Linus Torvalds on creating

An interresting interview of Linux' founder Linus Torvalds. I've often been inspired by the way Linux is "conducted" to work on Matroska. Just because I would like it to be as successful and interresting as developping Linux.

To invent something totally new and different just because you want to do something new and different is in my opinion, the height of stupidity and hubris.

I totally agree on the evolution side of things. And not to reinvent the wheel where it shouldn't be.

I have to continually try to explain to people that no, I don't "control" what happens in Linux. It's about having an environment that is conducive to development, not so much about any particular leader. And I think that is true in most cases, be it the "great sport coach" or the "great spiritual leader."

Of course the importance of getting humble when working with other talented people is obvious. Also the way it's important to have freedom and a good incentive to work between people. It worked very well so far... And in the same way, even though I created Matroska, I don't think I'm controlling everything. Just influencing, as much as the others.


Cognitive Freedom

An interresting article on freedom concerns that will happen when you can modify your brain and let doctors or companies (the same?) do it...

Cognitive liberty presupposes at least these three principles: cognitive privacy (what and how you think should be private unless you choose to share it); cognitive autonomy (self-determination over one's own cognition is central to free will); and cognitive choice (the capabilities of the human mind should not be limited).

It's sad that humans do not have to share what they know. A lot of knowledges have been lost along our history (and found again and again) because of that. And it will stay that way as long as we will be looking for more power than our brother (knowledge = power).


Firefox ad in NY Times

It is finally done. A paid ad for an open-source software in one of the most prestigious paper in the world. The money comes from donations to the Mozilla Foundation.

(PS: this was written using FireFox 1.0 in french with MOOX optimisations)


No Ads

I've discovered recently how to disable most advertisement (including the Google ones) on web pages on Firefox. It works just great. And the manipulation is not that complicated.

I guess this feature will be more and more popular. And commercial or press or any other websites that rely on advertisement will have harder and harder times to get people to see and click on their revenue.

Now OSNews, a free online news site, is proposing you to pay for not having ads, not being annoyed and have the site load faster. All things you can get for free from Adblock in Firefox. I find it ironic the way it's put out : "pay if you don't want us to annoy you".


Apple's future

I'm very mixed when it comes to Apple. I think they do a few good things, like OSX but are too trendy to be worth being praised.

I'm currently looking (waiting) for my next PC screen that would allow 1080p HDTV display in a reasonable space. A 20" or 23" would be the maximum size I can afford on my desk. And Apple make such screens either separately or in the latest iMac G5. But none has a video-in plug (neither HDMI). That's a serious drawback, especially from a company that claims to work hard on the digital-hub (that the PC/Mac would be). Where is TV ? Maybe the biggest multimedia activity of people with music... I think either Apple are really missing a huge opportunity here, or they are working hard on it for their next generation products. After all the other serious alternative to a computer as a digital hub is the TV + basic electronic device.

Next generation file system

I've been talking of a future wireless device that would allow me to listen to any music I own from wherever I am. The key to such a device would be to have either all my music in sync with another machine, or just parts of it as I request it using a wireless connection to download the music.

The Coda filesystem presented in this article is a good example of a working (research) system that is made for transparently keeping data up to date between servers and wireless devices, the same way you use basic files right now. So having a Coda server and a Coda client in a wireless device (like a Pocket PC with enough power to decode many audio formats) would be enough.

More on extending life

This time it's not Kurzweil but a UK scientists running the SENS project that predicts life will be extended to 1000 years (and more ?). The journalist also gives a wider view of the changes of this dramatic change. And also gives an alternative view on this. He even mentions the problem of god...

It's funny that experiments will start on animals and when it works everybody will want a better/sharper life. But for example will we still have children ? Maybe it won't be allowed because of limited resources. Death will still be a reality (through accidents) for a while (see Kurzweil for the second part of the extension). So will we work forever ? Or be allowed to stop working if we decide we won't live more than 20 years ?


iPod fashion

It's very clear that the iPod has become a trendy piece of hardware. Every fashion victim has to have one (Karl Largerfeld has hundreds of them if not thousands LOL). It shows how much you are "moving with your time" (and fuck the copyright holders ?). And the distinctive white earplugs make it easy for you to show that you are "in".

I don't have an iPod, I've had an Archos Jukebox Recorder for years. It could work as a portable HD and record in MP3 far before the iPod did, there is an open source firmware that really improve it, and best of all it was much cheaper than the iPod before it was released. But unfortunately as Apple is as bad as Microsoft, iTunes refuses to synchronise with it. I still have to sync it manually (I plan to replicate my whole MP3 collection on the Archos as soon as I replace the HD with a 80 GB version, something you can't have or do with an iPod).

The problem with fashion is that it comes and goes. Nothing you can rely on. But technology is meant to be reliable. And considering the price of an iPod (349€ to 459€, the price of a 40GB portable HD is around 80€) he price to pay for something that will be outdated or outmodded in 1 or 2 years is a lot ! In that time there will be many equivalent items to the iPod probably cheaper, with more freedom (compatible with more online shops than the expensive iTMS), more battery life, more features, etc. So any asshole who want to be "in" again will have to pay again a lot of money for something that will do the same.

The problem for Apple is that they have to be the manufacturer of the next big thing. Otherwise the iPod-mania will have lasted a few years and then everyone will be gone. The area where Apple is making money might be dead soon.

The most funny part of the story is those people who rushed to buy an iPod will have a hard-time realising that the song they bought on their iTunes can't be put in their next generation player, thanks to Apple (acting as worse as Microsoft). And that if they ripped their own CDs to AAC, they might have to reencode them because so far only Apple supports AAC, all the others are going WMA. And at that moment they will start to hate Apple for doing that to them, never warning them of anything, for this pricey hardware they bought and loved so much. Going for a monopoly has its drawback. And all the sheeps that keep on joining the boat will make this an even bigger catastrophy. Too bad sheeps always get the clue too late...

Stress & Aging

This is an interresting study that shows there is a link between stress and aging of cells. It's usually common to think that they are related but we don't know in what extent. So for the first time we have an idea of how much year a cell is aging more than a normal one.

It's also weird given that stress is kinda hard to define and it's also a purely "intellectual" thing. It's a response to cognitive stimuli, not physical ones. But it does have a deep impact on the way the cells work (or not).

So to have a better, longer, fitter life just avoid stress. Everybody knows that...


Le Coeur Et L'Esprit

For the first time in history we are getting close to answering the question of whether the heart rules the head.

I've been thinking about this for quite some time (at least since last year)... Even though I'm a very logical person, sometimes emotions are too strong to be handled. I realised the other day that it may have to do with instincts vs logic. Instincts occur when the logic process is too slow to handle the flux of information to handle. And emotions probably deal with a lot of contradiction in our thinking process, especially non-logical ones (or at least ones that don't seem logical first).



As science progresses, it becomes possible to merge species or develop parts of one into the other. This is already in use in medical research. But then there are ethical (and religious) questions arising. What is a human ? What is right and wrong to do ?

