A Cynical Stab At The Online Market

The iTunes Music Store has made it across the Atlantic! Unfortunately, discussions with the independent labels have broken down, so you can buy Franz Ferdinand tracks if you have a US credit/debit card, but not if you only have a UK billing address.

I suppose that we have to be thankful that Apple didn't do a 99¢ — 99p conversion when setting prices, but the UK store is still the most expensive of the four. A handy comparison, converting the three different price points into US dollars:

iTMS US: $0.99
iTMS France/Germany $1.20
iTMS UK $1.44

Germany and France both have higher rates of VAT than we do, so I'm at a loss to explain why we have to pay more than anybody else. Mind you, it's a lot cheaper than spending £3 for a ringtone…

In other news, I've finally got around to making the photolog site look like this one, fixing a few other things along the way. The photos now have their own dedicated index page, so you can see all the pictures at once, if you desire. It still looks a little plain, but I think it'll do for now. It looks okay at my end, but due to NTL's transparent proxy nonsense, I can't tell how it looks on the site, so if you see anything that seems weird, let me know.

currently playing: Saturday Looks Good To Me — Rowboats

Old School Rampacks Are Much Better

I’ll probably put something up on Friday as well, but I wanted to share these songs with you here and now (also, I’m likely to forget about them otherwise)

Young Heart AttackStarlight

America discovers Slade (okay, that might just be my brain losing it again). And adds a female vocalist. Anybody who knows anything about me is probably shaking their head in sad recognition now. But trust me, this is good, and I promise there's no ethereal section in sight. Not that you'd see an ethereal section, unless you were a bat. Which might confuse them. I wonder if anybody has done a study on the effects of Enya on a bat population. I sense a grant proposal!

MJ Hibbett Hey Hey 16K

This song will be largely incomprehensible to Americans, for which I apologise. Anybody younger than a certain age may also not understand why "Then five minutes fingers crossed hoping not to witness the terror of R: Tape Loading Error" resonates so well with all the people in the their twenties. For this song is a celebration of the Little Computer That Could, the Sinclair Spectrum (sure, it namechecks inferior machines like the Commodore 64 and the Amstrad CPC, but references to Jetpac, Jet Set Willy, and Manic Miner mean that the writer grew up with a humble Speccy. Plus the intro is sampled from a Spectrum's tape loading signal. And yes, that sound is burnt into my memory). Listen, then, to the geekiest song of the year, and reminisce about typing RANDOMIZE USR 32768 to get a game to load, how 128K seemed enough for anybody, and Impactor's tragic death in Transformers #88. That last one might just be me and Brem X Jones, though…

(Oh, and the video is quite amusing)

currently playing: Madonna — Borderline

Hohoho

The Programme Code requires that all factually-based programmes should be characterised by “a respect for truth”; that in Personal View programmes the opinions expressed, however partial, should “not rest upon false evidence” and the “facts should be respected”. To ensure fairness, programmes which contain a damaging critique of any individual or organisation should normally offer those criticised an opportunity to respond.

Even taking into account that this was a ‘personal view’ item, the strength and number of allegations that John Gibson made against the BBC meant that Fox News should have offered the BBC an opportunity to respond.

Fox News was therefore in breach of Sections 2.1 (respect for truth), 2.7 (opportunity to take part), and 3.5(b) (personal view programmes - opinions expressed must not rest upon false evidence) of the Programme Code.

Read the Ofcom decision here. The best bit is where Fox News admits that their evidence for the anti-American bias of the BBC came from putting the phrase "anti-American BBC" into Google…

currently playing: Manitoba — Crayon

Poor Old Johnny Ray

“Come On England” may in fact be the worst pop travesty of the past thirty years. I have graphs and figures to back me up. How can you possibly get rid of a line like “moved a million hearts in mono”?

Also, if anybody wants to teach Steven Gerrard which direction to kick a football before the next England match, I'm sure people would be most grateful…

currently playing: Nick Drake — Pink Moon

No CGI

It’s amazing what you can find at the toy shop…

Fancy a Punt?

Ah, the clear waters of the Thames!

A Song For Indie Hipsters

Today’s song is for all those people who have the rare first album, a bootleg collection that extends to one shelf per artist, and who were present at the first time a band played together, even though it was held in a school cloakroom with fifteen other people present.

(I don't think I count, but you may insist otherwise)

LCD Soundsystem — Losing My Edge

currently playing: Zwan — Settle Down

I WANT A ROBE!

I have a pre-release copy of the new Polyphonic Spree album. Oooh. It’s quite good…

currently playing: The Polyphonic Spree — Section 11

"Obviously, you don't know much about the US Government"

For those of you who have an aching need to developing cross-platform applications in Mono (all three of you), this month's Linux Journal includes a guide on just that, written by my humble self. It's great. Buy it and impress friends at parties by describing how attributes work…

currently playing: Idlewild — American English

When Geeks Strike!

Disgruntled CS Professor Counter-attack!

currently playing: Mark Radcliffe!