All Comments Are Not Created Equal

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Sometimes blog posts just write themselves.

Today I got two comments that obviously resulted from smart, online-aware people seeing what’s been written about a topic on the web. One of them is fantastic. The other one terrible.

The fantastic one is from Shlom at Boomkat – he picked up on my post about Boomkat’s new 14 tracks offering. He thanked me for the post and replied to some criticism in the comments. His reply is perfect in every way. It even manages to slip in some salesy stuff about how they’ve now got bulk pricing. But I don’t begrudge him that in the slightest. It’s in direct reference to one of my points. Read his comment here.

The bad one is in response to my post about Mental Detox. Alberto writes about how a certain detox place in Thailand is excellent, and how it helped him give up smoking. It also says:

Thank you for all the detox info, it is inspiring

Which is nice. But it’s horribly clear (to me) that he’s just done a search on detox and gone and spammed a bunch of blogs – you can see that’s the case by the fact that the comment has just been replicated in its entirety here.

That’s naughty. Alberto shame on you.

Shlom, nice to have you here, thanks for popping by.

Love’s Powerpoint Website

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I’m gutted. But impressed. And glad.

Love have made their new website in Powerpoint: http://www.lovecreative.com/

I’m gutted because I’ve been whanging on about doing a website in PowerPoint for the last couple of years. But impressed because I couldn’t figure out how to do it, or to be arsed with the task of actually getting it done. And I’m glad it’s the Love guys who did it, because i like them.

I’m especially loving their use of the standard PPT sound effects. Brilliant.

And thanks to Jono for posting a comment about the site, nice one.

EDIT: By the way I’m not saying that I think it’s a good way to build a site, or even that I like the site as it is, I think it’s an intereresting thing though making a site in Powerpoint – it gives it talkability even if you don’t like it…

Custom QR Velcro Patches

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There was quite a bit of interest in the Facebook QR Code T-Shirt that I featured a while ago. So I figured this velcro QR code patch might be of interest too.

Each patch is a unique QR code that you, the purchaser of said patch, has complete control over. You can basically link it to whatever URL you like. Could be your blog, an RSS feed, a Facebook hookup, a Flickr gallery, anything you can think of really.

As they rightly say on the site:

ER… SO WHAT IS THIS GOOD FOR?
Why, alpha-nerd bonding, of course.

Yours for just $19.99.

Plus, they gave me a handy link to a QR code reader for the iPhone. Hooray, now I can play at mobile geek too.

Via: Notcot

Powerful Tools In The Hands of Idiots – Part 1: After Effects

I’ve just started messing around with Adobe After Effects. You might wonder why. I sort of wonder why too.

Thing is I’ve been working with Keynote recently and getting a bit inspired at how it can do cool stuff with video. Then it dawned on me that by blurring the lines between video and presentation using something like After Effects maybe I could do some really cool stuff. You know, disguising a lack of substance using style.

It might just be a waste of time. But I’m sort of enjoying it.

After a couple of hours of playing around and watching a few online tutorials I realised just how powerful After Effects is. Even in the hands of a total imbecile.

This (very badly done) floating head was executed in about 30 minutes (once I’d got to grips with some basics). If you know anything about this kind of thing you’ll spot how shoddy it is. But in my defence I’ve got bad lighting, a severe case of impatience and very little skill:

Once I’d done that I realised that I had to do the thing that everyone does when they get a shot at After Effects. MAKE A LIGHT SABER!!! Star Wars kid here we come…

But I decided I’d try sticking it up my nose instead:

Obviously it needs sound effects and it’s very short because my impatience kicked in again…

I wasn’t going to share these videos because they’re not very good.

But then I figured that perhaps it’s good to share the fact that it’s easy to have a go at this kind of thing. And actually it is possible to teach yourself new, seemingly very complicated things, quite quickly – albeit to a fairly rudimentary standard.

I’m thinking that modern software is really rather excellent.

July Mix From The Loft

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It’s been a little while since I climbed the ladder into the loft to put some more tracks into a mix. But that’s what I did at the weekend. And here’s the result.

I struggle with genres these days and when I go ‘up there’ to do a mix I tend to have an imaginary audience, place or time of day in my head. Then I try to do a mix that might work in that situation I’ve invented. I don’t know if that’s something that other people do, but it really helps me to focus and direct what I’m playing.

This mix was made for a made-up electronic radio station in San Francisco to be broadcast at 1am on a Saturday in July. It’ll never reach them and it’ll never get played there. But you can pretend it came from there if it helps.

Here’s the tracklist.

  1. Japan – Plastician
  2. Some Way Through This (Plastician and Skream Remix) – Black Ghosts
  3. Wide Road (Soulteks Morning Dub) – I:
  4. Pferd (The Mole’s Lost in The Woods Remix) – Pole
  5. Durch Die Nocht (Geiger Mix) – Dorau/Kohncke
  6. Revox (Deadset Chase the Dragon Remix) – Tim Green
  7. La Conga – Riva Starr
  8. Cornflake Boy (Solomun Dub Remix) – Marbert Rocel
  9. Butta (Original Mix) – Sassomatic
  10. Morphine (Frencesco Diaz Young Rebels Mix) – John Dahlback
  11. The Move To The Sun (Edit) – Serafin
  12. Classic Reality (Original Mix) – Jay Shepheard
  13. Smile and Receive (Apparat Mix) – Swayzak

EDIT: DivShare is down for maintenance. So I’ve stuck it on Rapidshare instead:

Download here: July Mix from The Loft


You can play it here:

Or if you want to take it away for your iPod you can download it below (you can’t just right click and save as, you have to visit DivShare to get it):

July Mix From the Loft 2008 (left click to download)

As usual most tracks are from Boomkat and Beatport – if you like any of the tracks in the mix please buy the originals and support the artists. Thank you. Message over.

A $5 Laser Show – OMG OMG OMG!

I love lasers and music. I just do. So I almost wet myself when I saw this great video of a $5 laser show:

Full instructions on how to make your own are here.

Or Dr Altman will take you through all the necessary steps right here:

Perhaps the best thing is the discovery (in the comments here) is that all you really need to do is mount a tiny mirror on your speaker cone and point the laser at it to get a sound activated laser working like a dream.

Guess who’s heading to eBay to buy lasers…

Making Art With Microsoft Office

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It’s kind of ironic that the only Microsoft tool that has an ‘art’ mode is Word. Who could miss its amazing ‘Word Art’ feature – if you’ve never played with it, go into the ‘insert’ menu and choose ‘picture’, then in the picture menu choose ‘word art’.

You’ll then be presented with the palette of artistic dreams…

WordArt Gallery

It really is just like art. Almost.

Excel on the other hand doesn’t have an ‘art’ mode. But Danielle Aubert has been making art with it. And I like it.

There’s lots more on the site: http://www.danielleaubert.com/

And of course there’s Powerpoint.

If you’ve not seen David Byrne’s forays into Powerpoint Art, it’s worth a look. There’s more about it in Wired Magazine here.

What’s my point? Well I guess something about the fact that people find their own interesting ways of using tools. And just because you call something something doesn’t mean that it is. Or something like that.