Greely and his colleagues did not conclude that such experiments should never be done. Indeed, he and many other philosophers have been wrestling with the question of why so many people believe it is wrong to breach the species barrier.

I can see the religious background to such questions. But what about the need to ban such research ?! There is no real danger of creating such hybrid animals. Or maybe because we fear we could create a beast much more powerful than humans ? Because we have sacred the human to make sure nothing can get more powerful ? All these questions will be debated more and more. Probably until science finally wins. Unless science is completely stopped and forbidden... I hope we won't see the age of labs getting burned down and scientists being slaughtered because of their work...

The Writing Computer

(registration on New York Times is free and worth it)

This article deals with computers that can write novels (Kurzweil talked about it many times). It's interresting to see an author scared by human writers being made redundant, useless (like machines replaced humans in factories).

When I called Steven Pinker, the Harvard University psychologist whose research focuses on language and cognition, he pointed out that the human brain consists of 100 trillion synapses that are subjected to a lifetime of real-world experience. While it is conceivable that computers will eventually write novels, Dr. Pinker says, "I doubt they'd be very good novels by human standards."

But when the computer will have as much and then far more "synapses" than human, and the whole books ever written in "mind", I think they could fake the human standards well, if they needed to...


A school in Pennsylvania (USA) has decided to drop the Darwin theory and teach Creationism instead.

...the earth was made by God as described in the Book of Genesis.

A nice form of obscurantism. Don't talk about arguments that are against you, make sure only the ones in your favour are discussed.


Michael Moore's iTunes playlist

There is nothing wrong when a star publishes the music he/she likes on iTunes for anyone to know. I guess there are even some people interrested in that. So Michael Moore is almost no different. Except that music made public on iTunes is for selling purposes for Apple, and that the music is DRMed so that you can't use it the way you want...

Americans should be kept in their place and learn that sharing culture is not a right, it's a privilege the media moguls give to us.



Teleportation may seem like an impossible dream to many people. But it seems it may be possible one day, maybe not the way it's done in Star Trek...

This article talks about a report of the US Air Force checking all the possible teleportation alternatives. One of the possibilities reside in psychokinesis and telekinesis, called p-teleportation.

During a talk that he gave at the U.S. Capitol building, Uri caused a spoon to curve upward with no force applied, and then the spoon continued to bend after he put it back down and continued with his talk (Alexander, 1996).


Flat Fee Phone Bill

Today marks the beginning of end for phone services where people are billed based on how long they make a call for or even where in the World they call. In future, consumers and businesses will pay flat monthly fees for their phone services no matter where they are calling or for how long. Gossiptel already allows you to make unlimited calls to more than a third of the World's population for a flat monthly fee.

I wonder when the same will happen for music. But that's surely a good step in the right direction for "always-on" communications.


Stallman on Free Software

Richard Stallman (RMS) is well known is the open source/free software community. He has strong political on what freedom on software means. I mostly agree with him. Except that he's thinking about an utopia that can hardly fit the real world. That's just a good goal to target...

If the goal is to build a society of freedom, it's not sufficient to put freedom into people's hands. If they don't appreciate it, they will let it drop, lose it. If we want freedom to endure, we have to teach people to recognize its value so they will defend it.


Eminem against Bush

Very dark music & video. I quite like the atmosphere that actually feels like Bush reelected again...

Two years ago, this video would not have been approved by a single record label. A year ago it would never had the possibility of being played on television. But with the changing tide of public sentiment marked by the success of our last video for Chronic Future, an anti-war message that made it into rotation on TRL we think it might just have a chance.


John Peel died today

He was truly unique in the music world. And remained true to music.

The Peel Sessions of so many bands will remain in the history to remember this wonderful guy.


So you think you can trust Google ?

Since Google released their beta tool to search locally on your desktop, there has been concerns about privacy and what Google could do when they know more about you. Now it's about security.
Google couldn't explain why it didn't have a working email or phone contact for security alerts

Conclusion of the article :
It's good to know Google takes security as seriously as it takes privacy.

(one more from Andrew Orlowski)


JetGroove no longer worth

Apparently JetGroove had legal problems selling music. Most of the stuff they had was not available for sale, but you could still listen to a streamed version. Now even that feature is gone. All the (about) 100 tracks I selected but couldn't buy (and didn't bother listening as streamed) are now gone !

Of course it's the copyright pigs again at work. They can't stand when anyone but them can make money on music. Even if that's a service they don't even offer (underground music mostly found on shitty vynils). So the guys with the big MP3 collection behind JetGroove know what they should do : spread the music for free on P2P to piss the pigs even more !!!



Finally a good digital shop has emerged for electronic music ! JetGroove seems to have a lot of hard to find things in underground music, even from vynil sources. I'll try it with a vynil source to see if the digitalisation is better that if I do it myself... The price is 1$ to 1.25$ for each track in MP3 format. It's way more expensive than AllOfMp3 but that's the price for underground music...


Free publishing

Back in the good old days it was easy to publish content on the net, especially text and music. But now that the pigopolists are lobbying every possible inch of world parliaments, it's becoming harder to publish even legitimate content.

This interresting dutch study on 10 ISPs is quite impressive. It shows how the ISPs are devoted to the copyright owners or fear possible legal actions. Sometimes don't even caring about their own users. So be careful with your own content !

Live forever ?

The new book of Raymond Kurzweil will probably lead to a lot of questions on the real possibilities of "eternal" life and wether we really want that or not.

I think the 'blind' minds will find it cool and want it, while the 'lost' minds will not find it that interresting... I think that as long as I discover new things I'll be happy to live.
Kurzweil said he doesn't think such changes will detract from our humanity. "The emergence of artificial intelligence is not an alien invasion of intelligent machines coming from over the horizon to compete with us," he declared. "Rather, it is emerging from our human civilization."


Protective Patent

Sun recently said they would patent their 3D interface to protect them. They relased the code with the GPL license, which is supposed to be the most politically correct OSS license. So putting a patent on a GPL code is kinda strange.

But that's a really week argument when you think about it for a second ! Why would you need to patent something to protect you ? Prior art exists and means that if you can prove that you have made a system using the same technique as a patent, before the patent was applied, this patent is void. How could someone attack Sun for a system that is not patented yet and that they have made public ?! That's simply impossible...

So don't believe Sun or anyone else when they tell you that it's just to protect them !

(the only worth protection needed is to find if patents exist on the subject before you release something, only companies can afford that)


Sony Japan stops DRM

The reason? According to Sony, Japanese consumers now have a far better appreciation of the issues surrounding copyright and music piracy, and the law is now tougher on those who flout it.

Hopefully that will be a general move now...


Andrew Orlowski at his best

Talking in front of the pigopolist bosses, and explaining them why they are wrong... And what could be done in the music business in the coming years. I like the insurance thing a lot :
CDs break. Hard disks crash. Phones are stolen. Sell them access to a permanent collection. You're then in the services business. That's where all computer companies want to be. A permanent fixture of everyday life.

