Apple Music’s “For You” feature

The idea is to recommend music based on my existing iTunes library along with the genres and artists I ID’d when setting up Apple Music. (I never found Pandora’s algorithm very good at this. The other services might be better.) It’s only been a few days but I’m impressed, especially with the playlists. Seeing my favorite artists/music as well as deep tracks I didn’t know existed. With stuff by artists I’ve never heard of. This experience will only get richer (I hope) as I continue to provide feedback by listening an liking playlists and individual tracks. This browse runs 9 minutes but you can bail after a couple and still get the idea.

On the Media: Digital Dark Age

What if, either by the slow creep of technological obsolescence or sudden cosmic disaster, we were cut off from our electronic records?

Preventing a NASA Dark Age – NASA’s archives faced technological extinction, until a series of happy accidents allowed Keith Cowing to rescue the iconic photograph, Earthrise.

Vint Cerf and our uncertain digital future – Four decades after he co-developed one of the protocols that made the internet a reality, Vint Cerf is worried about our digital future.

The solar flare scenario – Could a solar flare cause a digital meltdown? Brooke speaks with Lucianne Walkowicz, astronomer at Chicago’s Adler Planetarium, about the sun’s power to affect our electrical grid.

Surviving a solar flare – Rocky Rawlins created the Survivor Library in preparation for a solar flare taking us back to a pre-digital age.

The storage potential of DNA – Paper burns. Bits rot. CDs decay. But DNA can last tens of thousands of years. That’s why researchers in England have developed a way to code digital data into the code of life.

Operation Digital Data Rescue – A guide to moving your data from those obsolete cassettes, tapes and even floppy disks to somewhere you can actually use them.

Link to podcast


“Then he explained in a whisper that the plan was composed entirely of awesome. It was made and designed by the House of Awesome, from materials found in the deep awesome mines of Awesometania and it would be recorded in the Annals of Awesome—and nowhere else, because any other book would catch fire and explode from the awesome—and by its awesomeness it would be known from now until the crack of doom.”

Tigerman by Nick Harkaway

Pardon me, are these your panties?


I spent an hour in a laundromat this afternoon, washing and drying a load of clothes. I can’t remember the last time I did that. Must be 30 years ago. That’s about how old our house is and many/most of the appliances. A major remodel starts in a week or so, including new appliances which are gasping their last.

When I had lots of Important Stuff to do, sitting in a laundromat was a hassle. Today’s chore wasn’t one at all. I’ve reached he point where waiting for the spin cycle to end is the most productive thing I do all day.

Barb tells me the new washer and dryer can be operated from our phones and we’ll receive notifications (if we want them) when the wash is done. In the meantime, are you sure these aren’t your panties?

Fortunate Son

I recently heard a bluesy/jazzy version of CCR’s Fortunate Son. The uke chords seemed to be within my limited range so I’ve been amusing myself (and our two dogs). This afternoon I took a break to fiddle around with Garageband. This sounds nothing like the cover that got me started. Submitted here for your amusement.

Okay. A few hours later and a different take.

The people formerly known as advertisers

Media researcher Gordon Borrell says “we’ve reached the end of the Golden Age of Advertising.”

  • 82% of SMBs have established their own media channel in the form of a website or social media page.
  • Since 2007, spending has skyrocketed to the point at which businesses last year spent 72% more on marketing services and promotions than they had spent 10 years earlier. Meanwhile, the annual expenditure on local advertising was 22% less than it was a decade ago.
  • “Over the next 12 months, the gap will almost certainly widen to the point that all traditional advertising channels — print, broadcast, outdoor and mail — begin to look like niche support mechanisms to a local businesses’ digital marketing plan.”


“In general, an opinion is a judgment, viewpoint, or statement about matters commonly considered to be subjective. What distinguishes fact from opinion is that facts are verifiable, i.e. can be objectively proven to have occurred.” (Wikipedia)

So here’s my question: Do you choose your opinions? Do you have control over your judgments and viewpoints? If, for example, you are of the opinion that the Green Bay Packers are the best NFL team, could you choose to have a different opinion on the matter?

If you answered YES, I have a follow-up question. Can you choose to have NO opinion on a topic? That sounds much harder. If I sit down next to you and say: “Abortion,” you probably have an opinion on that topic almost instantaneously. How would it be possible for you to decide NOT to have an opinion on that topic? When might such a decision have been made? To me it feels like opinions happen to us, rather than something we do.

At this point some of you A students are thinking: “Sure, my opinions are emergent, but they’re the result of all the reading and thinking and information gathering I’ve done throughout my life.”

Granted. But it sounds to me like we don’t have any control over our opinions. At least not in the moment. So choosing not to have an opinion… any opinion… is out of the question. An opinion happens to you like Psoriasis. And yet, our opinions play a huge role in our identity. “I’m who I am because I believe these things.” But you didn’t decide to believe those things and you couldn’t decide to believe something else if I put a gun to your head.

The more I think about it, the more worthless opinions — yours and mine — seem. Could I go all day without expressing an opinion? For one hour?

“Do not seek the truth; only cease to cherish opinions.” — Seng-ts’an