Sunday, 31 January 2010

DJ Shadow - 'Miami Bass Mix' ( Lamacq’s Radio Show ) 08.09.1998


DJ Bone - Cultural Variance


China's Yangtze dam displaced

Smoking # 52 (old school)

Slime mould attacks simulates Tokyo rail network

In a Japanese laboratory, a group of scientists is encouraging a rapidly expanding amoeba-like blob to consume Tokyo. Thankfully, the blob in question is a "slime mould" just around 20cm wide, and "Tokyo" is represented by a series of oat flakes dotted about a large plastic dish. It's all part of a study on better network design through biological principles. Despite growing of its own accord with no plan in mind, the mould has rapidly produced a web of slimy tubes that look a lot like Tokyo's actual railway network.
The point of this simulation isn't to reconstruct the monster attacks of popular culture, but to find ways of improving transport networks, by recruiting nature as a town planner. Human societies depend on good transport networks for ferrying people, resources and information from place to place, but setting up such networks isn't easy. They have to be efficient, cost-effective and resistant to interruptions or failure. The last criterion is particularly challenging as the British public transport system attests to, every time a leaf or snowflake lands on a road or railway.
Living thing also rely on transport networks, from the protein tracks that run through all of our cells to the gangways patrolled by ant colonies. Like man-made networks, these biological ones face the same balancing act of efficiency and resilience, but unlike man-made networks, they have been optimised through millions of years of evolution. Their strategies have to work - if our networks crash, the penalties are power outages or traffic jams; if theirs crash, the penalty is death.
To draw inspiration from these biological networks, Atsushi Tero from Hokkaido University worked with the slime mould Physarum polycephalum. This amoeba-like creature forages for food by sending out branches (plasmodia) from a central location. Even though it forms vast, sprawling networks, it still remains as a single cell. It's incredibly dynamic. Its various veins change thickness and shape, new ones form while old ones vanish, and the entire network can crawl a few centimetres every hour.
For a mindless organism, the slime mould's skill at creating efficient networks is extraordinary. It can find the most effective way of linking together scattered sources of food, and it can even find the shortest path through a maze. But can it do the same for Tokyo's sprawling cityscape?
Tero grew Physarum in a wet dish at a place corresponding to Tokyo, with oat flakes marking the locations of other major cities in the Greater Tokyo Area. Physarum avoids bright light, so Tero used light to simulate mountains, lakes and other prohibitive terrain on his miniature map. The mould soon filled the space with a densely packed web of plasmodia. Eventually, it thinned out its networks to focus on branches that connected the food sources. Even by eye, these final networks bore a striking similarity to the real Tokyo rail system.
The mould's abilities are a wonder of self-optimisation. It has no sense of forward-planning, no overhead maps or intelligence to guide its moves. It creates an efficient network by laying down plasmodia indiscriminately, strengthening whatever works and cutting back on whatever doesn't. The approach seems as haphazard as a human planner putting railway tracks everywhere, and then removing the ones that aren't performing well. Nonetheless, the slime mould's methods (or lack thereof) produced a network with comparable cost, efficiency and tolerance for faults to the planned human attempt.
Tero tried to emulate this slime mould's abilities using a deceptively simple computer model, consisting of an randomly meshed lattice of tubes. Each tube has virtual protoplasm flowing through it, just as the branches of the slime mould do. The faster the flow rate, the wider the tube becomes. If the flow slows, the tubes thin and eventually disappear.
Tweaking the specific conditions of the model produced networks that were very similar to those of both live Physarum and Tokyo's actual rail system. Tweaking it further allowed Tero to boost the system's efficiency or resilience, while keeping its costs as low as possible. This, perhaps, is the engineering of the future - a virtual system inspired by a biological one that looks a lot like a man-made one.
Reference: Tero et al. 2010. Rules for Biologically Inspired Adaptive Network Design. Science 10.1126/science.1177894 
(Thanx Éric!)

Tony Soprano is a Wild Thing

Louis C.K. - Why?

Art by MTO in Berlin


Iran Tehran Mousavi Meets Karoubi Jan 30th 10 Bahman

Lykke Li & Bon Iver - Dance, Dance, Dance

BrandDNA Bon Iver and Lykke Li get together in a park and singlehandedly kickstart the skiffle revival. Kudos to @exilestreet

Too close to the bone!