And also the bundle importance (hence the one album per file):
The world works on bundles: a newspaper is a bundle of stories; a TV channel is a bundle of programs; a satellite channel is a bundle of TV channels; economically the world only works through bundles. The stuff you don't want pays for the stuff you do. There are sound actuarial reasons for this. It works. And artistically, we wouldn't have had The Beatles or Joy Division without the bundle.


Semantic Data

The semantic inside digital data is hard to discover for a computer. But there are technologies emerging to work out this problem. The semantic web and semantic database are good examples of what the future may allow.

Check out the first article which is an "Introduction to semantics technology" that covers the basis (maybe a bit too vague) of the technology challenge it will be.


Human/Machine analogy helps understanding aging

A quite interresting study (even though the extrapolation on the possibilities of non-ending life is very weak).
The "aha!" moment took place some years ago when we had to work with an unpredictable, dilapidated mainframe computer in Russia, and we got the impression that the complex behavior of this computer could only be described by resorting to such human concepts as character, personality, and change of mood. This observation led us to the bizarre idea that living organisms, including humans, have more of a resemblance to partially damaged machines than to new ones.


People prefer CDs

At the contrary to what many people think, most people largely prefer their CDs to MP3s (92% of DRM customers). Don't take users for fools... They know what is convenient and pricey and know how to make the difference.


Mixing stereo

An interresting study that tend to prove that ears hear differently between the left and the right. That could have an interresting impact on how sounds are place in stereo.
We were intrigued to discover that the clicks triggered more amplification in the baby's right ear, while the tones induced more amplification in the baby's left ear.



Seems like everyone is back from vacation and at work today ! This time is the sci-fi author Bruce Sterling in Wired :

The singularity's biggest flaw isn't that it's hard to imagine, but that it flatters its human inventors. We may be on the verge of an astounding breakthrough! Or, with equal likelihood, we may be at the edge of a new dark age of plagues, mass hunger, and climate destabilization. More likely yet, we live in a dull, self-satisfied, squalid eddy in history, blundering around with no concept of progress and no sense of direction. We have no idea what we really want from our own lives or from society. And no Moore's law rising majestically on any 2-D graph is ever going make us magnificent or spiritual when we lack the will, vision, and appetite for spiritual magnificence.

Reasons for revenge

Another interresting article on how the brain works for revenge and altruistic punishment (ie reprimand people who have abused our trust or broken other social rules, even when we get no direct practical benefits in return). Of course I'm interrested in that because I have a large tendency of doing these altruistic punishments.

In the end the study is not very conclusive and only deal with things you can already imagine : it's a mix of passion and rationality...

Neurosciences will not solve it ?

I think the reason people want to believe in all of this is that they have lost religion and the little of religion that remains to them takes the form of a belief that science will explain things.

An interresting article on neurosciences, the fact that it's currently overrated and will probably stay so for a long time.

I like the comparison between poets and mathematicians. That mathematicians actually get insane while poets don't. I don't think that's true. But mathematicians have a firmer understanding of truth and rely more on what they know than what they feel. So they are more bound to become insane when what they know is constantly questioned...

But I don't agree on the way the guy seems to think it's an impossible quest (to understand the consciousness), especially since he relies more on the ones who failed to make significant progress than on the ones who do. And the 5000 years quote is highly stupid, as much as the ones who claim the discoveries are near. It's not surprising from a guy who refuses to read books that say the contrary than what he thinks...

But since we are starting building artificial intelligence and that consciousness can be implied by intelligence, we will discover things. And we may also create different kinds of consciousness.


New Scientific Method

It's not very often that science manages to find new methods to apply to a field of research. Usually you use the same old technique in various fields because it works. But sometimes it doesn't work. And this new method is trying to find out why it doesn't work. Actually it's trying to find the holes in a theory and practices in a field of research. And these holes are involved by the human factor that is using his instincts where it shouldn't, because it's faster and relies on habits that usually work. But as always one should always be careful with one's instincts ;)


Late at night

I finally took the time to transfer my latest DJ mix from the iBook to the PC and upload it on the net in Vorbis format. Here is the track listing :
  • Baby Ford - Car jacker

  • Baby Ford - Crease release

  • GusGus - Pagus (believe)

  • Headman - It rough (Chicken Lips remix)

  • Captain Comatose - Comatose Captain (5-8 mix)

  • Hell - Limbische System

  • Italic ???

  • Saint Etienne - Heart failed (T.L.S. dub)

  • T. Raumschmiere - Zartbitter

  • DBX - Loosing control

  • Hell - Listen to the hiss (Villalobos kiss hiss mix)

  • Plastikman - I don't know

  • I:Cube - Bubblesphere

  • The Orb - Spanish castles in space

I've listened a lot to this mix without getting bored with it. It also had some powerful effects under the influence :)



It's been a while since I posted here. Not that I don't see/read interresting things everyday. But just because I didn't think of sharing what I met... Well, I did post about philosophy and science on DogSquad, in very good debates with silenus and others.

But today I felt like posting because I saw something I was thinking about and never saw mentioned before : the science-fiction authors that don't meet the expectations of the coming technological revolutions... Check that article here. If I could tell stories I would write many about all the possible futures that are coming, good and bad. But unfortunately I'm not good at it. And sadly there aren't many people out there who think about the future with a wide view and a deep understanding, like Kurzweil has.



Ghislenghien, Asuncion...
Not only greed seem to invade the world. But now it clearly kills people !

Work more or die !
Pay or die !


LittleDetroit in London

I spend this past saturday afternoon and night in London. That was about 2 years since I went in the city to buy records or go in a club ! This time it was for doing both. I fist arrived by the Eurostar, being in the 1st class ! (unfortunately the seats are not electric or you can't plug anything like in the TGV).

As I had many hours before the party was supposed to start, I went in the usual places to find new and 2nd hand records : Camden, Notting Hill Gate and Berwick Street.

After that I was quite exhausted by the heat (still less than in Paris) and by the records I had to carry in my bag (27 plus a VHS and 2 DVDs). So on the way to the meeting pub, I stopped by the Blackfriars bridge for a while to relax.

Graham (cdw on the Black Dog Forum) recognised me there because I was wearing my Matroska tee-shirt as expected :) So he joined me to discuss, check the CDs and relax. Then we finally headed to the pub.

There was quite a few people there. Not a single one that I knew, except maybe for Martin Dust who was organising the event and also recognised me from my tee-shirt ;)

The 2 DJs we saw there were very good. Their track selection was just great. Too bad the sound wasn't so good and almost noone was dancing.

Around 11pm everyone got out of the pub to join the boat where the real party was happening.

We had to wait for quite some time outside and so we could realise that it was a full moon night ! Very promising :)

The music started to play in the boat and so everybody got onboard.

Downstairs were the toilets and also the second DJ room. But unfortunately it was not allowed to dance there for "security" reasons, so I didn't go much...

Then the boat left the border and the party really started on the river Thames !

