(T+A #7) Technology and the Arts: March 21, 2007

(T+A #7) Technology and the Arts: 3/21/2007


New Jersey singer-songwriter Christian Beach is the guest on the seventh installment of the Technology and the Arts podcast (Christian Beach’s performance of “Poet of the Great Plains” © 2007 C.J. Beach). Other topics discussed are the recent Technology Entertainment Design conference, the state of Internet radio in the wake of the Copyright Royalty Board’s planned rate hike for webcasters, and several interesting and helpful Web sites relevant to technology and the arts. Hosts: Brian Kelley, John LeMasney. File size: 18 MB. Time: 39 min., 00 sec.

Show Notes for Technology and the Arts Podcast #7

Christian Beach at work in his studio. (Photo: Brian Kelley)New Jersey singer-songwriter Christian Beach, formerly of Artists That Kill and Ton of Bricks, is the featured guest on the seventh installment of the Technology and the Arts podcast. Other topics discussed are the recent Technology Entertainment Design (TED) conference, the state of Internet radio in the wake of the Copyright Royalty Board’s planned royalty rate hike for webcasters, and several interesting and helpful Web sites relevant to technology and the arts. Hosts: Brian Kelley, John LeMasney. File size: 18 MB. Time: 39 min., 00 sec.

Featured Link

  • Christian Beach – Singer-songwriter Christian Beach, a fixture of the Jersey Shore music scene since the early 1990s, is the subject of our “Dialogue” interview segment in this podcast. Christian, who is putting the finishing touches on his first solo CD, talks about his musical evolution and how he uses technology. Plus, he performs “Poet of the Great Plains” (© 2007 C.J. Beach) from his new CD.

Other links related to this episode:

  • Internet Security at Rider University – John recently gave a discussion on the topic of Internet security at Rider University as part of the Center for Innovative Instruction’s Spring 2007 Sesssions.
  • Princeton Public Library’s Tuesday Tech Talks – John will be giving a presentation on his favorite 25 Firefox extensions as part of the Princeton (N.J.) Public Library’s Tuesday Tech Talk series on April 3 at 7 p.m. (ET).
  • ThinkGeek: DIY Music Box Kit – ThinkGeek.com shows you how to make your own music box.
  • TutorialBlog.org: Grid Systems in Web Design – John discusses this link to an article on the importance of grid systems in Web design.
  • Lulu.com – Self Publishing – Lulu.com is a fast, easy and free way to publish and sell your own books.
  • Social Explorer – Data and maps come together nicely at Social Explorer, which is dedicated to providing easy access to demographic information about the United States in the form of hundreds of interactive data maps, including historical data from as far back as 1940.
  • Open Architecture Network – The motto for the Open Architecture Network is “improving living standards through collaborative design.” The OAN site allows you to share and review 216 architectural projects, access tools for managing your own projects, and collaborate with 2,082 OAN members…help build a sustainable future by sharing your knowledge.
  • Semantics and Structure – Nefarious Designs – This link talks about adhering to strong, stable HTML structure.
  • MyLifeBits Project – Microsoft BARC Media Presence Group – This Microsoft Research project details the capturing of a lifetime worth of articles, books, cards, CDs, letters, memos, papers, photos, pictures, presentations, home movies, videotaped lectures, voice recordings, hone calls, IM transcripts, television shows, and radio programs digitally.
  • About TED – Technology Entertainment Design – An annual conference, recently held in Monterey, Calif., that “keeps the pulse of what’s next and tracks how some of the coolest minds in the world are feeling.”
  • IEEE Spectrum: Hands On – This article deals with a man who had radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags implanted under his skin in each of his hands.
  • First Resume in Google Earth – Turkish blogger Ozgur Alaz has put together an eye-catching and innovative resume by putting it in Google Earth …Gizmodo also featured a recent post about this.
  • Bum Rush the Charts – BRTC seeks to strike a blow against the Recording Industry Association of America by convincing a lot of people to download the song “Mine Again” by indie group Black Lab from the iTunes Store on March 22. The goal is to make an indie band the No. 1 download on the Apple’s iTunes Store, if just for one day, to show the RIAA the power of the people and to demonstrate that bands no longer need the clout of the RIAA to back them. Check the Technology and the Arts site on March 22 for links on how to join the Bum Rush the Charts project.
  • Save Internet Radio – Internet radio is being seriously threatened by a new royalty fee schedule that has been proposed by the Copyright Royalty Board. A couple of webcasters that have been mentioned on recent Technology and the Arts podcasts, University of Pennsylvania’s WXPN and Pandora.com, are directly affected by this ruling and are among the leaders in the fight against the rate hike. If you want to know more about this issue and read more coverage about it from around the Web, please see the Save Internet Radio post on our blog and visit the links provided there as well. Also see this CNNMoney.com article, which includes quotes from XPN’s Roger LeMay and Pandora founder Tim Westergren (a guest of Technology and the Arts on the Feb. 21 podcast).

