J120 LetsGoMobile
Sony Ericsson J120
sony, ericsson, j120, j110, cellphone, mobile, cellular
Sony Ericsson announces two new 'candy bar' phones; the Sony Ericsson J220 and J120. The Sony Ericsson J120 brings music into an affordable segment with integrated FM Radio, complete with headset. Both the J220 and J120 display Sony Ericssonâs signature styling and premium feel, yet manage to keep simplicity and ease-of-use at the heart of their design.
135 all - dj accessories - Turntablelab.com
we started the Lab in 1998, our first year out of college.
Turntable Lab was established in 1998 by Anthony Cattarina, Jasper Goggins, and Peter Hahn. The trio formed the idea for the Lab based on numerous negative experiences at stores that sold dj equipment: both big musical instrument chains and shady Canal Street stereo stores. Turned off by haggling, uninformed salesmen, and questionable product, Turntable Lab built its business on fair pricing, informed reviews, and a well researched selection of âLab approvedâ items. Most of the Lab's employees are working djs / producers / musicians, which helps to ensure this high standard.
The business model was an immediate success, establishing rapid growth and a dedicated customer base. Turntable Lab soon applied their business model to other areas including recorded music, production equipment, clothing, and books. Each expansion has been met with success, and today Turntable Lab is a recognized tastemaker in all those areas.
To bring the Turntable Lab experience directly to consumers, Turntable Lab opened its first retail location in 2001. In December of 2005, Turntable opened its flagship store in Hollywood, California. Currently the Turntable Lab headquarters is located in Brooklyn, New York.
101 5 Elements of a Successful Facebook Fan Page
For many companies a Facebook fan page is an integral part of their social media campaign. Here are 5 elements that contribute to a successful Facebook fan page.
Facebook, facebook fan page, marketing, branding, brands, business,Business Lists,Facebook Lists,Lists,business
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