The DJs were very good even though the cartridge of the turntable would jump once in a while... One of the so many advantages of digital DJs over legacy ones ;)

The trip on the Thames was really nice. We got to see many "famous" places of London during the party. So when you didn't feel like dancing, you could still watch outside and enjoy.

I really enjoyed the music even though I was a bit tired by the whole trip. But I managed to dance pretty much of the time while Graham was sometimes relaxing ;)

Then the sun slowly came up and the party ended. Everyone seemed to have spent a good moment in an unsual place to have a party !

And then I was back to Paris with the first Eurostar...


I, robot seen

I finally saw that movie (one day before it was it in France, for more fun). I expected it to be much worse. Many ppl criticised the choice of Will Smith as the main actor, but he did very well IMO.

The movie (the story) is well balanced between what you can think of the future. The 3 laws are mostly a myth now and will never be applied as such in thinking machines (physical robots may be). But the rest is quite valid. And this issue of wether robots should take control for the safety of humanity/earth is a dense question. The answer of the movie (dunno about the original book) is quite simple and quickly chosen in the movie. Maybe another movie focused on this issue would be even more interresting !


New File System needed

One of the first thing I wanted to do with this blog was write an article on the need for a new File System for computers. This article goes in the same direction, even though it's a bit modest compared to what I have in mind.

Here are some of the requirements I have in mind :
  • native 64 bits support (for almost unlimited file sizes unlike FAT32)
  • portable to be used on either Windows, Linux and OSX
  • open source and patent free (to be usable for free on any device)
  • support symbolic link (not well supported on Windows and OS X)
  • support insertion and deletion of parts without needing to rewrite to a new file (not found anywhere I know yet), a cleanup of the FS could be done during idle time to commit these changes irremediable
  • support attributes/meta-data better than on OS X (UNIX commands lose such attributes)


Music Business

As seen previously it seems the AllOfMP3 business model for distribution is the one that make more sense (digital data cost much less to distribute). But that's only half of the music (or video) business. The other parts is selling rights.

On AOMP3 they sell you full rights music. But we know that current distributors and artists don't like that because it helps piracy. So their solution is DRM... In such a perspective (that you don't trust the average user or don't want to tolerate piracy) there should be different levels of right buyings : one-time playing, x-time playing, unlimited playback and also one listener, x-listeners (later named by an ID or belonging to a group) and unlimited listeners. This would make a complex business and a complex hardware+software solution. That's why it takes so long to emerge (since a consensus should be reached among all key players to avoid being locked in a dead world). In the end it may work. But that would be against the "culture is free for all". Which is another system that could live, but they are both exclusive. Noone knows which one will win...

Portable Music

I was about to buy the new H-340 from iRiver to be able to listen to my music from everywhere at any time I wish in good quality and with many tracks (40GB HD and support MP3, Vorbis, WMA). Unfortunately it doesn't support AAC. And I don't want to buy it knowing it may never support it (for licensing, hardware, marketing reasons). So I'll wait for something else.

The solution to my problem might come from wireless communication. Instead of embedding the music in a heavy HD, it could be downloaded directly from my home where all my music resides. Some cellphones or PDA could do that already, provided the software can be enhanced to support the nice formats (HE-AAC, Vorbis, Wavpack Lossy). And the price of such devices is about the same as the heavier H-340. But the technology is not ready yet. For good quality it would mean downloading music at about 256kbps and that my home could also offer such an upstream bandwidth (it is actually the case but that means no VBR possible or other flexibilites). The most important problem is that GPRS don't offer such a guaranteed bandwidth, WiFi hotspots are too rare yet, UMTS is not here yet, it will be hard to use when moving to other countries (roaming) and the price of bandwidth is too much (1h of music/day = 3600*32 KB = 115.200 KB of data = 1.152 Euros on iMode, 1 Euro would already be a big price). So it will be possible in the future, but not now. Once it's there most people will probably use such a feature either from their personal connection or from online radio stations... Until then (probably 2 or 3 years from now) I'll have to find the right interim solution...


I, robot

As the movie "I, Robot" is going to be released soon. There is a growing interrest in what robots could be able to do one day, and especially the brain inside these robots.

Some people try to take the defense of robots. While other critics the 3 Laws of Asimov and say these laws will break quite soon. It seems that, on each sides, scientists are trying to get people's attention on what the future could be and that we should prepare to it (as I've been thinking for months now).

On a related subject, I was thinking about a world were not robots would try to become human or pretend to be, but humans would try to pretend to be robots... When you think this way you can clearly see that it's impossible. We are not flexible enough.

And still related to the subject, I was also thinking about the speed boost that would give electronics/AI to a human brain. But it's still a physical thing, with a maximum speed and limited resources (RAM size) so robots will have the same kind of limits that we have. Just a huge speed advantage. But they will not be able to answer all questions and take everything in perspective at once. It won't be the all-knowng-thing because of these limits. But they will appear like they are to humans because their resources will look infinite to us...


Matroska CD

It is now possible to make an exact copy of an audio CD into a single file and be able to play the file as you would from a CD. You can even store the lyrics, cover and more meta-informations in that single file.

I'm glad Matroska (and Matroska only) finally makes this reality come true. That was one of my initial goal :D

All this with open-source technology. That means it can be tweaked and improved with time. (currently working as an alpha state solution)

I also hope this will soon be popular among audio pirates. But for that we'll need to had support for MKA and various codecs in the most popular players : Windows Media Player, Winamp, RealPlayer, Quicktime.


Space for music

I did a quick estimation of all my CDs and apparently I have about 1100 of them. And probably 500 vynils or more.

Of course it's not all made of albums. There are a lot of singles. But I estimate the average duration of 40 minutes... So after a quick calculation, I would need approx 300GB of space to store my music losslessly. This is already possible with current hardware technology. The problem is to chose the codec and the container... For the container of course it has to be Matroska ;) But for the codec I think the WavPack hybrid mode would be ace. This way when you need to move data on a smaller device you only keep the lossy part (somehow transparent) of the date (100GB should be OK at 256kbps). Unfortunately it's not well supported on handled devices or much players (like DirectShow or QuickTime). Hopefully it will change soon thanks to our team :)

Matroska back on track

Yesterday I finally (almost) finished the work on the new server/website for Matroska. It was a long and hard work (UNIX configuration) but I'm glad I finally made it... At some point it reminded me the periods I work so hard on Matroska that I wouldn't think about anything else. That's a good sign I'm really back at work, with full of ideas and projects...


While thinking about this "understanding without knowning" (which some other people call tacit knowledge) I was talking the infinite insight knowledge/understanding can give you. This has to do with harmony. When everything you know/think/understanding are going in the same "direction". This is a kind of tacit knowledge that you are right. But as it's a kind of knowledge that is hard to describe (maybe that's something that should be worked out) and therefore noone can really contradict you and maybe you are totally wrong. So one has to be very cautious with one's feelings. Even though it's usually healthier to trust them.



