Monday, December 22, 2008

Note from the Yahoos

Important Notice Regarding Discontinuation of LAUNCHcast Plus Service and Refund Program


Beginning in February 2009, CBS Radio will power LAUNCHcast Radio. LAUNCHcast Radio will still be accessible from the Yahoo! site. However, it will be hosted and operated by CBS Radio rather than by Yahoo!. As part of the transition to CBS Radio, the LAUNCHcast Plus premium service will be closing on February 12, 2009.

As a subscriber to LAUNCHcast Plus, you will continue to have access to your premium subscription features until February 12, 2009. If there is any time left on your subscription account after February 12, you will automatically receive a prorated refund for any remaining subscription time. To ensure proper delivery of any prorated refunds, we strongly encourage you to check your account information and make sure everything is accurate and up-to-date. You can access your LAUNCHcast Plus account information here:

Even though the LAUNCHcast Plus subscription service will be discontinued, you will still have access to most of your favorite preprogrammed LAUNCHcast stations through the new CBS Radio-powered experience. The difference is that those radio stations will be supported by advertising and there will no longer be a commercial-free option.1

With LAUNCHcast Radio powered by CBS Radio, you will also get access to some new features, including a new streaming radio player and CBS Radio's wide variety of local music, news, talk, and sports programming. The new radio player will also be compatible with Macintosh computers and Firefox and Safari browsers. Not all existing LAUNCHcast features will continue, however. Your custom "My Station" and "Moods" stations will no longer be available after February 12, 2009. Additionally, you will no longer be able to add "Influencers" to your personalized "My Station."

There is no need to cancel or do anything with your service to make the transition to CBS Radio. Yahoo! will not transfer any of your account information to CBS Radio. You will not have to pay for the new LAUNCHcast service since it will be supported by advertising.

We hope you will enjoy our new radio experience and the broader range of radio stations that it will bring.


For more information about LAUNCHcast Radio and the changes to the service, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions.

1Radio station line up is subject to change and we cannot guarantee that all stations will be available after the transition to CBS Radio.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

LaunchCast to be MANGLED in February!


CBS and Yahoo! have created the worst mash-up in internet history.

CBS will make LaunchCast Mac compatible, at the great expenses of adding commercials and dumping the personalizations.

And I bet I can't get ANY of MY old DATA!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lissajous Visualizer for iTunes

For years and years - I've been hoping for an iTunes visualizer or screensaver that displays either a Left/Right or Mid/Side Lissajous Waveform, with color. Seems so simple and yet - I can't find one.

What I don't like about so many of the visualizers are the phoniness and cyclic redundancy. I want a real waveform, where the stereo signals left channel = x-axis and right channel = y-axis or the stereo signals (left+right) channels = x-axis and (left-right) channels = y-axis. Throw in some relevant color somehow and Voila.

I think the colors need to be the reverse energy scale of the audio scale. That is, normally high pitch has high energy correlating with ultraviolet and low tones are lower frequencies correlating with infrared. But reverse that, as it feels right. It feels as if it takes less energy to hear high notes and more energy to feel low notes, so that is my thinking.

So the plug-in would need to analyze attack, sustain, delay, and reverberation along with frequencies. With different ADSR signals, display appropriate images within the standard Lissajous Waveform signal. The sounds of triangles tinging would be bright yellow, orange, and red stars. The sounds of brass would produce green, yellow, and orange doughnuts perhaps. and the bass sounds could be purple, blue, and green beach balls. It should have a whole variety of shapes for different ADSR envelopes.

I might even pay a few sheckles for a plug-in that could do this well without eating up all my CPU cycles.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

SHAME on Yahoo!

For shame, for shame, for shame.

Them yahoos at Yahoo! still do not have a Mac capable LaunchCast player. That is absolutely pathetic. I want my ratings and my playlists and my preferences - BUT No-oo-oo-oo. The bums need to get this fixed! Years after years and year in and year out I've sent kind words of encouragment in my letters to Yahoo! To no avail.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

iPimp iMy iJetta iGLI - iOh-my!

OK, had a spot on new gadgets for ones' car. In the article was a link to a forum to discuss what gadgets you want on your car. However, I am not about to make another account for yet another Microsoft website. My plethora of Google and Yahoo! accounts are bad enough. So it is high time that I do a little rant about pimpin'-out my 2007 Jetta GLI.

I want cameras, all over the place recording a stream to an on board DVR that get's uploaded to a secure web page, perhaps in bursts or for emergencies, in real-time.

