My Blog

I suppose that this is really a blog, though I hesitate to call it that. The real bloggers seem so much more interesting. I cover stuff which I find interesting, and I hope that you will too.

If you really want, you can get an RSS feed of Chateau Gladstone news here:

For more information about what I'm interested in, see the Ponding pages.

Topic: Internet Radio   Flight 93 Memorial Project  19 Jul 2005

A family friend (Laurel McSherry) entered the national competition for the Flight 93 Memorial that will be built. She got through to the final round, and is one of the five finalists. I urge you to visit the Flight 93 Memorial Project site where they have details of the final round projects. Laurel's project is 'Fields, Forests and Fences' -- I like it, but I did get a personal pitch as to its merits! I particularly like the fact that each visitor gets the chance to leave their own message behind -- in the form of a tag attached to a specially designed fence.

As a side note, the website is (I think) poorly designed. It is difficult to figure out what are links to more detailed information, and some of the PDF files have been converted in such a way that you cannot actually read the text. Also, when I tried to leave a comment, I got dropped into an administrative interface to all the comments (though I couldn't actually make it work).


Topic: Internet Radio   Beta Testing the Prismiq  21 Oct 2003 (Updated 22 Oct 2003)

I've been beta testing the new software (3.2) for the Prismiq Media Player. The good news is that Prismiq seem open (check out their forums) and the box runs linux. It is supposed to be a music, slideshow, video player where the media is stored on some other computer.

The bad news is that it doesn't meet the requirements. The Rio Receiver with JReceiver is a much better solution for audio. There are all sorts of possibilities with the hardware platform, it is just a matter of software to improve things.

For example, searching a large music collection requires entering text strings with the numeric keys on the remote. Tracks are not sorted by anything obvious. The use cases seem to revolve around using your PC to create playlists and then play them on the Prismiq box. However, I want an appliance that can be used by naive users.

Another gripe was that the slide advance button has no audible or visual feedback. Given that the next slide takes several seconds to appear (why isn't it preloaded?) there is the temptation to press the button again -- which causes a double advance.

Update for final release: It seems that there is now a visual indication of the next picture coming. This is a significant improvement.

Argh!


Topic: Internet Radio   You just have to see this..  24 Mar 2003

I'm colour-blind (red-green) and it has always been difficult to explain to people what I see. However, the answer may have arrived from Vischeck. They have a free photoshop filter that simulates deuteranopia, which, to me, does nothing at all! You should take a look.

Yes, I need a better set of icons/categories for these entries.


Topic: Internet Radio   Internet Radio - Just incredible  23 Aug 2002

The Librarian of Congress has decided that the people most affected by his decision to tax them out of existence -- namely the small Internet Radio Stations should not be allowed to be part of the ongoing lawsuit about these taxes. This argument is that they are not "an aggrieved party who would be bound by the determination". Aggrieved they certainly are, bound by his determination - definitely. Maybe they aren't a "party". See Radio and Internet Newsletter for the full story.


Topic: Internet Radio   This whole CARP thing is a mess  24 Jun 2002

If you have missed it, the Librarian of Congress finally issued the report which has set the rates for streaming music over the 'net. The net effect is that most small legitimate webcasters are forced out of business. It turns out that the rates were set based on a deal between Yahoo and the RIAA. This interesting as this deal was specifically designed so that small webcasters could not compete! Further they (Yahoo / Broadcast.com) had already figured out how to cheat the RIAA -- by using multicast and claiming only a single stream.

It is a sad day when US based net radio starts to die due to the greed of a few fat cats at the RIAA.

Why am I upset? I did the streaming support for JReceiver to allow the Rio Receiver to play 'net Radio streams. I'm also working on ffmpeg which allows streaming of live audio and video streams to RealOne and to Windows Media Player (and many other things as well). This is what drives the pondcam on this page.


Topic: Internet Radio   Internet radio is in danger  3 Mar 2002

It turns out that the RIAA are (effectively) trying to kill Internet Radio using the Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel. The long and short is that broadcasters need to pay copyright owners for the use of their material. Thus an Am/FM broadcaster pays a fixed rate (set by the government) for the use of music.

The rates and other requirements are now being set for Internet Radio. The proposed rates are excessive (I think) and the reporting requirements are outrageous (I think). For other information, you can go to Beethoven.com or the CARP website.

Happily, you can still comment on this subject. My comments can be found at CARP Comments.


 Topic:    

Rolodex

cwop
The Citizen Weather Observer Program is a loose collection of amateur weather station operators.

docsearls
The Doc Searls weblog -- he seems clueful and I read him.

spf-pobox
Information about SPF (Sender Permitted From)

ffmpeg
Open source audio/video streaming software -- this drives my pondcam

jreceiver
Open source server for the Rio Receiver -- this is what I use.

gunnera
Neat description of the Gunnera Manicata -- a truly monstrous plant!


Philip Gladstone