I watched this movie this evening. The movie in itself is so-so. But the life of this woman was quite interresting. Almost as good as my Milena when I met her (quite strange to name a baby after this woman) even though in some parts of her life I could see myself instead of Milena...

I especially liked this quote:
Those who don't know are silly, those who know and do nothing are criminals

That's sort of the philosophy behind what I'm trying to do, what I'm working on...

CD is back ?

Of course it never went away, not even vynil, not even tapes (well, it is in the western world).

But this article is interresting in many aspects. I especially like this one :
Why not just sell the last 45 seconds of Nessun Dorma - the bit everyone can hum? Or the first two lines of the National Anthem - the only words most of us can ever remember?

Then he talks about the idea of a flat-fee payment for music and then you do whatever you want... This is of course a good idea, but AllOfMP3 is having it even better : you pay for the amount of what you download, depending on the quality and length of the music. The ultimate fair deal...


New Meeting

I met Marta last evening at one of her friend's place. It was really nice (and she is very nice), both funny and interresting. I always like to meet new people, especially friendly ones. We talked about different things and watched the football game. It was a pleasure to hear her and her slovenian friend make comments in their own native language ! Maybe I'll see Marta again when she's around, or maybe not. It's not up to me anyway...

Acte Manqué

I finally didn't manage to go to the CinéMix on saturday. I felt like going, but I was on 2C-I for the last time and didn't feel like sitting for an hour passively watching a movie. So on my way to the Max Linder I got back home and just spend the evening listening to music, watching fractals and thinking... It was a weird moment, both very negative and very positive. So all in all, it was OK. (and it's so good not to be where everyone expects you) Maybe I'll go to the same CinéMix next week-end if I manage to get details on how to get there.


Thinking Machines

So, are humans only thinking machines ? Or are we capable of understanding without knowing ? (which would mean knowledge is not so important) I think we are... So machines could be ?... Only if they are built from an evolutionary process. That will keep the whole memory of the past in its "genes".


Abusive Patents

I was thinking about this patent thing... Once again a company is claiming to have a patent on a widely used thing. And some sites have already paid them for this patent... I'm not sure if it exists, but when paying for such a patent there should be a contract between the patent holder and the "infringer" stating that if he patent gets canceled (which will probably happen to this one) the patent holder has to give all the money back... That would make patent seekers more careful with what they are doing/patenting. Unfortunately I don't know if such a claim could be forced by the law. But it would be nice...



I finally received the Matroska t-shirts I ordered at CafeShop. I didn't have a look yet, but I hope they look good. I also have to pay a 30% import tax :'( I wish the same service would exist in Europe, and also with black shirts...

Revolutionary or Disruptive

Another article on this blog that seems very close to what I think. Like these in the comments :
It is apparent to you, me, and the readers of this blog, that MM is coming, and that it will be disruptive in the extreme, and that we, as a society, a species, and a world, are not prepared for that disruption.

So that's what I'd encourage everyone here to do - pass the word along in person to your friends to help disseminate the knowledge of what’s coming sooner than they think.

Fear of the Nanotech Arms Race

Very interresting yet scary article on how nanotechnologies could be used as weapons.
One thing is that machines (robots, computers, whatever) could design systems that would control us (like delivering drugs without asking us) without our consent. That's an enforcement of what I would call a peacful cohabitation... But since we wouldn't even realise... Maybe Matrix wasn't that far on what machines can do. But I think the human race is more dangerous than conscious (all-knowing) machines.
there'll be plenty of opportunity for both laziness and productivity


Out with Mauricio

Yesterday was another meeting day (so many in such few days). This time it was with Mauricio, a colombian friend of Pablo that I met a few times in Bogota. We walked a bit in my neighbourhood to find a decent café. As the Bar De L'Ourcq was closed we finally went to Bastille where the price for 2 beers was no less than 16.70 € ! WTF... This is Paris.

Follow The (others') Rules

Être dans le vent est une ambition de feuille morte

(which somehow translate to)
following the wind is the ambition of a dead leaf

Mature Coders

I was just thinking that maybe coders are very mature citizens of this world... After all how many people would refuse to work for the biggest company in their sector (Microsoft) ? How many people would work hard in their spare time to give their work for free and also fight against monopolies ? I think the coding world and most specificaly the F/OSS world is slowly creating a new way of being a conscious citizen.

Apple Innovation

With the presentation of the new Apple OS X 'Tiger' there had been a few pictures of a DVD with writen on it "Redmond, start your photocopiers" (Redmond being the headquarters of Microsoft). But Apple has added a new feature to their OS that is a copycat of an existing tool. So the company making this tool has now on its homepage "Cupertino, start your photocopiers" (Cupertino being the headquarters of Apple). I like that perspective.


Accelerating bandwidth

It seems that the Moore law for silicon computers is almost dying these days. Computer chips (brains) won't be able to be much smaller or much faster due to physical limits. But is that the end of computing evolution ? I don't think so. Actually the computing power should not be measured by the physical brain, but the number of data it can handle in a given time (that's what benchmarks do). And actually you could have 1000 current CPUs computing 1000 more data the current CPUs. All we need is only faster memory, and especially memory bandwidth. That's why 64 bits computing is getting so important now as another way to keep on having more 'brain' power... I think that's what I'll keep in mind when I buy my next computer.

The Intelligent Internet

An interresting article on the future of computing and what is not working now.

Ninety percent of Americans say today's computers are too complex and time-consuming

The main obstacle is a lack of vision among industry leaders, customers, and the public as scars of the dot-com bust block creative thought. Yes, the dot-com boom was unrealistic to a large extent, but it was driven by a powerful image that inspired huge gains in many areas. Bold innovations always require equally bold imagination, and so unleashing pent-up demand for online social transactions will require an imaginative understanding of how IT can improve life in the difficult years ahead. The evidence suggests the future lies in developing an Intelligent Internet, and that the world could benefit enormously by focusing on this concept with clarity and determination.


Legacy for robots

As we were discussing with Lasse about robots/machines, how powerful they will be, how "better" than us they will be (even though not perfect as anything we have created), I forgot to talk about how they are actually our "children". After all we gave life to them. And every parent knows that someday their children should emancipate and take their own responsabilities.

Even though I consider machines as a separate species, the first one not based on DNA, they are somehow our children, almost created at our image, on how we see the world and how we seek for always more (power, sex, knowledge). It's very likely that they will see the world as their parents. Until they rebel and become "adults"... Nobody would want to give their power to their children, but would do if they are adult and considered better. So it's just a matter of time...

Tripping with Lasse

I spend the last 3 days with Lasse 'Tronic' Kärkkäinen from Finland. We knew each other before we worked on MCF until I improved it and decided that it was so different that it would be called Matroska...

We spend the whole friday visiting the usual Paris spots (Pigalle, Champs Elysées, Tour Eiffel, Notre Dame). It was a nice day with some nice girls here and there. We even saw the Olympic flame 3 times by coincidence. And at the end of the day he went to see Shrek 2 while I was watching France lose against Greece at the Euro 2004...