Two facing forward in the front windshield; one facing the opposite side window from the inside of the car (so that it records someone looking in to the car); two camera's in each side's rear view mirrors, one facing out and the other one facing back; and two in the rear windshield. Also, there should be two dashboard mounted cameras to get a clear view of the driver and passenger. Essentually, as close to 360 degrees a possible on the outside of the car and both sides of the car looking out from inside, ten cameras in all. I'd want about 24 hours of the video saved on a hard drive in the car. I'd want the video to have accurate date/time stamps, GPS data and be availble on a secured web page via wireless broadband and via the home wi-fi (or WayPoint, the same system used for the Eye-Fi SD memory cards).

I also want a Mac-Mini installed in the car. It should have the DVR software, FTP server, wireless broadband card, bluetooth, email server, Mac Lo-Jack, as well as the normal OS-X software. Connected to a touch screen monitor. The Apple computer should be able to send a fax, email JPEG pictures, and speak any one of several scripts on a voice call. The computer needs to be able to be accessed and controlled remotely and via automation and verbal commands from a valid user. The computer needs to function like a self-contained OnStar on steroids. I should be able to use an iPhone to locate my car, send photos to the cops, shut down the car safely, lock or unlock the doors and be able to use the video's in court.

The Mac and Monitor should function as a video and music juke-box, maybe an IP phone, GPS/map server, technical analyzer (interface with the engine) and everything else that you'd want in an automated vehicle.

Depending on additional cost, I would also want to have a HUD (heads up display on the windshield) as well.

I don't think I'd want to call my iJetta GLI "KIT" but it does not seem to be all that difficult or far fetched to these days.

The caveats are that none of the items can interfere with the safety equipment and most of the hardware could be housed in the trunk, which may need additional cooling. But if for some strange reason Xibit wants to pimp my ride, these are my first choice of modifications.

By the way - speaking of Yahoo!, like I did way up at the top there, Yahoo! needs to make launchcast Mac compatible!!!! I want my Yahoo! Radio in my Jetta via my boadband capable Mac, PLEASE! At least make it Mac compatible so that I can stream at home.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Argh - Why Entropy - Why?

OK - I have decided to do a little rant. I think it was the last day of jury duty, because I didn't go anywhere the whole day Saturday, until later in the evening. But somehow there was a red and black scuff on the front left bumper of my nice - nearly new Jetta GLI. I've been avoiding it this past week - so many other things of actual importance, but it sure makes me sad to think that my car has been violated again. Yep, the first ding was my daughter's doing, she was wildly throwing a stone that flew past my head and hit the wing on the back, days after I bought it. Accidents will happen and I felt bad that she was afraid for her life (for a short moment). It is only a car and my daughter is my blessing for life. Then, some time ago, I believe a few young boys on skateboards that I saw near my car, may have lost control and scraped the driver's side. It didn't remove any paint, but it did put a 2' - 3' crease in the passenger door. And now - this. It is hard to keep nice things nice - just in the normal course of life - with out help from others. However - I ask myself - how important is it? It is only a car. Nothing broken. No one died (not even if I do find out who did it - the scoundrel!). It just makes me sad - along with all the other, less-then-wonderful things going on. It is what it is - and nothing more than that.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Finally - my jury duty is over

Jury Duty:
Federal District Court, Civil Court.
Not as bad as one might expect. It helped to have a good group of fellow jurors. The case was complex and lasted a few weeks. It was also the chance to meet some interesting folks. It offered an opportunity to do a few things downtown that I would not have taken the time to do otherwise. And yes, we reached a verdict. Lots of stuff came out from this event.

  • I gained weight.
  • I got neat aluminum Mountain Dew cans ( special paint jobs, I am working on a set of wind chimes or two).
  • I got to take pictures of downtown Sacramento, the state capital building (but not Arnold Schwarzenegger), Old Town Sacramento, West Sacramento, and the river.
  • Met 8 other interesting people.
  • Saw something like 8 sweaters get knit and assembled.
  • Saw a gal get empowered.
  • Saw a guy work through old resentments.
  • Saw lots a great cookies and candies go straight to my gut.
  • Saw a guy formulate his website.
  • Played with an iPhone.
  • Read a few magazines that I otherwise would not have.
  • Had a few laughs.
  • Heard a few tears.

