This “short story” that I was going to knock out before getting back to my novel is growing into a behemoth. At 12000 words it’s thoroughly a novelette, and heading squarely for novella-land.
Spotify has always behaved weirdly regarding how you queue tracks up. Today I think I realised why.
They think “Queue this track up” means “Cue this track up”. They’re thinking like DJs, but they are confused by homophones.
I’m thinking like a programmer, I admit: queues are first-in-first-out; but more importantly, like an ordinary person: you join a queue at the end, not just behind the person at the front.
See this discussion on their suggestions board which explains the weirdness, and is where (as I was adding a comment) I suddenly understood their thinking. Also definition 2 of “cue” is the appropriate one.
Edited: Queues are of course first-in-first-out, not last-in-first-out, as I wrote. That would be a stack, in programming terms. Whoops!
This is annoying. The only thing that was stopping me from making Sparrow my default mail client on my iPhone was the fact that it doesn’t do rotation to landscape mode yet. Now it looks like it never will.
It’s rarely good in the long run when big software companies hoover up small ones, it seems to me.
There were three slightly weird law-enforcement- or intelligence-related stories in the news today:
I heard the policeman’s wife on the radio. She spoke calmly about how getting the murderers off the streets was good for the community, and positively about the people who had bravely given evidence (at least one had to be given protection).
The odd, disturbing, and intelligence-community-related thing is that army intelligence had a tracker device in the car of one of the murderers, and at first they refused to reveal its details to the police undertaking the investigation. The police had to threaten to get a warrant. Then when they did provide the data, it turned out to have sections mysteriously missing. You have to sympathise with the PSNI here: they had both the Continuity IRA bampots and the army working against them.
So what, this GCHQ codebreaker on secondment locked himself inside a bag using magic? I’m surprised that they’re even considering that it might not be murder here; or at least that someone has covered something up. More importantly, there’s the fact that the DNA evidence got messed up by a typo. Surely there’s got to be a better way?
And then there’s this business about the corruption in the Met. Evidence allegedly deleted on the orders of crime gangs? That’s some scary stuff. I’m pretty sure that when the Serious Organised Crime Agency was set up, it was meant to be anti-organised crime.
No real connection between these, I just heard about them all today.
This is the view from the banks of the Lea (or Lee) by the Olympic Park:
Let’s take a closer look at that attractive fence:
I hope they take it all away and make it nice and open, but I suspect they won’t, at least until after the Games.
I’ve not really had many dealings with the Huffington Post, but I thought I’d drop a comment on this piece about a cover versions album of Nirvana’s Nevermind. The writer, Michael Vazquez, describes himself as being ‘part of the generation that just-missed Punk’, and goes on to say he’s 45.
Thing is, I’m just a year older, and I didn’t miss it. I lived right through it. Not, it’s true, at its bleeding, safety-pin-punctured heart1. But still, I was aware of it, was introduced to the music by friends, listened to Peelie. Formed bands, for god’s sake, which is what it was really all about.
I can only conclude that Vazquez was a late developer.
Anyway, my point wasn’t about that, it was about commenting at the Huffington Post. You have to be registered to comment; fair enough, that probably keeps the spam down a bit. There are a number of login options, as is common nowadays: Twitter, Facebook, a dropdown for others.
I tried the dropdown and chose to use my Google account. A popup pops up, saying, ‘This site wants to know your email address and your contacts.’ Email address, fair enough, that’s normal for registering at most places. But my Google contacts? I think not.
I cancelled, tried Twitter. ‘This site wants to see your contacts, add contacts, post tweets…’ Get, as we say in my part of the world, tae fuck!
Oddly, it asked less of Facebook; but I can’t be bothered going back to check exactly what.
In the end, not wanting to be thwarted, I registered with them by giving them a username and my email address, in the old-school way. Obviously I unchecked the ‘Please spam me’ box.
Is this normal behaviour nowadays? Certainly seems odd to me.
- Copyright Cliches-R-Us, 2011. [↩]
eMusic got back to me. As I said, I emailed them to complain about the disappearance of re-downloading.
Randall, from eMusic Customer Support, said:
It would be great if we could offer the privilege of re-downloading music for free to our members, but the truth of the matter is that our agreements with our labels prohibit us from doing so
which is not surprising. But why the recent change?
while we have not had the tracking systems in place to enforce it before, we do now.
I see. He went on to say:
we believe it is the best policy for everyone involved because ultimately it benefits the artists that we all love.
I’m not convinced. It is in the sense that, if I want to get the albums I lost, I’ll have to buy them again, so the artists get paid again. But I’d be surprised if many artists really want to get paid more because of something that could be seen as ripping off their fans.
Though I suppose the comparison would be that if I had broken or lost a CD (or scratched a record, for us old types) I wouldn’t get it replaced for free.
But digital files, being so ephemeral, just feel like they belong in a different category.
OK, everyone knows about Emusic, right? Good site for downloading mainly independent stuff. You often find that you can only get recent stuff by bands and artists who used to be on major labels and have been dropped (or have split up and reformed).
Anyway, I am 98.763% convinced that they used to let you re-download tracks that you had downloaded before. So imagine my dismay, when taking, I thought, the final few steps in recovering from my recent disk replacement. Just download the recent Emusic tracks that I hadn’t backed up, right?
Oh, no. Not any more. Re-downloading is only for failed downloads.
I’ve emailed them about it, but I’m not expecting much. Not happy, Emusic. Not happy.
It occurs to me that software companies, like the one I work for, are probably considered part of the ‘service sector’, in the kind of statistics that you hear on the news from time to time. Like most such companies, we do provide services. But at our core, we make and sell things — computer programs. The fact that the things are delivered by FTP rather than DHL does not make them any less things.
In short, we should be considered as part of the ‘manufacturing sector’; or at least as some sort of hybrid. The national statistics are therefore skewed, and the UK probably has a far larger manufacturing sector than we are generally told.
(Incidentally, I seem to have posted a version of this at http://peg.gd/16Y, which just lets you do it, with no ‘About’ or any information. Interesting.)
I spelled Raoul Moat’s name wrongly in my last post. Now corrected.
I have to say that my sympathy for Moat was increased by reading an interview with his brother in The Guardian. A sad family story, there’s no doubt. But even Angus, the brother, condemns the Facebook page (which has now been removed by its creator).
Sympathy, yes; but he’s still not a hero, or a “legend”. Charlie Brooker talks sense on the matter, as you might expect.