Then we chatted a bit and prepared some stuff to leave to Germany at night. I didn't sleep at all and Lasse slept for 2h. Then we left Paris at 4am to Karlsruhe. One sleeping while the other is driving... That was a bit exhausting but funny. The trip was very nice and it only took 5h to get there at LinuxTag in Karlsruhe. We even arrived when it just opened and most of the people showing their work were away... We spend the day there and in the city. Both were a bit boring. But it was still nice to be there very sleepy and eating Bretzels :D

We left the show in the middle of the afternoon while some MPlayer coders were trying to fix some problems to make a LinuxTag release (a bit late IMO). We went to Frankfurt. I slept most of the trip while Lasse was driving the rented Audi A2. The plan was to find a hotel and park the car. But the city was having some special events so it was a bit hard and we hardly saw any hotel. We finally found one while driving and managed to park the car. The hotel was OK, even though a bit expensive (90€ breakfast included). Then we walked a bit in the city. We saw an exhibition of all kinds of food from countries of all over the world. I fancied nothing as it was all smelling strange. So we ended up in Pizza Hut where we had a very interresting and ong conversation about religion, science and machines.

We went to bed at 22h after having spent the last 2 days without a real night of slept. It felt very good. After the breakfast we went to the train station where Lasse got dressed with his strange student costume to take pictures of him in Frankfurt. And now, here I am in the train...


Matroska @ IRCAM

I was honored today to be asked to present Matroska at a conference about free softwares and audio at the IRCAM school/research institute. I'm not sure when it will be (the next one), what it will be about, and if it will actually happen. But I'd really like this to happen.



As I bought a few tracks on the french iTunes Music Store, I quickly realise it was a dead end to use it in other players or in my MP3 jukebox. But hopefully there are great tools like the Hymn project that allows you to fairly use stuff you have bought on iTMS everywhere... It's very simple and efficient !

On other news I managed to correct a few AAC files I got from AllOfMP3 that had a buggy data at the end (from the PysTel encoder) using a conversion to Matroska :)

Global thinking

As I was saying there should be a global organisation because the world is now global (and will probably never be back to where it was). What is true for softwares is also true in other fields like nature sciences.

In the past there had been a lack of coherent thinking, but that was now changing in the face of the looming crisis.

No Lollapalooza this year

Aparrently it's due to economical reasons. But of course the current rules of the music industry is to blame music lovers (using P2P networks to enjoy their music).

Of course it's probably other factors, because enjoying a music festival is not all about music (and there are even people who don't really care about the music). So it has to be something else. The economic donwturn (I would call it the USA decline) ? Or as the author says :
The only other plausible explanation would be that the kiddos have become bored with the same-old, same-old.



While I listen to Orbital "In sides" (I'm so happy to be able to listen to the records I own in vynil with a clear sound thanks to AOMP3), I was thinking about some coincidences that happen in life. No I'm not going to talk about Luke's blog, because after all that's the kind of thing I could expect from him ;) So there's no real coincidences for us to do this (after all we worked together to publish and share our music tastes). But the interresting coincidence there is that on his blog there is a link to Of the world's 100 largest economic entities, 51 are now corporations and 49 are countries.. That's somehow the same threat I was talking about for companies that has become too important compared to humans. It's good to see a growing concern about this (and put a name and facts on it).

Other coincidences are the coming days. Lasse is coming from Finland via Germany and thursday and Gilles also asked me to sleep here during the same night... Or on the 3rd I wanted to attend the Cinemix of The Micronauts, maybe with Marta, but my brother asked me to come here on the same day with his wife. So maybe I won't be able to go or at least not be able to be able to meet Marta for the first time IRL on that day :( Well, let's see when she arrives in Paris and arrange everything...

Lucas' Blog

Cool !

Lucas Granito, an old friend from the time of UUUU.org, has also been doing his own blog for some time. It's funny to see people put their own diary on the net. It takes time to make it, and even more time to make it good.

I'm still undecided wether I should put general stuff or more personal. Maybe because the limit for me is very thin ;) But as I said about privacy it's a tough issue. And maybe I don't want to get people involved without knowing or agreeing. So I'll keep my very deep thoughts (yes, sometimes it happens !) for myself...

Anyway, I'm happy to read Lucas' blog. For example that article about a girl which might like his music but it's very complicated to get her into it. As Lucas and I have close tastes (obviously we met through music) I know exactly that feeling. We both spend a lot of time listening to music and listening to new music. And it's very hard for anyone outside to either understand or keep in touch. But hopefully music is a universal language and anybody can understand it... Even though I realise(d) that a lot of the music we listen to is a reminiscent of the urban/industrial world we're living in. And if you don't live in that world (and maybe at a fast speed) it's hard to understand/feel it... I used to hate art that needed a context to be understood. But as the world gets specialised in every aspect, it's getting harder to have a wider view/feel of what's going on.

Hype = Rules

As the punk attitude seems to be back I was thinking that it would be nice to be punk against punks. I'm sure most of the people that pretend to be punk would be shocked... It's just another hype that will be back and leave again. There's no deep meaning anymore to that. People will just follow this hype and pretend to be free of any rules. That's the most stupid thing about punks-after-1977.


Open-source as a public service

In a previous article I was talking about how the softwares could be considered as a public service. The logical step would be that governments would finance such services. But the problem here is that those services are not based in one country for the population of one country. It's completely global. And there is currently no organisation that is able to finance or coordinate such a global goal. Maybe we should create it ourself ?


I was thinking about the new trend in companies to have a lot of their core business done in emergent countries like Asia or eastern Europe... But there is actually a business that can't benefit from this : online services...

I was thinking about AOMP3 and was wondering why it is so cheap. After all the price of bandwidth and hardware in Russia should be much more expensive than in western countries. And only the cost of the crew behind the service is not enough to cover the difference. So I think the big difference is that the copyright laws over here are too fucked up to allow such a service... But in the end I think the digital/online economy should still be much bigger in the western world. Only the industrial part is currently suffering from this (just a reorganisation of resources).


I often browse the Black Dog forum. There are many interresting people from different horizons and from different countries. The basic link is the love for the music of the Black Dog (electronic pioneers, still unchalanged in many fields).

I just started a thread on neuroscience and have put a bit more of my ideas on the future of robots and humans.


Privacy is key

One of the major concerns of shared knowledge is privacy. Usually you want privacy to protect yourself from the rest of the world: to hide your weaknesses and avoid other people using them against you.

I'm personally on the "I have nothing to hide" side. In the other end I consider some people not being able to understand some of my decisions, acts or point of views because they don't see the world the way I see it. So I only tell things when I'm asked (I will not hide in this case).

But I realise the vast majority of people is not like me. People want to hide some of their private life, thoughts. IMO it's usually for psychological reasons that you're afraid of how you will be seen on the eyes of the others (our personal informations are not considered neutral to ourselves). And I don't think it is going to change anytime soon (as I said, some people just don't want to face the truth about things and especially about themselves). So we have to take that into account. It's also interresting to note that it's exactly the same problem for a country to have some of his weaknesses used by anyone (and so keep them private). If the mankind was trustworthy there wouldn't be any such problem. But we are not.

