tom moody

windows resistance is futile

The city government of Munich, Germany switched from Windows to Linux in 2004 but appears to be on verge of returning to the Borg. Tech Republic gives some background:

At the time Munich began the move to LiMux in 2004 it was one of the largest organizations to reject Windows, and Microsoft took the city's leaving so seriously that then CEO Steve Ballmer flew to Munich to meet the mayor. More recently, Microsoft last year moved its German company headquarters to Munich.

Microsoft's tactics seem to have paid off, as Munich's politicos are "poised" to vote next week for a move to Windows 10. It's ironic that as Linux has improved over the last ten years, Microsoft has gotten worse, and the most compelling argument for a business or government to use it is still "everyone else does." Meanwhile, ordinary consumers overwhelmingly reside in Apple-or-Google-land, because they are all using "devices."

- tom moody

February 13th, 2017 at 8:46 am

Posted in computers-R-stupid

stop sending these dopy emails about putin

Continuing to receive emails from Clintonite friends about the Russian bugbear; today it was a dense, minutiae-filled CNN editorial about some contradictory statements from Team Trump regarding Michael Flynn's contacts with Russians during the transition. It was written in a sort of "aha!", Fox News style.
The sender of the email added, "So maybe *now* you will admit you were wrong." Muah ha ha.
With all the things we could criticize about Trump, the Manchurian candidate allegation is the weakest of beer, but it appears to be the media's (or at least, CNN's) attempt at a Benghazi or Whitewater, aimed at bringing him down.
Calmer relations between the US and Russia would be a plus -- it's ironic it's the nurturing candidate and her disappointed supporters in the government and media, not the hotheaded Trumpians, who are the ones trying to get us into a nuclear war here. They don't care who fries, as long as they can "gotcha" Trump.

Update: Flynn resigned shortly after the above was posted. He was a creep, good riddance, but the reason -- the media thinks the US should be "tough on Russia" -- is pitiful when you consider all his other negatives. Moon of Alabama, the website of ex-blogger Billmon's former commenters, had a good analysis of this putsch by the so-called deep state and its willing journalist helpers (and let's add, unhappy Clinton voters who spam their friends).

The Democratic party, meanwhile, is mostly rolling over for Trump's picks -- his "Homeland" security choice was approved by the Senate in an 88 to 11 vote.

- tom moody

February 12th, 2017 at 1:50 pm

Posted in general

Joe Milutis Eulogizes Dump.fm

On Hyperallergic, Joe Milutis discusses the recently-deceased website Dump.fm, in an essay titled In Memory of Dump.fm: An Endlessly Collaborative Image Poem.

Neither an art-world-ish “internet surf club” nor a monetized zeitgeist sump pump, dump seemed to harken back to a pre-1997 internet era, when it was possible to imagine that the users you met online were a small enough cohort to seem communitarian, but not large enough to merely replicate the social structures and hierarchies of the world at large.

Milutis' treatment of the site as a poetic language is appreciated:

Weird fragments, heavy dithering, pieces of images or text floating without context. Inaction gifs as opposed to reaction gifs. The quasi-syntactical combinations of these crappy objects were only possible if participants were more interested in treating the combinations like a language — one for which they would both have to amass the vocabulary and then be willing to speak with it. The rapidity of these combinations allowed for the unexpected, as if Breton’s automatic writing had finally found its imagistic counterpart.

Milutis avoids the political in discussing the Rene Abythe GIF below, except in the sense of dump-vs-tumblr politics and dump's intriguing disconnections with the rest of the world ("real" or online). For the record, it depicts Hillary Clinton's "pointing to the right and the red" logo crudely morphing into the Outback Steakhouse logo. (Electors asked Where's the Beef and gave us Trump.) The geek joke is that that the red arrow, when compressed, becomes a jagged outline resembling that familiar outdoors-y mountain range, helpfully rotated so we can see it.

- tom moody

February 7th, 2017 at 6:34 am

"Discontinued Beatbox"

"Discontinued Beatbox" [mp3 removed -- please listen on Bandcamp]

Made with the Elektron Octatrack, Elektron Machinedrum, and recorded and mixed in Ardour (Linux version). Only the Machinedrum has actually been discontinued but I like the title. This a bricolage song in that it consists of scraps from earlier (mostly modular) synth tunes, and homemade kits cobbled from various instruments. One loop is recent -- the Helm softsynth, recorded in Ableton and transferred to the Octatrack via flash drive. Also in the mix are some SuperKicks by Inspektor Gadjet, downloaded from the Internet.
One problem with the Octatrack is the eight tracks get used up pretty quickly and its a pain to mix them down or use alternate samples via "parameter locks." Having the discontinued Machinedrum was a way to add extra tracks, with the two boxes running in sync via MIDI.

Update: Re: "eight tracks get used up pretty quickly" on the Octatrack. Wrong. I wasn't understanding how "parts" work. An Octatrack guide by Merlin [pdf] explains it much better than the manual.