Photo: Christian Beach at work in his studio (Brian Kelley).

Help Key: Home Recording, Part II

This is a fun article that talks about a good-low-cost-but-quality setup for audio production in your own recording studio. If this isn’t appropriate info for the technology and the arts crowd, what is? I like that is involves an actual hardware mixer and our in-house favorite open source audio champion hero editor Audacity

Help Key: Home Recording, Part II
I live in a neighborhood of burgeoning artists and musicians, and an endless stream of people ask me, “How do I set up a cheap, quick, and easy home recording studio?” I’ve actually got it down to a science at this point, so here it is. Keep in mind that your favorite indie rock band has probably used a less sophisticated setup. I recently spoke with Sam Endicott of The Bravery, and he says the band recorded its first album in band members’ bedrooms.

Save Internet radio!

The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) has recently announced a revised royalty rate schedule that will effectively destroy Internet radio.

Why? Because the CRB rejected all arguments from webcasters and sided with the rates proposed by SoundExchange, the independent group formed by the Recording Industry Association of America a few years ago to collect and distribute digital music royalties.

One of the many endangered webcasters is Pandora.com, whose founder and chief strategist, Tim Westergren, was interviewed during the Feb. 21 installment of the Technology and the Arts podcast.

Tim wrote a piece on the Pandora blog that stresses the effects this–what he calls–”ridiculous” decision by the CRB will have on his company and for webcasting, in general. For the sake of getting the word out about this travesty, here is the full transcript of Tim’s post:

March 06, 2007
RIAA’s new royalty rates will kill online radio!!
The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) has recently released a revised fee schedule for internet radio. Left unchanged, these rates will end internet radio, period. The RIAA has effectively convinced this federal committee to establish rates that make online radio a non-viable business.

It’s an utterly ridiculous ruling that renders any form of internet radio non-economic. We are continuing in the belief that sanity will return as everyone involved, including the 50 million avid online radio listeners, realize just how outrageous this is.

You can probably tell by this post that I feel strongly about this. Online radio has opened up a new world for musicians and listeners alike. It has brought millions of otherwise disconnected music-lovers back to music radio, and has opened up tremendous access and promotion for thousands of musicians – both obscure and well known.

We are striving very hard to build a business. We employ eleven full time people in our ad sales team, and despite very high licensing and streaming costs, believed that we could make it work over the next several years if internet advertising continues to grow. This ruling drives the licensing fees (fees that are NOT paid by terrestrial broadcasters) completely out of reach, and makes our goal impossible.

This is a terribly ill-conceived attempt to crush a powerful and positive grassroots movement that is sweeping across the music world. The record labels’ struggles have nothing to do with online radio and killing it will further hurt their business, not help it.

We need your help. If you’d like to get involved please write your congressperson. Below is a link to point you to the right person. If you can, please send a letter or a fax that asks for a reply (emails are too easily ignored).

Congressional Directory by Zip Code

If you want to learn more details, try this informative blog post from an attorney familiar with the process:

Now more than ever, thanks for your support.

Tim (Founder)

Here are some additional related links:

If you are a fan of Internet radio services, please contact your congressperson and tell him or her how you feel about this issue. Here is an actual letter about this issue addressed to Rep. Sam Farr and Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer that would make an excellent template for one you can send…

…or you could use this template from the Soapbox section of Congress.org.

However, it would be wise to use these letters as starting points for your own…or write a letter from scratch. The same letter over and over again does not have the impact of an individually crafted one that includes personal experiences. So if you discovered new music only because of the existence of Internet radio, include that in your letter. Make sure Congress realizes this decision has a cultural impact on those of us who enjoy services like Pandora.

Let’s Save Internet Radio!

How the world really shapes up | the Daily Mail

I love when visual structures are used to quickly illustrate an idea. I love when data is represented visually. I love to see familiar images altered in startling ways. I really, really like the images on this site. – John.

How the world really shapes up | the Daily Mail
We all know what the world looks like. But a new series of extraordinary maps shows our planet in a very different light.

Rather than defining each country by size, these computer-generated modified maps – or cartograms – redraw the globe with each country’s size proportionate to its strengths, or weaknesses, in a whole series of categories.

For instance, when it comes to military spending, the U.S. appears bloated, but Africa is huge when HIV prevalence is mapped.

The cartograms were produced in a unique collaboration between the universities of Michigan in the U.S. and Sheffield. Here are images and more details on some of the most fascinating…

(T+A #6) Technology and the Arts: 3/7/2007

(T+A #6) Technology and the Arts: 3/07/2007


Gregg Taylor, founder of Decoder Ring Theatre, is the featured guest on the sixth installment of the Technology and the Arts podcast. Other topics discussed are Gizmodo.com’s call for a boycott of the RIAA in March, Indiana University’s recent ArtsWeek event, and several interesting Web sites relevant to technology and the arts. Hosts: Brian Kelley, John LeMasney. File size: 22 MB. Time: 47 min., 15 sec.