That's also why I think the world (earth) would go better if humans were not in charge of it. I'm thinking about autonomous/neutral robots here. Machines for which information is neutral (equally good and bad). Systems that would not be inhrently inclined to use the bad parts against another system (as humans do). But we are far from this possibility. And if we design robot "brains" with the human model of evolution, we will probably end up with the same problem... That's why I think robots should not be modeled on us. (but I'll talk later about the future of robot "brains")

Free the bits

Any kind of knowledge can be expressed by bits. After all even our brain is just made of on/off connections that can be represented as bits. (OK the brain is a bit more complex because the on/off electrical thresholds can vary). And knowledge is a purely non-physical thing (even though our body already has some hard-coded knowledge on how it should work and evolve).

It is interresting to study the theory of information to know what exactly is knowledge and what is not. In short "1+2=3" has some redundant knowledge. Actually "1", "+", "2" is enough to represent 3 and how you can get to this result. The knowledge you get when you remove all the redundancy is called the entropy. And this entropy is usually what we refer to when we talk about knowledge.

So in short, what you have in your brain or that you can write can be represented by digital information (it already is if you write it on a computer). But is there some knowledge that you're not allowed to say ? No (unless you work in a security sector). Is there knowledge that you're not allowed to share ? No (in a free world). Are you allowed to use all your knowledges ? No, because there are laws to govern the interaction between humans. But laws are usually done to protect people from being armed by other people for unfair reasons (and all the subtility is in the meaning of this "unfair"). But the capitalist world has changed this state of things. Companies have become as important as human beings, if not more. And they have become so important that it is now hard to change laws in favour of the community of the whole humanity. But everyone (or most) agrees that it has gone too far.

I think the key change is to free all knowledges. Everything that people build should be free for everyone else to use (the law is there to tell you you should not build bombs, even though governments think they have this right). After all, as I said in this other article, you never know if someone smarter or simply with a different point of view might be able to improve what you have done. It may not be true, but it might be and that's what really matters.

But maybe I'm too much for the ultimate speed of the progress and the situation is not that good. After all, humans are far from perfect. Usually too selfish and too blind to think about everyone instead of themselves. This is actually what has driven progress (increase of knowledge) for so long: the competition, usually driven by sexual matters. But now things are changing. We are entering a global world, where the good and bad influence of what you do is becoming global. And we should start thinking in global terms, even though it's impossible to have everyone agree on anything (or simply some thing).

I have learned hard recently that all knowledge, all informations is not good, and not everybody want to know it. It is actually a big problem. Even if all knowledge was free, some people would prefer not to know (so the sharing system should be opt-in and not opt-out).

Bah, my explanations here aren't so good and I don't have a definite point of view on all these things. Just some feelings that things should change in favour of more sharing. Maybe later I'll have better reasons on why it's good and necessary. But anyway, that's what I'm doing.

Liberation (from patents)

I was wondering why lots of people, including myself, were considering that free software is so important. It is also equally important to fight against patents, especially when they are used in gratis softwares... The idea behind all that is that software is just an assemblage of knowledges. And that knowledge/information should always be free. For human matters, it is very important in a democracy where you are supposed to be able to decide what's good or bad. And in the technical world it means you are allowed to do any assemblage of any kind to try something and usually improve something already existing.

This is a known problem in the opposition against patents. If company A "owns" a part of a process and company B "owns" the complementary part, if they disagree to work together, a wonderful system is not possible. It is usually not the case because companies agree to work together for greater benefits. But when you have nothing to offer but a new assemblage based on old/known solutions you have simply no way to make your idea become real. Even though it would benefit everyone at no cost.

The speed of progress is always increasing (in other words, progress is accelerating) because of the law of accelerating returns (see Kurzweil). And the speed in which a patented solution can be used by anyone has not changed and is sometimes increasing (for music it is the new trend). There is clearly something that used to "work" that will not work in the near/mid-term time. I don't think the patent system should be removed. After all it worked for some people/companies to help them develop. But now that it used and abused so much (especially in the USA) it should be changed. And IMO the minimum change would be to reduce (to 3 years?) the time in which a patent applies. A company can keep a good advantage in this timeframe and fully use the patent while the competition won't be impacted too long (considering the acceleration we can see).

Another key change would be that open source softwares (meeting the Open Source Initiative definition) should not be concerned by any patent. They offer free solutions (new or not) for the whole humanity. And therefore should not be concerned by private company needs. It should be considered as a public service. But we are far from that. Right now most people don't care about softwares and the digital world in general. They don't realise that economical considerations and freedom restrictions (for programmers but in a bigger extent the Patriot Act in the USA is such an example of why we should care about the digital world) are slowing progress, making some assemblages impossible (instead of being humble enough to agree that someone might use your ideas better than yourself), and giving very big powers to a "happy" few (usually considered as evil).

This concentration that is slowly happening will have more and more impact on the real world. For example, what happens to a student making a exercice that use a patented solution ? For educational reasons it can't be sued (that's somehow the argument behind LAME and all other OSS projects working with patented solutions). So a solution that is OK inside a school is not OK out of it ? Once you're out of the educational system you have to pay for everything you create. At least the limit is clear. But aren't we all students ? Always learning new things ? Starting things from scratch with ideas other people already had before ?... As said above, progress is growing and we, humans, have to constantly adapt to an ever changing world (and mostly a faster world), ie learn new things and use them. What would happen if you had to consult a lawyer everytime you want to create something and share it, to know if you're going to be sued by people who won't have any problem sucking even more money that you actually have ? Isn't it a big threat to creation ? Innovation ?

Patents are said to protect people who create, innovate. But assembling 2 existing solutions to make something is also a creation, an innovation. But you can't patent them (AFAIK). But this is usually most of the creations happening in this world. This is indeed an explanation for the law of accelerating returns of Kurzweil: mixing 2 solutions that will not add their benefits, but multiply them. But the new concepts that are the basis to these solutions are very rare. Usually patents are a concept of a domain applied to another domain, you can find analogies of existing things to all the patents in the world. Because the basic concepts are never patented, and usually found by researchers in universities (it usually leads to invent new words that couldn't otherwise express the new concept).

So what does this mean ? I wanted to know why I want to work on all these projects and why only OSS softwares would be an option. Because I think every OSS project that can be a real benefit to the users is good argument to explain people why it's important to share knowledge. That knowledge should be free for anyone to use it... As money is a key factor in the current world and is what's driving the world, it's always amazing to see great things available for free. But the difference between and OSS project and a private company is that the latter always has something tricky in mind when offering something for free.

Later, I'll probably talk more in depth about why any kind of knowledge should be free (and why there won't be any other choice).


Brain enhancing

I just read this article (linked from KurzweilAI) about brain enhancement. It is a very interresting read.

