Android users: Swip is nice. Adjust alerts, volumes, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, all kinds of stuff in one simple tap. Free! :)

Japanese rockstar Yoshiki engages in piano battle with hologram of himself

Yoshiki, a musician, songwriter, composer, record producer, front man of heavy-metal band X Japan and classical soloist, appeared on stage at the music and technology festival to a rousing reception and proceeded to sit himself at one end of a double piano.

All appeared normal as Yoshiki began stroking the keys, but when a more clearly defined and life-like Yoshiki emerged from the left of stage, the audience began to grasp they had a one-of-a-kind piano battle on their hands.

So the infamous hologram tech from the 2009 X Japan reunion tour returns. This time we get two Yoshikis for the price of one.


when brain not work, google count on

So it’s been about three years of standing deskage now, but there’s been some major changes of late.

Firstly is the purchase this summer of a cheap Windows 8 tablet [amazon], which lets me watch low-expectation non-HDTV-worthy movies and Half-in-the-Bag/Best of the Worst episodes [rlm] on the couch without the kids seeing/hearing. It’s also become how I do 90% of my reading and web browsing now.

Secondly is my growing disinterest in gaming this year — I just don’t enjoy it any longer. 

So I’m at my standing desk using my main PC less and less… it’s mostly for video editing and photoshopping now. 

So I’m sitting a bunch again. [sadtrombone]


Top Four Podcasts of 2013

I used to listen to a lot of 5by5 and TWiT — no more. 

Now it’s just:

Accidental Tech Podcast
Marco Arment & John Siracusa talk smartly about the world of technology. Some nameless third wheel dullard interrupts them regularly but that’s what the 30-sec skip button is for. 

Talk Show w/ John Gruber 
He’s letting internet-fame go to his head a bit, says the same things each week, and doesn’t seem too prepared anymore, and he does FIVE MINUTE AD SPOTS, but for now he remains in my queue if nothing else comes up.

Hollywood Outsider 
Four friends banter about movies but unlike most “bantering friends” podcasts, these guys keep it brisk and entertaining, with a decent balance of knowledgeability and humor. And it’s not all film-schooly elitist like a lot of movie podcasts, it’s much more populist. 

Slate’s Culture Gabfest 
Professional, professorial pop-culture analysis. Always at least one cool thing I’m interested in and one thing I’m not (but eager to learn about). Stephen Metcalf is a brilliant vocabularist, teaches me a new turn of phrase every week. But he hasn’t been on for a couple weeks now. :(

Apple | iTunes Match (2013)

So having my 24,000 songs in the cloud is a bit of a waste of time — using it would kill my 2gb/mo data plan.

And having my 160kbps mp3 rips upgraded to 256kbps aac was a clusterfuck.

It took DAYS of scanning and uploading and deleting and downloading to get shit upgraded, and even then, 1) not all songs in an album got upgraded, and 2) iTunes formatted it [artist] > [album] > [track number] [song title], with no way for me to tell it to stick THE FUCKING YEAR in there somewhere, and 3) iTunes doesn’t know SHIT about j-rock. 

Woulda been simpler to do a search for “metallica discography 320”, then using Flash Renamer and Tag & Rename to format the tracks and folders to your liking!

(Plus iTunes 11, despite its improvements, still farts along like a lazy coworker doing the bare minimum. The Zune PC app is ridiculously more capable.) 

I don’t recommend iTunes Match for ANYTHING.  


Amazon Cloud iTunes Match | Google Music

I want to upgrade all the crap I ripped at 160kbps back in 1998-2003, when hard drives were small and my music collection was big. 

For Japanese music — like Dir en grey, L’Arc~en~ciel, Luna Sea, Sex Machineguns, Pierrot, Kagrra, Despairs Ray, Puffy, Nanase Aikawa, etc… will any of these services be able to match these artists’ discographies, or even just ~some~ albums or singles?

iTunes has a japanese store, Amazon does too…

Post in the comments, I’ll write up my experience next week…