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guitarist > writer > coder

March 28, 2015
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  • Retro Game Internals: Punch-Out Passwords
     
    The NES game “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out” uses a password system to allow players to continue from certain points in the game. Each password consists of 10 digits, each of which can be any number from 0 to 9. There are 2 kinds of passwords that the game will accept, which I’ll call “regular” and “special” passwords. Special passwords are specific sets of 10 digits that the game looks for and reacts to in a unique way when they are entered.

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March 25, 2015
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Media interest…

original graphic source BBC News

 

“In the three and a half years that PEJ has been regularly tracking news coverage, most disasters have been covered as “one week wonders”—stories that generate a major burst of media attention and then quickly drop out of the headlines.” – A different kind of disaster story

 

The data showed that “on average, mass media covered natural disasters for shorter periods of time than other issues; that media coverage tended to focus on the current impact of disasters on humans, the built environment and the natural environment (i.e., who was hurt or killed and what was destroyed); that disaster economics was an important topic; that disaster media coverage generally focused on the state and region related to the event; and that disaster news was largely about what was happening now.” – Framing in news coverage of major U.S. natural disasters, 2000-2010

 

March 25, 2015
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  • How the New York Times keeps tragedies ad-free – parker higgins dot net
     
    <meta property=”ad_sensitivity” content=”noads” />
     
    There are no Google results for the tag, so it looks like it hasn’t been documented, but it seems like a pretty low-tech way to keep possibly insensitive ads off a very sensitive story—an admirable effort. It’s interesting in part because it’s almost an acknowledgement that ads are invasive and uncomfortable. They cross over into the intolerable range when we’re emotionally vulnerable from a tragic story. Advertisers know this too, and the New York Times might stipulate in contracts they’ll try to keep ads off sensitive pages.

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March 20, 2015
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  • Twitter Only Gave Meerkat 2 Hours' Notice Before Cutting Access To The Social Graph
     
    “Want to see something funny?” Rubin asks me. He turns on his phone and shows me a tweet from October introducing Fabric, a mobile development platform that Twitter launched to encourage more apps on its platform. Jeff Seibert, director of product for Fabric, described it as “a modular mobile platform that makes it easy for developers to build great apps.” “…until they build a real great app, and then they shut it down,” Rubin says, repeating a joke his friend made when he heard that Meerkat had been denied access to Twitter’s graph.

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March 19, 2015
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  • Sacred And Profane – The New Yorker
     
    This is how negotiations are supposed to work: tit for tat. But what proposal could have been more offensive and perplexing to a Branch Davidian? The bureau wanted to separate children from their parents and extract them from the community to which they belonged in exchange for milk. “That doesn’t make any sense,” a Davidian named Kathy S. tells the negotiator. But the negotiator thinks she means that the terms of the deal aren’t good enough:
     
    F.B.I.: Listen. I’ll, I’ll get the milk to you for two kids.

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March 18, 2015
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  • Veteran Vision Project
     
    Shannon Stacy, Flight Surgeon

    Shannon Stacy, Flight Surgeon

    Devin Mitchell began backpacking/traveling the west coast in search of veteran stories in hopes of documenting these individuals through the art of pictures. What resulted has developed into a landmark effort, joined in by several core advisors that are people whom Devin has met along the way. The Veteran Vision Project is an independent, privately funded and organized academic photo essay of American military service members through a series of pictures.

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March 16, 2015
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  • Years Of Brainwashing The Public Into Thinking Everything Creative Must Be 'Owned' Has Led To This New Mess
     
    But people know that plagiarism is “wrong” so they look at what Williams and Thicke did here — copying the “feel” — and they insist that it must be “wrong,” even if copyright is only supposed to cover the specific expression written down in the sheet music for Gaye’s song. The actual notes in “Blurred Lines” don’t match that sheet music at all. But rather than sticking to the letter of the law, or even bothering to understand that copyright only covers specific expression, we keep getting this message pushed on us, by the RIAA, the MPAA and others, that every bit of culture must be “owned.” And you can’t do anything without a license. And people have heard that refrain so many times, that it infects their psyche.
  • Did Robin Thicke steal ‘Blurred Lines’ from Marvin Gaye? – Joe Bennett
     
    So, those are the facts, at least regarding compositional note choices. Now let’s get back to the first accusation in the press release: Thicke and company not only [copied] Gaye’s distinct bass line… If this is true, and Thicke’s team  actually ‘copied the bass line’, then they  changed most of the pitches, moved lots of notes around, and deleted some notes. Or put another way, they wrote an original bassline. [Thicke has copied] the defining funk of the cowbell accents. What exactly is ‘the defining funk’? Most of the accents in ‘Blurred Lines’ do not appear on the same beats of the bar as in the Gaye song, which by any reasonable rhythmic definition makes them different accents. Or put another way, they are an original compositional idea.

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March 15, 2015
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  • Why Don’t Men Kick Each Other in the Balls?
     
    Not hitting below the belt, then, protects the idea that men’s bodies are fighting machines. It protects masculinity, the very idea that men are big and strong, pain- and impact-resistant, impenetrable like an edifice. So not hitting below the belt doesn’t just protect individual men from pain, it protects our ideas about masculinity.

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March 14, 2015
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  • Blurred Lines: songwriters suffer as Tom, Dick and Harry demand their percentages
     
    Take another scenario: in many bands you have a main songwriter who will bring in a song, then the band will take it and give it a personality. Without that added “vibe” is it the same song? If you were, say Andy Summers from the Police and that guitar line from Every Breath You Take wasn’t earning you a penny in songwriting royalties (it isn’t), because the song is credited to Sting, would you be happy about that?

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