Red Planet

Throwing Snow - Cronos

"Morality is personal. There is no such thing as a collective conscience, collective kindness, collective gentleness, collective freedom."
Thatcher 1979

New Fluxion album due in March

Dub techno artist Fluxion will release his next album, Perfused, this March on Echocord.
The Greek producer has been making tracks since 1998, with over a dozen releases on Chain Reaction, Resopal Schallware and his own label, Vibrant Music. He fell silent for a while in the middle of the last decade, then bounced back in 2009 with two EPs and a full-length album, Constant Limber, which will have preceded his new one by only six months.
We caught up with Fluxion via email to to ask him a few questions about the new album.
How did you choose Perfused as a title? I am always trying to express at least with an album title, how I perceive my way of making music and producing and what it reflects. My music had always the "melting," "flowing" aesthetic. I tend to create sounds that in the course of a track, never exactly repeat themselves. So the title Perfused describes this liquid state, in which I create streams of sounds, moving in time and space, and capturing this live feed. You released three records in 2009, including a full-length album, Constant Limber. What has made you so productive lately? Well to be honest, I haven't stopped making music. There is a big volume of recordings I've made between 2002-2007, which I am considering and selecting for a Vibrant Forms 3 release. I just needed some time off, from discography. I am trying not to release for the sake of releasing. I am trying to release because I have something new to offer. Something I really want to share... The other reason is that I felt in 2009, a strong impulse to release, due to this downfall of the music industry. I want to be a part of the optimism in the music/artist community. If it's a good release, it will prevail, will stand out. Not only because there is a name behind the release. I felt more, in a way, that whoever produces good music today, offering a new perspective, is doing it primarily for the love in what they do. It's more pure, and it shows What's next for Fluxion? After Perfused, it's two vinyl releases (the first with a Deadbeat remix and the second with Rod Modell remix), there is a remix I did on "Soul Is Back" from Soul Designer (Fabrice Lig). It will be out in May on vinyl/digital from Third Ear. It will include remixes by Luke Slater, Marco Passarani, Fluxion, UR Timeline (Mike Banks and Jon Dixon). So I am looking forward to this as well. After those releases, I'm also selecting material possibly for a new Vibrant Forms album.

Echocord will release Perfused this March.

This is absolutely fugn ridiculous!

Togo have been banned from taking part in the next two editions of the African Nations Cup and hit with a fine following their withdrawal from this year's tournament in the wake of a terrorist attack on the team bus.
The decision was made by the executive committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Three people were killed in the attack, which occurred while Togo were en route to the team hotel two days before their opening match.
There followed a period of confusion as to whether the players wanted to play on, but they were ultimately called home by their government having decided themselves they wished to stay.
CAF has deemed that move to amount to political interference, leading to today's sanction.
CAF said in a statement: "The executive committee and its president renewed their sincere condolences to the families of victims involved in this tragic terrorist attack which happened January 8, 2010.
"The attack was condemned by CAF and also a total support was given to the Togolese team.
"At that time, CAF said they have understood perfectly the decision of players not to participate in the competition.
"Meanwhile, following a decision taken by players to participate in the competition, the Togolese government decided to call back their national team.
"The decision taken by the political authorities is infringing CAF and CAN (African Nations Cup) regulations.
"Therefore, a decision has been taken to suspend the Togo national team for the next two editions of Africa Cup of Nations, with a fine of US$50,000 handed to the Togolese national football association, in conformity with article 78 of Africa Cup of Nations Angola 2010."

Jeanette Lindström - River (Lidbo Remix feat. Robert Wyatt)


Radio interview with James Stinson (Drexciya) by Liz Copeland (May 2002)

The first & last interview with James Stinson... retrospect it is very sad listening!
("Experience must continue til death"

Saturday, 30 January 2010

The Ex + Brass Unbound - UK tour 2010 (Thanx Gary!)

THE EX + BRASS UNBOUND - UK tour dates Jan/Feb 2010...
29/01 BRISTOL [England] - Fleece 30/01 GLASGOW [Scotland] - CCA 31/01 GATESHEAD [England] - Sage 01/02 BIRMINGHAM [England] - Hare + Hounds 02/02 BRIGHTON [England] - Audio 03/02 LONDON [England] - Tufnell Park Dome 04/02 MANCHESTER [England] - Deaf Institute 05/02 LIVERPOOL [England] - Kazimier 06/02 BELFAST [Northern Ireland] - Black Box

HA! Mastering: The Movie (gearslutz)

(Thanx Michael!)