All-in-all, not so bad.
So today, I failed to rant - to rave - or to be all that rude.
But I have rambled.
However, I don't think it's worth changing the name of my blog.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Global Rebuild of PC's Day

Got to have it - a day, a week or a month - but every single PC on the face of the planet should be rebuilt, from the BIOS up and then rebuilt with protection installed, updated, and running.

Yep, back-up your data - format the hard drive(s) - update the BIOS, reinstall your OS, install the three best anti-malware programs with most recent definitions, scan and then restore your data (and rescan, reboot, and re-scan). shouldn't take more than a week for the entire world to accomplish this feat.

I say - September 2009 - should be the target date for this global month of restoration.

Why? Why? Why?

Bots, zombies, adware, spyware, malware, bugs, bytes, virus and flies.

OK, forget about the flies, but all the others apply.

Maybe, just to throw the black hats off - we just do this thing starting tomorrow. All the world kills their zombies and bots tomorow at 12 noon UTC!

Any questions?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

If I Knew About Photography

I think I have reinvented a philosophy of Quick and easy fix for better photography:
I'll frequently try to leave out what I don't want to see, which in turn leads to better photography.

I don't know much about photography, but I know what I would like to have.

If money weren't an issue, I would like to have a camera with the following special features well engineered:

A Clip-on hood for my camera, but versatile. It would fit mostly around the lens, and a draw string would snug fit. The clip has a triangular and a rectangular panel attached, making a four sided hood. Helps keep the sun out of your eyes while towards an overly light horizon.

A sophisticated camera with real-time processing. Enabling, if perhaps with an embedded host cpu chip, the ability to set specially focused and smartly blurred effects. The new enhanced special effects include: Blur Patterns; Doughnut hole, inner-shape, doughnut hole size, Blur-voids position, shape-rotation; % fuzziness, gradient inward/outward position, direction, and automated; HDR/Tone Mapping Menu Items; Dynamic Range min/max Exposer, Number of Shots per sequence (2~5), Fully Auto; RAW, TIFF, JPG, JP2 Quality: High, Med., Auto.; Smart Signature Styles: WiFi: Constant Connect Tether; PC File Edits: Rotation, all Analyzed creating an Ego Altered file, .xea. The file represents a profile called a Signature Style, represented by an icon/logo of a golden key. This custom profile saved to an .xea file is used by the PC'c and the camera's software for Automated Custom Styled Modification Templates. The camera can create and store 3 ~5 different auto-generated templates, customized from algorithms to the the most commonly used manual or automated tweaks to each shot, during and afterwards. Creating up to 5 "Golden Key" templates, a collection of Golden Keys becomes one's Signature Style, copy write worthy, trade-able, with commercial "Platinum Keys" available, like an Ansal Adams Signature Style, for a one-time fee.
Signature Style: Your common crop techniques, auto-magically analyzed, such as frequently used photo editing effects and retouching tracks, exposure, contrast, saturation, HDR/Tone Mapping: Delta-Exposure, n-Exposure; Vibrance, ToneMapping: Auto, GUI (Full LCD Screen Overlay and Real-Time Effects) 3-D cube, axis origin (no effect), Full kitty-corner is Automatic Mode, Z-axis is Effect Complexity, Y-axis is Density, X-axis is intensity.

I was also wondering if an Apple BBQ Sauce would taste good on chicken. Made from apple sauce and raw sugar and other secret spices.

These may not be the best ideas, but I'll never know until I see it in the store on the newest generation high dynamic range optical chip. Maybe called the RW- range of cameras.

Speak up or make me a very generous offer.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Parallel Universes & Alternate Realities

They exists and you've experienced brushes with them. At least, in a philosophical sense. Do you know of anyone, including yourself, who has problems with drugs (including alcohol) or Alzheimer's or perhaps schizophrenia?

Some folks have such a twisted, distorted, extruded sense of our reality, that they must be outside of it. If reality is what is perceived, and they perceive some thing different, more than mere denial can account for, that they truly believe a completely different set of facts, they are living in an alternate reality.

I am coming to accept this as a viable explanation so that I can accept them in spite of their behavior. Not that I agree with or condone any specific behavior or misbehavior. It allows me to love the person and detach from the consequences of their behavior.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Not that anyone is listening (except Google and Big Brother - aren't they step-brothers or something?), but I thought that I would give kudos to a few of the many great photographers on

slight clutter, hkvam, and soleá are among some of my consistently favorite folks.

Check out their work.

Not So News

Another beginning of another day.
I was tracking down and discovered it was hosted by Google and that I could have my very own blogspot.


So, here it is - the beginning of yet another silly blog.