Last.fm keeps track of all the music you play but they also keep track of the music that people don’t want the world to know they listen to: the Most Unwanted Scrobbles. The Beatles, Radiohead, Britney, and Avril top the uncharts. The Britney and Avril I can understand. The Beatles and Radiohead…perhaps the perception of overratedness leads people to keep those tastes private? (thx, graham)
Update: Ohhh, ok. Radiohead and The Beatles are so high on the list because 1) so many people have those two bands in their playlists that they get deleted so much out of sheer numbers, and 2) those two bands are no good for recommendation engines — you like pop music? I recommend The Beatles — so people exclude them. (thx all)
It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these. Here are some updates on some of the topics, links, ideas, posts, people, etc. that have appeared on kottke.org recently:
Two counterexamples to the assertion that cities != organisms or ecosystems: cancer and coral reefs. (thx, neville and david)
In pointing to the story about Ken Thompson’s C compiler back door, I forgot to note that the backdoor was theoretical, not real. But it could have easily been implemented, which was Thompson’s whole point. A transcript of his original talk is available on the ACM web site. (thx, eric)
ChangeThis has a “manifesto” by Nassim Taleb about his black swan idea. But reader Jean-Paul says that Taleb’s idea is not that new or unique. In particular, he mentions Alain Badiou’s Being and Event, Jacques Derrida, and Gilles Deleuze. (thx, paul & jean-paul)
When I linked The Onion’s ‘Most E-Mailed’ List Tearing New York Times’ Newsroom Apart, I said “I’d rather read a real article on the effect the most popular lists have on the decisions made by the editorial staff at the Times, the New Yorker, and other such publications”. American Journalism Review published one such story last summer, as did the Chicago Tribune’s Hypertext blog and the LA Times (abstract only). (thx, gene & adam)
Related to Kate Spicer’s attempt to slim down to a size zero in 6 weeks: Female Body Shape in the 20th Century. (thx, energy fiend)
Got the following query from a reader:
are those twitter updates on your blog updated automatically when you update your twitter? if so, how did you do it?
A couple of weeks ago, I added my Twitter updates and recent music (via last.fm) into the front page flow (they’re not in the RSS feed, for now). Check out the front page and scroll down a bit if you want to check them out. The Twitter post is updated three times a week (MWF) and includes my previous four Twitter posts. I use cron to grab the RSS file from Twitter, some PHP to get the recent posts, and some more PHP to stick it into the flow. The last.fm post works much the same way, although it’s only updated once a week and needs a splash of something to liven it up a bit.
The guy who played Spaulding in Caddyshack is a real estate broker in the Boston area. (thx, ivan)
Two reading recommendations regarding the Jonestown documentary: a story by Tim Cahill in A Wolverine Is Eating My Leg and Seductive Poison by former People’s Temple member Deborah Layton. (thx, garret and andrea)
In case someone in the back didn’t hear it, this map is not from Dungeons and Dragons but from Zork/Dungeon. (via a surprising amount of people in a short period of time)
When reading about how low NYC’s greenhouse gas emissions are relative to the rest of the US, keep in mind the area surrounding NYC (kottke.org link). “Think of Manhattan as a place which outsources its pollution, simply because land there is so valuable.” (thx, bob)
NPR did a report on the Nickelback potential self-plagiarism. (thx, roman)
After posting about the web site for Miranda July’s new book, several people reminded me that Jeff Bridges’ site has a similar lo-fi, hand-drawn, narrative-driven feel.
In the wake of linking to the IMDB page for Back to the Future trivia, several people reminded me of the Back to the Future timeline, which I linked to back in December. A true Wikipedia gem.
I’m ashamed to say I’m still hooked on DesktopTD. The problem is that the creator of the game keeps updating the damn thing, adding new challenges just as you’ve finally convinced yourself that you’ve wrung all of the stimulation out of the game. As Robin notes, it’s a brilliant strategy, the continual incremental sequel. Version 1.21 introduced a 10K gold fun mode…you get 10,000 gold pieces at the beginning to build a maze. Try building one where you can send all 50 levels at the same time and not lose any lives. Fun, indeed.
Regarding the low wattage color palette, reader Jonathan notes that you should use that palette in conjunction with a print stylesheet that optimizes the colors for printing so that you’re not wasting a lot of ink on those dark background colors. He also sent along an OS X trick I’d never seen before: to invert the colors on your monitor, press ctrl-option-cmd-8. (thx, jonathan)
Dorothea Lange’s iconic Migrant Mother photograph was modified for publication…a thumb was removed from the lower right hand corner of the photo. Joerg Colberg wonders if that case could inform our opinions about more recent cases of photo alteration.
In reviewing all of this, the following seem related in an interesting way: Nickelback’s self-plagiarism, continual incremental sequels, digital photo alteration, Tarantino and Rodriquez’s Grindhouse, and the recent appropriation of SimpleBits’ logo by LogoMaid.
Long ago, I signed up on last.fm and downloaded the AudioScrobbler plugin for iTunes, which plugin listens to what I’m playing in iTunes and sends a report of it the last.fm web site. Then I promptly forgot about it. A year and a half later, it’s compiled quite a musical dossier on me: 10,300+ tracks listened to (that’s about 18 per day), my most listened to track is A Dream by Cut Copy, and my 10 most listened to artists are Ladytron, Boards of Canada, Fischerspooner, Bloc Party, John Digweed, Daft Punk, Royksopp, Pixies, Radiohead, and Sigur Ros.
Even longer ago, I used the dearly departed Kung-Tunes to place a list of my recently played music on kottke.org. Thanks to the last.fm API and a gently modified version of this PHP script, that list is back; you can find it on the front page of kottke.org.