You can call me 'Blob'!

Mr. Blob to you...

Absolutely sublime...

Bvdub's stunning 17 minute track 'Will You Know Where To Find Me' from Kompakt's 'Pop Ambient 2010'

Devendra Banhart - Carmensita

Great video - but I just don't get this guy at all...

Snow business (cute kittys for Anne!)

Lindstrom - Breakfast In Heaven (Remix)

Jeff Buckley & Elizabeth Fraser - All Flowers In Time Bend Towards The Sun

Bonus Audio
(Thanx Fifi!)



Whoah! That was close...was nearly...

Was mucking around with the HTML code and new layouts for the blog and thought I had lost it all...

Sly Stone suing former manager over royalties

Sly Stone
Reclusive funk musician Sly Stone has filed a $50m (£30.9m) legal claim against his former manager, alleging fraud and 20 years of stolen royalties.
The 66-year-old frontman of the 1970s group Sly and the Family Stone, claims Jerry Goldstein diverted millions in royalties to fund a lavish lifestyle.
He also claims Mr Goldstein registered the band's name with authorities as his own and used it borrow money.
Stone is best known for his hit songs Family Affair and Dance to the Music.
The musician - whose real name is Sylvester Stewart - has also asked the Los Angeles Superior Court for the full accounts from royalty collection companies to determine exactly how much had been taken from him.
'Unscrupulous people'
The legal papers said that Stone had been homeless at times and was currently living off benefits.
It added the musician depended on Mr Goldstein to handle his financial affairs and had paid Stone some money until 2007, but then stopped.
Stone's lawyer, Robert Allen said the legal action highlighted "a dark side of the music business where some of these artists are being robbed of their intellectual property and the fruits of their genius by unscrupulous people who prey on their trusting nature and lack of business and legal knowledge."
A representative for Mr Goldstein was not available for comment.
Sly and the Family Stone had hits throughout the 1960s and 1970s but the group fell apart because of heavy drug use and erratic behaviour among the band members.
After years out of the public eye, Stone gave his first live musical performance since 1987 at the 2006 Grammy awards in a tribute to the band, but left the stage before his song was over.

Iran getting rid of the green on its flag?


Pere Ubu - Breath

Michael Dustdevil & Bendle - Broken Skin (rough mix)


Setting up my iPod dock...

Blake Baxter tenth planet mix - 01-02-2010


The Associates - Club Country

Yes there were lots of stories about their recording sessions...but coffee cups taped to their heads?

Friday, 29 January 2010

WTF??? Bliar Blair says sometimes it is important not to ask the March 2003 question, but instead to ask the 2010 question.

Straight outta Berlin

Wax Treatment is a monthly club night in Berlin featuring bass-heavy sounds hosted by the Hard Wax camp.

Wax Treatment Podcast #006 - DJ Pete

25.01.10 - Tracklist:

Wax Treatment Podcast #005 - DJ Pete

14.12.09 - Tracklist:

Wax Treatment Podcast #004 - Mackjiggah

21.11.09 - Tracklist:

Wax Treatment Podcast #003 - Shed

18.10.09 - Tracklist:

Wax Treatment Podcast #002 - DJ Pete

22.09.09 - Tracklist:

Wax Treatment Podcast #001 - DJ Pete

21.08.09 - Tracklist:

For the Love of Culture


WTF??? Australian censor board demands large-breasted porn-stars

A reader writes: "Australian Classification Board (ACB) is now banning depictions of small-breasted women in adult publications and films. They banned mainstream pornography from showing women with A-cup breasts, apparently on the grounds that they encourage paedophilia, and in spite of the fact this is a normal breast size for many adult women. Presumably small breasted women taking photographs of themselves will now be guilty of creating simulated child pornography, to say nothing of the message this sends to women with modestly sized chests or those who favour them. Australia has also banned pornographic depictions of female ejaculation, a normal orgasmic sexual response in many women, with censors branding it as 'abhorrent.'"
"The Board has also started to ban depictions of small-breasted women in adult publications and films. This is in response to a campaign led by Kids Free 2 B Kids and promoted by Barnaby Joyce and Guy Barnett in Senate Estimates late last year. Mainstream companies such as Larry Flint's Hustler produce some of the publications that have been banned. These companies are regulated by the FBI to ensure that only adult performers are featured in their publications. "We are starting to see depictions of women in their late 20s being banned because they have an A cup size", she said. "It may be an unintended consequence of the Senator's actions but they are largely responsible for the sharp increase in breast size in Australian adult magazines of late". 

