I missed the functionality of a Mac OS X application and through the a mix of LinuxJournal's tip for using at with libnotify, some tinkering and assignment to <Mod4+F5>, ncmpcpp and this code:
notify-send -i audio-x-generic "Now Playing" "$(ncmpcpp --now-playing '?? %t ??^M^M?? %a ??^M^M ?? %b ??')"
EDIT: Crikey! The above code was pasted from vim in a terminal, so the ^M's are actually the following keystrokes: <ctrl-v><ctrl-m>. It's to get the linebreak needed to separate the track, artist and album so nicely.
I get the following via libnotify when I press the "Windows" key and F5:
While I admire and utilize many of Google's tools, I am not a fan of their advertising model. Or, more to the point, certain aspects of that model. Also, much of my ranting has a bent for the adversarial when I speak of marketing and marketers in general.
It would seem hypocritical for me to deliver ads to any who may visit here and then speak to them of how to eliminate said ads from their web experience. Today, August 3 of the year 2009, I have removed any ads from this and my other Google-hosted blog. Ads would also detract from the reason I write this blog. My goal is not to make money with this process, but instead to share information about my experiences.
The topics I discuss here are only topics that interest me and not written to achieve higher page ranking or to promote any individual cause. That being said, any opinions held here or (mis)beliefs are mine and mine only.
For the entire month of October, I shall be listening ONLY to music that is freely available to distribute. You can feel free to follow me at last.fm.
I'm doing this to help wean myself and, hopefully, others away from the large record labels and toward a new method of distributing art. Sites like Jamendo, The Free Music Archive and ccMixter have a wealth of truly "free" music: free to distribute, free to remix, free to use as you see fit.
Missed will be bands like Dredg, The Crystal Method and Godsmack, but to replace them I have Tryad, Chronique, Chill Carrier, The Liquid Kitchen and Professor Kliq. I will be downloading and sharing more as the month progresses.
had 4 teeth pulled on Monday from the left side of my face. Punchy, but I'm managing.
Song of my now: Under the Influence by Matthew Good Band
Mother told me to be something
so I'm afraid enough to stay wide awake.
Technorati Tags: insomnia
I won't link to it here because there's already been enough traffic generated to the site, but the Free Software Foundation launched a campaign against Microsoft called Windows 7 Sins. The site's intent is to warn potential Windows 7 purchasers about the evils of Microsoft.
However, if you actually visit the site in question, it comes across as little more than a schizophrenic on the corner, shaking his fist and screaming obscenities. Many of the "sins" are not exclusive to Microsoft, supporting links are outdated and the overall theme seems to be "Don't trust Microsoft." Many of these "sins" apply to any proprietary software vendor: Apple, Adobe, Intuit, Symantec.
I mention it here because I'm very disappointed with this attack angle the FSF has chosen. The site gives few reasons for anyone to consider free software other than fear of Microsoft's monopoly. I wish the FSF would instead focus on promoting the benefits of free software in the context of user experience. This campaign seems spiteful, opportunistic and shameless in its timing.
What saddens me most is that most of the Windows users I know already have a negative impression of Linux users and often label them fanatics. This campaign by the FSF does little to change that view and, in fact, reinforces it. The handful of Windows users I asked to visit the site and provide feedback stated that they were not swayed by this site and still wished to install Windows 7 when it is released. A few of them even felt insulted by the page as it infers that they are stupid for continuing to work under Microsoft's reign.
I only ask that the FSF be fair as they would expect anyone else to be when discussing GNU/Linux rather than stoop to spreading fear as a means of swaying people's opinions.
Here's two more abstracts I've made recently. Both are from the same scene, just rendered from different vantage points within the structure I use to generate them. Don't ask where the names come from. I just name them something obscure because it's a lot easier than trying to describe the images.
First is shwave:
Next is treepo:
The license for both of these images is:
shwave by Rob Bean is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at papabean.org.
treepo by Rob Bean is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at papabean.org.
It was released under CC-BY-SA, so I have no issues with its use. In fact, I'm glad to see it was deemed worthy of someone else's page. The license does claim that attribution is required, but I'm not a stickler for that when it's being used for personal pages.
So, thanks to the three of you for using my favorite wallpaper to date.
I understand that ad revenue is a major source of funding for many a website and the steps I proposed in my last post would remove that revenue. I also understand that in order to get paid, those third-parties need to know who went were and how many people showed up, etc.
It's time to find a new way to generate revenue from your corporate presence online. Tout your services or other products, host your own ad server (tracking usage on the same site or other properties owned by the same company is acceptable) or charge a subscription fee.
I guess my primary point here is that the Web needs some shaping up. It needs to be cleaner, safer and more usable for everyone. Not just a marketplace for corporations to peddle their wares.
I just need to get this off my chest. There are no such thing as "relevant ads." Ads by their very nature are irrelevant. Ads are intended to sell or inform you about a product or service that you didn't even know you needed.
If it was something you needed, you'd already know where to find it or necessity would drive you to locate it. Instead, marketers use advertising to leave you feeling like there's something missing in your life without the wares they're peddling.
I was just thinking today about how adding the term relevant doesn't really make the advertisement any more meaningful. It just means that marketers have targeted my likes and behaviours better than in the past. This is, in part, due to the advent of tracking cookies, referral links, adfarms and other web technologies used solely for marketing purposes.
I would recommend that we remove that particular phrase from the English lexicon. And stone to death any marketers that utter it.
About 4 or so years ago, I began using a Firefox extension called Adblock Plus. This add-on uses a subscription-based list of advertising websites to block ads in the browser. From that point on, the web was what it once was: a repository of information without the distractions of marketing.
One of the more common uses these days is to provide your usage data about a site you're visiting to a third-party site, often to advertising partners. Let me provide an example:
On the right, turner.com and cnn.com are allowed and clicking on "Forbid" will block those scripts. I'm at CNN's website and CNN is owned by Turner Broadcasting, so allowing CNN and Turner.com seems a safe bet.
A whois (a way to check who owns a website) of dl-rms.com shows it is owned by a company called Dynamic Logic whose DNS servers are hosted at questionmarket.com. This isn't a Turner property. A whois of revsci.net shows that site as being owned by Revenue Science. The name says it all: marketing data collection.
What's going on here?
As you browse CNN's website, the various portions of their site and the ads that are displayed are provided remotely from these other two domains. This allows those sites to track the number of people who visit the site, what browsers they use, which ads get clicked on, etc.
Why should you care?
What to do?
The other thing we can do is start letting companies know (I'll be contacting CNN and a few others right after this post is done) that it's okay for them to track our usage data. We're browsing their site after all, but that it's not okay to share that information without CLEARLY stating it up front.
I am loathe to return to browsing the web without these two add-ons. The web has become such a filthy mess of ad banners, webbugs and malicious scripts that I feel unprotected without them.