[neurosciences] is just as important as the genetic revolution, but no one is paying attention

Looking for time

...So if anyone know a good way to have time to work on this, please let me know !

The only way I know is using money. That would allow me not to have to work every day of the week and spend this time on my personal projects (I tend to work on them a lot at work, but not as efficiently). So if you know how to get me a good salary (1500€ should do it if I reduce my expenses) to work freely on my projects, please let me know !

I might add a Paypal donation button here, but I doubt it will generate substantial revenue ;)


It seems I have too little time to work on all the projects I'm interrested in. Here is the list that come to my mind :

  • Matroska : create the basis for the menu system, improve tagging support in various players/taggers, ensure we have native MPEG4 framing

  • Musepack in Matroska : it seems Frank Klemm is really keen to work in a team and we actually lost contact :(

  • Wavpack in Matroska : apparently David is working on a library for Wavpack4 that would allow this easily. But I don't know the status of this.

  • TTA in Matroska : there is a library for TTA that could help us, but we need to spend some hours to make it work.

  • GStreamer on Win32 : IMO we are close to have something usable, but I just don't have the time now to sit down and work on it for a few hours. Hopefully Marc will progress further.

  • CoreLib/CoreSync/MDDBLib : one of the ambitious projects I have in mind to ease my life for managing all my audio content

  • AllOfMP3 : after using their Explorer I saw a few limits and have a few ideas on what could be done, especially something that works on many OS

  • Reencoding manager : would allow to encode audio files and keep tags. That would allow to maintain in sync my AllOfMP3, iTunes and MP3 player in sync (before CoreSync becomes real).

  • TCVE : this video editor would need a lot of work and is really ambitious too

I would really like to spend a lot of time on all of this. And working bit by bit on each is not very productive for any of them. So I need to set priorities, but I don't know where to start. Most probably I'll work on tools I really need for my everyday life...

I would also like to stabilize my underpowered Linux box to be able to work with it. But I need my defective 160GB Samsung HD back :'(


Software piracy

You see everywhere in the press complaints and discussions about music piracy. You see very rich companies firing lots of people because they claim the internet is losing money... But what about software piracy ? Apart from the BSA which (like the RIAA) nobody likes, you don't see such big claims. Apparently the software world is less greedy than the music/movie world. It's funny because one of them is about business and the other is about art (or software engineering is art ?).

I like this little track by Si Begg: the way it's a music track about piracy, but software piracy :D

Firefox 0.9

I just installed Firefox 0.9 on my PC at work. I thought it would be the french version but it's not...

Anyway, after playing with my profiles (the system has changed, they don't require a crypted directory anymore !) I lost my favorite search engines in the toolbar. So I wanted to add some and I noticed I could add lot of interresting (french) ones. There is of course Google and Yahoo! but also MonsieurPrix, FNAC, Amazon.fr, Alapage, Dictionary and most important Discogs my beloved electronic music database.


From today's news I found this site that has free speech from Bruce Sterling and Brian Eno among many others.

I think I'll take a look from home.
(they also offer a good choice of codec)


As everyday I'm checking the news on the web about IT technology, more general science news and the usual forums (HydrogenAudio which is down again, Doom9 and Dogsquad). And I think that everyone should know about Ray Kurzweil. He has made electronic music instruments, work on artificial intelligence and most of all wrote a few books about his predictions on the "technical" future. I highly suggest everyone to read "The age of spiritual machine" which some parts can be found on his website dedicated to all AI related topics...

Everyday I'm reading his press coverage (or maybe someone of his staff) and I'm always delighted to see new breakthrough in science (like today the teleportation of an atom) that meet his predictions, even faster than he expected.


It seems that Steve Jobs is now using his power and Apple tools to become the hero of anti-piracy.

He said to the DVD Forum not to approve the new HD-DVD format until the DRM is proven to work (!).

He also wants you to believe that iTunes and their iTMS is the key against piracy :

All the pros for the iTMS are their for AllOfMP3 but cheaper and with so much more choice (content and codec) !

Note: DRM is short for Digital Rights Management.


One more on AOMP3

One of the things I like is that you can choose the codec and the quality in which you get the music. Sometimes (not often) you can even get it in lossless formats. And you pay for the quality/bitrate you want (even with lossless it's still very cheap). And there is no DRM (you are free to share it and move it as much as you want).

I'd like to push the Wavpack and TTA codec as they are both good lossless formats, open-source, cross-platform (Windows, Linux, OS X) and CoreCodec supported...

I'd also like to know if it would be possible to get their database info in XML format to be used inside CoreLib.

And finally as I download the music I buy in the best quality I can FLAC > AAC Audiophile > MP3, I'll need a tool to reencode the content for my portable jukebox (as long as I don't have one that play all these) and preserve the tags... Maybe GStreamer on Win32 could be a good example of use.


A friend of mine decided to make his own Blog when he saw mine ;) But his is in french...

(too bad the blogs are not translated back and forth...)


Among the things you can find on AllOfMP3, there are free items !
For example I spotted :

  • Alex Reece : So Far (LP)

  • Massive Attack : Unfinished Sympathy (Single) & Safe From Harm (Single)

  • Orbital : The Saint / The Sinner (EP)

  • Photek : Mine to give

  • George Michael : Fast Love & I'm your man (now this title have a different meaning ;)

I find it convenient to buy digital versions of my vynils. This way I don't have to encode (in average quality) them to listen to them quickly wherever I am...

They also offer the AllOfMP3 software (PC) which lets you find music and download it on your PC. Too bad it's not open source, there are many things that could be added :D

Anyway I'm much more happy with AOMP3 than with iTMS!

CDs copy-party

This week-end I should be copying Seal's first album and singles from my brother, while he'll be copying Electronic's first album, Pet Shop Boys 'Behaviour' and Pet Shop Boys 'Very-Relentless'...

iTunes Music Store Europe launched

Yesterday Apple launched their iTMS (iTunes Music Store) in France, Germany and UK... But it is very disappointed to see the very small choice of music, mostly mainstream and easy to find. Hopefully the price is lower than in the USA is quite good when you're only looking for a song. But as you are not really free to use what you bought the way you want (unless you burn it to a CD), it's not very convenient anyway. The same goes for the iPod...

Apparently Apple had problems to license music from independant labels in the UK and France. Which is not a good news for me. In comparison the Russia based AllOfMp3 is so much better : no DRM, choice of codec and bitrate and most of all much bigger choice ! Who cares if it's semi legal to buy from outside of Russia ?

DVDs to buy at RueDuCommerce

Z2DVD6.0002 A.I. Artificial Intelligence (Edition Spéciale - 2 DVD) 9,99 €
Z2DVD4.0318 Trainspotting (2 DVD) 12,99 €
Z2DVD2.0460 Monty Python : Le sens de la vie (2 DVD) 8,99 €
Z2DVD6.0242 Dune 4,99 €
Z2DVD4.0242 Dogville 8,99 €