FuckingFamousRG118 by Queens of Minimal Techno - 28-01-10


Spank! (For that well known 'prevert' oop north!)

Smoking # 51

Jónsi on WNYC (Interview and Acoustic Set)

aplive on Broadcast Live Free

Charlie Brooker's generic news report



If you are a devotee of Apple's new product are you a faniPad!!!

J.D. Salinger RIP

"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth." -opening lines of The Catcher In The Rye
Author and famous recluse J.D. Salinger has passed away at the age of 91.


Speaking as someone with a few peircings I can only echo the sentiment of a comment left on Boing Boing:

"Nasty! Ok, I have maybe 120 hours of tattooing and at one time or another several extra holes, but I have never eaten with my mouth open in public; and that is what this is ALL THE TIME eating with your mouth open.
P.S. say goodbye to those gums in a few years,(abrasion)."

Interview w/ Robert Hood

Céleste Boursier-Mougenot at Barbican Centre, London

New commission for The Curve, Barbican, London

French artist Céleste Boursier-Mougenot creates works by drawing on the rhythms of daily life to produce sound in unexpected ways.

For his installation in The Curve, Boursier-Mougenot creates a walk-though aviary for a flock of zebra finches, furnished with electric guitars and other musical instruments. As the birds go about their routine activities, perching on or feeding from the various pieces of equipment, they create a captivating, live soundscape.
27 February 2010 - 23 May 2010
The Curve, Barbican, London admission
Times: Open daily 11am-8pm
Open late every Thu until 10pm 


A filmmaker who was shooting a documentary about The Libertines has been found dead.
The body of Robyn Whitehead, a member of the politically influential Goldsmith dynasty, was discovered at a flat in Hackney in east London.
According to Hackney Gazette, Whitehead died in the early hours of Monday morning (January 25), although details of her death have only just been released.
According to a police spokesperson the death is not being treated as suspicious.
"The woman was 27 and from the Northampton area. Next of kin have been informed," they explained. "We are awaiting formal identification. A post-mortem will be carried out in due course."
It has been reported that the flat belong to Pete Doherty's friend and fellow singer Wolfman.
Whitehead's mother Dido Whitehead is a cousin of Jemima Khan and Zac Goldsmith, while her father is '60s filmmaker Peter Whitehead.
Whitehead's documentary about The Libertines is entitled The Road To Albion. and was nearing completion. It features rare early footage of the band.
It has been suggested that Whitehead was beginning work on a second film about Babyshambles.

Free London gig by Skip McDonald (Friday lunchtime)

January 29:
Skip McDonald (Little Axe), 
London Royal Festival Hall (1pm)

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Teenage girl rescued after 15 days trapped in Haiti rubble

A 16-year-old girl has been pulled out of the rubble in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, 15 days after the earthquake struck, rescuers say.
Darlene Etienne was said to be happy but dehydrated. Rescuers said she had survived by drinking water from a bath.
Her rescue comes five days after Haitian government officially ended the search and rescue operation.
Meanwhile President Rene Preval has said parliamentary elections due to be held on 28 February will be postponed.
As many as 200,000 people died in the 12 January earthquake. More than 130 people have been pulled alive from the rubble.
Bath water
A rescue worker described the discovery of the teenager, two weeks after the quake destroyed the city, as a "miracle".

Darlene Etienne rests in a French field hospital after being rescued in Port-au-Prince, 27 Jan
Darlene Etienne, 16 - rescued after 15 days
Rico Dibrivell, early 30s - rescued after 12 days
Wismond Exantus, 24, found after 11 days
Emmannuel Buso, 21 - rescued after 10 days
Marie Carida, 84 - saved after 10 days
Mendji Bahina Sanon, 11 - trapped for eight days
Lozama Hotteline, 25 - pulled out after seven days
Elisabeth Joassaint, 15 days - buried for seven days, half her life
Ena Zizi, 69 - rescued after seven days