Show Notes for Technology and the Arts Podcast #6

Decoder Ring TheatreGregg Taylor, founder of Decoder Ring Theatre, is the featured guest on the sixth installment of the Technology and the Arts podcast. Other topics discussed are Gizmodo.com’s call for a boycott of the RIAA in March, Indiana University’s recent ArtsWeek event, and several interesting Web sites relevant to technology and the arts. Hosts: Brian Kelley, John LeMasney. File size: 22 MB. Time: 47 min., 15 sec.

Featured Link

  • Decoder Ring Theatre – Gregg Taylor, founder of Decoder Ring Theatre, is the subject of our “Dialogue” interview segment in this podcast. Decoder Ring Theatre is a Toronto-based group that produces audio programs in the style of old-time radio shows and distributes them via podcasts and various broadcast/webcast partners.

Other links related to this episode:

  • Moodle at Rider University – See Rider University’s installation of Moodle, an open-source learning management system.
  • Princeton Public Library’s Tuesday Tech Talks – John will be giving a presentation on his favorite 25 Firefox extensions as part of the Princeton (N.J.) Public Library’s Tuesday Tech Talk series on April 3 at 7 p.m. (ET).
  • NJEDge.Net DLAAB – John talks about a recent NJEDge.net presentation he gave on distance learning technology being used at Rider.
  • Google Reader – John talks about how he has been spending a lot of time reading RSS feeds via Google Reader.
  • ccHost – ccHost is a Web-based infrastructure that may be used to host and allow for commenting, remixing, and distribution globally.
  • Steampunk Keyboard Modification – A site that documents the building of a retro/steampunk-style keyboard that was fully functional and of a sufficient quality that it could be used everyday by a touch typist.
  • ChangeThis.com – A repository for manifestos found on the Internet, ChangeThis.com aims to create a new kind of media that uses existing tools (like PDFs, blogs and the web) to challenge the way ideas are created and spread.
  • How to Upholster a Tree Stump – Documentation of a New York City artist’s social/artistic project to upholster tree stumps.
  • Pecha Kucha – A look at the Pecha Kucha presentation format. John made a Pecha Kucha Template in PPT format complete with timed forwarding slides so that you don’t have to.
  • OpenCola – A brand of cola unique in that the instructions for making it are freely available and modifiable. Anybody can make the drink, and anyone can modify and improve on the recipe as long as they, too, license their recipe under the GNU General Public License.
  • 4 Ingredient Bread recipe on Calorie-Count.com. This is John’s recipe for a wonderfully wholesome and tasty home baked bread using only flour, water, yeast and salt. 2 hours from bowl to mouth.
  • The Machine is Us/ing Us – A fantastic YouTube video about Web 2.0 technologies produced by Michael Wesch, assistant professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University.
  • ArtsWeek 2007 at Indiana University Bloomington – Indiana University’s annual ArtsWeek event, held in conjunction with the city of Bloomington, had the theme of “Technology and the Arts” this year. Although the event is over, please check out the site to see what ArtsWeek was all about. The Sound Garden was of particular interest to Brian.
  • JacksonPollock.org – This Web site, which is basically a blank page presented by artist Miltos Manetas, allows you to create art by using your mouse to recreate the drip or pouring techniques made famous by Jackson Pollock. The cursor moves the paint around and clicking the mouse changes colors randomly. It is based on Splatter, a drawing study by Mike Migurski of Stamen.com that is available for download and use under a Creative Commons license.
  • 12 Podcasts for the Creative Class – FastCompany.com recently published this list of 12 podcasts “designed for the eclectic tastes of the creative class.” These include podcasts targeted at artists, musicians, scientists, humanitarians, chefs, Web 2.0 workers, freelancers, start-up founders, technologists, business owners, self-promoters, and strategists.
  • BitTorrent Signs Online Distribution Deal with Film, TV Stuidos – ArsTechnica.com reports on BitTorrent’s agreement with some major film studios and television networks to offer online movie rentals and TV show downloads for purchase using BitTorrent’s peer-to-peer, torrent-based technology.
  • Gizmodo’s March Boycott of the RIAA – Technology Web site Gizmodo.com has called for a boycott of the Recording Industry Association of America during the month of March. Read about the reasons for the boycott as well as Gizmodo’s Anti-RIAA Manifesto.
  • Christian Beach – A good friend and former bandmate of Brian, Christian Beach is a talented singer-songwriter who has been a part of the Jersey Shore music scene for more than a decade. Christian, who be a guest of Technology and the Arts in our March 21 podcast, has left behind the synthesizers, samplers and drum machines from his earlier music projects and is putting the finishing touches on a solo, acoustic CD influenced by the likes of Hank Williams and Bob Dylan. Christian will talk about the technology used in recording the CD and his use of MySpace for a Web presence.

Photo courtesy of Decoder Ring Theatre.