- tom moody

February 3rd, 2017 at 9:02 am

Posted in music - tm

m.po list of banal phrases (2017 update)

Last year, reader m.po sent a "curmudgeonly and William Safire-ish" list of words & phrases from the depths of officespeak and millennial-by-way-of-advertising-speak.
Here's the original list; below are new phrases added in the past 12 months.

It's hard not to use these words on a regular basis. Many are just linguistic shortcuts, skid-greasers, and ice-breakers but that doesn't mean they aren't a blight on speech.
m.po says "I started keeping the list [of phrases] so I could make damn sure never to repeat any even as their cretinous lure was upon me, like $2000 'cash back' or a box of chicken mcnuggets (I’m lovin it)... a lot of these are the linguistic equivalent of a fist bump."

because…(noun), e.g. because…football
impactful
chicken and egg problem
bring to the table
team player
new normal
win-win
outside the box
no brainer
... much?
good luck with that
feature not a bug
vacay
staycation
wassup
off the hook
that’s money
FOMO
its what we do (or its what you do)
any variation on "owning it"
sked, or worse, skedded
pivot
black swan
perfect storm
facing headwinds
tipping point
tail risk
wake-up call
an "aha" moment
data driven
loaded for bear
living the dream
optics
takedown
natch
tuck into (e.g. she tucked into a salad of roasted beets and cornichons)
bingeworthy, bingeable
relatable
backstory
...forward (fashion-, malt-, dog-)

- tom moody

February 2nd, 2017 at 2:21 pm

Posted in art as criticism

albert oehlen (2017)

Untitled (Baum 84), 2016, oil on ​dibond, 98 7/16 × 98 7/16 inches © Albert Oehlen. Photo by Stefan Rohner.

The Gagosian empire sent this image in a press release email -- tasty! At least, as a jpeg.
The show opens Feb 26 in the 21st Street space.
The paintings are big, in case your second loft needs wall hangings.
There was a time when Oehlen was a bad boy, sigh.

- tom moody

February 2nd, 2017 at 2:19 pm

Posted in art - others

alt-schmight

Still arguing with Clinton corporate Democrats. Steve Bannon, internet troll turned White House honcho, is the new lightning rod for the HuffPo set. On a private page, am talking with someone who feels we must put our trust in the "intelligence community" to protect us from... the alt-right.

Am sick of this discussion so here's the reply I would have made if I wanted to continue it:

Alt-right is a Clinton term -- you seem to be using it to mean Ultimate Badness but to me it just means "Breitbart."
Bannon seems to have become the new Dr Evil superbrain to the suddenly-invigorated left. But he can't be that smart if he thought Obama was an ACORN person, rather than a Finance-Insurance-Real Estate person.
Clearly the Trump/Bannon "strategy" is to throw out a lot of stuff in the first week that makes libruls' heads explode.
Pick an issue -- am waiting to see if they try to slip anything by on net neutrality.
Worrying about which warmongers are going to be on the NSC can be your issue.

- tom moody

February 2nd, 2017 at 2:09 pm

Posted in general

Big Squirrel, 1984

Tom Moody, Big Squirrel, 1984

oil on canvas, 66 x 49 inches
private collection

Am continuing to work on my archives. This painting is based on a photo I took in Riverside Park. The oil-on-canvas version is a detail from the photo. Painted when I was living in Dallas, and exhibited there. This photo was taken outside of the studio in Deep Ellum that I had for about a year and a half.

- tom moody

January 30th, 2017 at 7:41 am

"Virtual Canapés"

"Virtual Canapés" [mp3 removed -- please listen on Bandcamp]

Some Elektron Machinedrum beats (mostly mine but there may be a snippet from the device's previous owner, if so, hat tip GYS), with added beats and softsynths recorded and arranged in Ardour (Linux version).
Was happy to find the softsynth Helm, which works very well as a Linux (LV2) plugin.
The Machinedrum "kits" include many "user waves" that I made with cut-up and normalized snippets from earlier, modular synth tracks, transferred to the MD using MIDI sample transfer and converted to 12 bit sound files.

- tom moody

January 27th, 2017 at 9:41 am

Posted in music - tm

a couple of YTs

Tomorrow's link rot, but here goes:

The 1995 song "My Conservative Girlfriend," by the Foremen, anticipates the Donald Duck meme (hat tip PR): [YouTube]

Algorithmically recommended to me by the world-straddling soul destroyers at GoogleYouTube, who are sucking every fiber of attention away from the rest of the internet [/exculpatory rant], this amusing demo shows "Barry Beats" chopping up some '70s and '80s vinyl to make new tunes: [YouTube]

Cornwall's answer to DJ Premier, Barry Beats, takes on the legendary Rhythm roulette challenge and quite literally smashes it to microbes. Watch as Barry rummages sightless through the racks of Camborne Record (and smoking paraphernalia) shop 'Lost in music'.
Then follow him back to his tiny studio where his blind finds are revealed.
Marvel as Barry chops and snips his way through a whole heap of hair, keeping it super funky at all times, finally to reveal a stone cold Barry Banga, not to mention some dubious dance moves!!!!

Sorry about the ads.

- tom moody

January 27th, 2017 at 8:51 am

Posted in general