"I don't know how she happened to resist that long," said rescue worker JP Malaganne.
The 16-year-old was found in the rubble of a house near the College St Gerard, which one of her relatives said she had just started attending.
Neighbours had been searching in the rubble of their homes in the central Carrefour-Feuilles district when they heard a weak voice and called rescue teams to help.
They managed to locate the girl in the wreckage and less than an hour later had dug a hole to pull her out, covered in dust.
Rescuer Claude Fuilla told the Associated Press news agency: "She couldn't really talk to us or say how long she'd been there but I think she'd been there since the earthquake.
"I don't think she could have survived even a few more hours."
Darlene was given water and oxygen before being taken to a French field hospital and medical ship.
"She just said 'Thank you', she's very weak, which suggests that she's been there for 15 days," said Samuel Bernes, head of the rescue team that discovered her.
He described her location within the rubble as "in a pocket, surrounded by concrete".
The BBC's Karen Allen, in the Haitian capital, said that rescue workers had told her the teenager was trapped in the bathroom when the quake struck and was able to survive by drinking water from a bath.
On Tuesday, rescuers discovered a 31-year-old man who had been trapped for 12 days after being caught in one of the numerous aftershocks that rocked the city after the earthquake.
In announcing the election delay, Mr Preval said he would not seek to remain in office beyond the end of his term in February 2011.
He added: "I don't think the time is right to hold elections now given the conditions in which people are living."

King Kenny!

(I once found a couple of day old kittens and named them Kenny & Dalgleish - they turned out to be females!!!
Prompted my eldest son later to ask if I knew that there was a famous footballer named after our cats LOL!)

Bonus Audio:
The Barmy Army - Sharp As A Needle

Arash Rahmanipour & Mohammad Reza Ali-Zamani RIP

I wonder if dogs look at other dogs when they're humping on a human's leg and think...."That's one sick bastard!."

iPad 2006 (HA! Thanx HerrB!!!)

Abe Duque feat. Blake Baxter - What Happened (Affi Koman Remix)


Oh look - a midget w/ an iPhone!

Radiohead - Lotus Flowers (Radiohead for Haiti Benefit The Fonda Theater)

Full download of show available

Obama is the most reactionary president since Nixon by Nick Cohen (?!?)

A Democrat president does not lose Massachusetts without so dispiriting liberals they can longer be bothered to turn out for him. Inattentive foreigners have been slow to spot the demoralisation because their relief at Obama's inauguration has stopped them realising that his failure to tackle unemployment and his unconscionable delay in punishing the bankers have induced despair among his natural supporters. As has the vacuity of his foreign policy.
I accept that readers may find this a hard sentence to swallow, but when it comes to promoting democracy, the emancipation of women and the liberation of the oppressed, Barack Obama has been the most reactionary American president since Richard Nixon.
Take the undeservedly neglected case of Nyi Nyi Aung. The reason you have never heard of the Burmese-American is that his arrest is an embarrassment to an Obama administration that wants to "engage" with Burma's military regime. The junta is holding the democracy activist in solitary confinement. If he is receiving the same treatment as its previous inmates, the guards will be forcing him to crawl on all fours, bark instead of talk and eat from a dog bowl. American senators wrote to Hillary Clinton demanding that she intervene and received no concrete commitments. Nyi Nyi's disgusted American fiancee says that the message America sends the generals is that they can do what they want.
It is not that Obama has adopted a policy of outright appeasement. He decided not to drop the Bush-era sanctions after a long, slow review. But as Mark Farmaner from the Burma Campaign UK group says, European and Asian countries which don't give a damn about human rights and just want to make money aren't feeling any pressure from Washington to blacklist the regime. The hope that Burmese democracy campaigners felt at Obama's election has long gone.
I don't believe you can understand why he is such a let-down if you hold on to old definitions of liberalism. From Eleanor Roosevelt onwards, the Democrats were meant to believe in universal human rights. Even Jimmy Carter, mocked for his weakness in handling tyrants, tried to make them a part of his foreign policy. The flattering label "realist" – which, like the equally gratifying "sceptic", is not a badge of honour you can award to yourself – was claimed by Republicans, most notably Nixon, Gerald Ford and Henry Kissinger. They maintained they were hard-headed men who could see the world as it is, unlike soppy liberal idealists. They would deal with any regime, however repulsive, that could help advance US interests, and ignore what their allies did to their captive populations.
Obama has stood the distinction on its head. In a forthcoming analysis for the Henry Jackson Society, Lawrence Haas, a former aide to Al Gore, laments the "disappointment" of the Obama presidency with an embarrassment of damning evidence. Obama and Hillary Clinton have explicitly said, for instance, that they will not allow protests about the Chinese Communist party's treatment of dissent to sour discussion about the economic crisis and climate change. In line with the policy of detente, Obama refused to meet the Dalai Lama for fear of offending China just as Ford refused to meet Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn for fear of offending the Soviet Union.
During the aborted Iranian revolution, brave protesters chanted: "Obama, Obama – either you're with them or you're with us" as the cops beat them up. The dithering Obama couldn't make up his mind which side he was on and insultingly called their country the Islamic Republic of Iran, as if it were the ayatollahs' property. True, in his Cairo speech to Muslim countries, he said he believed in "governments that reflect the will of the people" – which was big of him – but did not mention the oppression of women. Ever since, his administration has ignored Arab liberals and done next to nothing to promote a settlement in Palestine.
Haas blames the chaos in Iraq for discrediting democracy and teaching Bush's opponents to sneer at liberal values, but there is more to the conservatism of the Obama administration than that. He comes from an ideological culture which calls itself progressive, but is often reactionary. Many from his political generation use the superficially leftish language of multiculturalism and post-colonialism to imply that human rights are a modern version of imperialism which westerners impose on societies that do not need them. Scratch a relativist and you find a racist and although they do not put it as bluntly as this, their thinking boils down to the truly imperialist belief that universal suffrage or a woman's right to choose are all very well for white-skinned people in rich countries but not brown-skinned people in poor ones.
The unthinking adulation Obama received would have turned the most level-headed man into an egomaniac. In his first year, he acted as if it was enough not to be Bush, as if his charisma and oratorical brilliance could persuade dangerous leaders to change their behaviour. He cannot believe that after a year of failure. He abandoned Bush's missile defence programme in an attempt to charm Putin and received no concessions in return. Similarly, his creeping to Ahmadinejad has not produced any diplomatic rewards. Kissinger and Nixon were terrifying figures, who, in the name of "realism", endorsed regimes that persecuted opponents from East Timor to Chile. Obama, by contrast, doesn't frighten anyone.
I am glad to see that he turned away last week from the advisers who urged him not to reform Wall Street. Perhaps he is preparing a similar U-turn in foreign policy. In the past month, there have been tentative signs of a change of emphasis. In his Nobel peace prize lecture, he was unequivocal in his support for universal rights and departed from his prepared text to assert that, after all, he was on the side of the Iranian revolutionaries. Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, has finally managed to speak out in plain language against the censorship of the web by China, Egypt and other dictatorships.
Let us hope that these swallows herald a summer, because if they do not we will be stuck with an American president who combines the weakness of Jimmy Carter with the morals of Richard Nixon.

(For decent journalism!)

5 Ways the Apple iPad Could Change e-Books

Now that we’ve left the hall of mirrors that was the Apple-tablet rumor mill, we can finally take a deep breath and ask: What’s up with the iPad? (Seriously, we’re really all gonna call it that?) Seeing as we’re avid readers, let’s shake our magic eight ball and ask what it might mean for e-books. Our take after the jump.

iBookstore pricing
From screenshots at least, it looks like the iBook store might have variable prices for e- (sorry, i-) books. This is a shot across the bow for Amazon, which has been fighting book publishers over e-book price points. Amazon likes $9.99, but publishers are used to charging upwards of 20 bucks for a hardback. The screenshots seem to indicate the iBookstore could meet somewhere in the middle for new releases. The tiff with Amazon has gotten so bad that certain publishers have started delaying the releases of their ebooks to avoid cannibalizing their hardback sales. (There’s been some speculation that Amazon is fighting back by hitting those same books with dozens of one-star ratings.) Not coincidentally, the publishers who were dragging their heels with cheaper ebooks are some of the same ones lining up early for the iBook store, including Hachette and Simon and Schuster. The way we’ve heard it, this is not just about price. Ebooks are a relatively small section of the book market right now, but they’re growing very fast. And if Amazon ends up as the primary distributor and sets the prices for ebooks — well, that leaves publishers pretty scared they’ll be cut out. On the other hand, everyone who saw what the iPod did to CD sales would caution that the iPad might not be the messiah many in book publishing clearly want it to be. But — for now — it looks like the iBook store may allow publishers more say in setting the prices of ebooks. Which puts Amazon’s marketshare squarely in Apple’s sights.
The iPad uses an open-source format for books
The iBookstore will sell content in the most commonly accepted open ebook format, EPUB. The Kindle store uses a proprietary format called AZW. Sounds like Apple’s coming down on the side of open source, right? Well, not so fast. It’s not yet clear whether you could load up a PDF you “found” into the iBook reader (as you can with the Kindle), or whether you’ll be stuck getting all your content from the iBookstore. It’s also still sketchy whether buying books in an EPUB format from the iBookstore means they’ll be readable on other ereading devices by the likes of Sony, Barnes and Noble, etc, or whether Apple has some sort of DRM of its own. But if Apple is really committing to selling DRM-free ebooks, that could put a lot of pressure on Amazon and everyone else to adopt the standard. That might bring the publishing world a whole lot closer to its own mp3 era.

It’s got a real screen
The iPad features a 9.7” high-res screen, not an e-ink display like many other e-readers. It remains to be seen whether that large display and the accompanying 1GHz processor will make reading books on a screen more palatable to consumers. But it does open the possibility of full-color ebooks.
There’s buy-in from publishers — the big ones, at least
HarperCollins, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Hachette Book Group are among the publishers who are on board at this time, and the NY Times speculates that Random House can’t be far behind. This is a good sign that the iBook store will have robust initial content. What else would we like to see? More involvement from indie publishers, too. Sure, the iTunes store is great and all, but for the first few years especially, it leaned heavily on the major labels, spurring the growth of independent distribution sites like emusic. Can we expect the same for ebooks?
It’s 500 bucks
It looks like one of the goals of all those controlled leaks was to set expectations for a thousand-dollar device, only to reveal a base model at about $499 (with 3G). To put that in perspective, a Kindle or a Nook will cost you about $259. Could a more expensive but more full-featured device kickstart ebooks?

Too bad the company is called "Apple" or it could be Mac's iPad.

the thought is enough my friend!



CIA Man Retracts Claim on Waterboarding

Well, it's official now: John Kiriakou, the former CIA operative who affirmed claims that waterboarding quickly unloosed the tongues of hard-core terrorists, says he didn't know what he was talking about.
Kiriakou, a 15-year veteran of the agency's intelligence analysis and operations directorates, electrified the hand-wringing national debate over torture in December 2007 when he told ABC's Brian Ross and Richard Esposito  in a much ballyhooed, exclusive interview that senior al Qaeda commando Abu Zubaydah cracked after only one application of the face cloth and water.
"From that day on, he answered every question," Kiriakou said. "The threat information he provided disrupted a number of attacks, maybe dozens of attacks."
No matter that Kiriakou wearily said he shared the anguish of millions of Americans, not to mention the rest of the world, over the CIA's application of the medieval confession technique.
  The point was that it worked.  And the pro-torture camp was quick to pick up on Kiriakou's claim.
"It works, is the bottom line," conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh exclaimed on his radio show the day after Kiriakou's ABC interview. "Thirty to 35 seconds, and it works."
A cascade of similar acclamations followed, muffling -- to this day -- the later revelation that Zubaydah had in fact been waterboarded at least 83 times.
Had Kiriakou left out something the first time?
Now comes John Kiriakou, again, with a wholly different story. On the next-to-last page of a new memoir, The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA's War on Terror (written with Michael Ruby), Kiriakou now rather off handedly admits that he basically made it all up.
"What I told Brian Ross in late 2007 was wrong on a couple counts," he writes. "I suggested that Abu Zubaydah had lasted only thirty or thirty-five seconds during his waterboarding before he begged his interrogators to stop; after that, I said he opened up and gave the agency actionable intelligence."
But never mind, he says now.
"I wasn't there when the interrogation took place; instead, I relied on what I'd heard and read inside the agency at the time."

(What they're) just sayin'

adamb303 RT @simorobo: I hope they make a pocket version of the Apple tablet and it allows me to make calls with it. That would be useful! less than 20 seconds ago from web
 Cokebear17 RT @JonProject: Yo Steve Jobs, I'm really happy for ya and Imma let you finish, but Tylenol was the best #tablet of all time! Of all time! less than 20 seconds ago from Echofon
schooligan RT @TheOnion: Frantic Steve Jobs Stays Up All Night Designing Apple Tablet less than 20 seconds ago from twitterfeed
IMAO_ RT @basilsblog: All I want to know about the new Apple tablet: Will it run Google Wave? less than 20 seconds ago from Seesmic
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My shoes (in the 60's) had a compass in them...and left animal footprints!