April 16th, 2007

thoughtful

(no subject)

Some time ago off in Charles Stross' main blog, I found a recommendation for Snake Agent by Liz Williams.

However in the back of her book was her livejournal URL. Trolling that profile pointed me toward Mr. Stross' livejournal.

I've also come to a few conclusions: they probably know each other (which upped the chances of his reading her book and thus offering a recommendation); It's exceedingly difficult to keep online identities separate; and humans aren't that good at randomly generating names.

Also I can still read about 50 pages of good fiction an hour.
depressed

Dying

One of my pet peeves is how the media skews our perception of danger.

Top 10 most common ways of dying by age category.

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading killer of Americans under the age of 24. From 25 to 44 accidental death is most common, though the specific category of motor vehicle accidents is less frequent than dying from HIV, Cancer, or Heart disease.

There's also a neat graph showing the overall most frequent ways of dying. Heart disease (1 in 5), cancer (1 in 7), stroke (1 in 24), motor vehicle accident (1 in 84), suicide (1 in 119), falling (1 in 218), and finally firearms assault (1 in 314).

Additionally David Hemenway applies scientific method to the gun problem had some interesting thoughts on guns in the united states. Although crime rates in the US aren't that different than many other industrialized nation, apparently the ease of obtaining guns makes the the likelihood of a crime becoming deadly is significantly higher.
thoughtful

Music

Apparently the RIAA is going to go through with its massive increase in royalty costs for "internet radio" so they can go back to their "good old days" when they controlled all aspects of music.

Current alternatives:

Magnatune.com this is a commercial internet label that strives (pretty successfully) to be non-evil. They have liberal licensing options for non-commercial podcasting and the like. Additionally when you buy music from them you can get lossless copies, in either FLAC or uncompressed WAV in addition to high quality MP3. (They have some good music too, which I've even payed for).

Jamendo is a tag based browser of creative commons music.

Freesound focuses on various sounds and samples if you need to build loops or locate sound effects.

ccmixter advertises itself as a place to post and review re-mixes of creative commons licensed work.

If you want to check if that CD at a store wasn't isn't irrevocably tainted RIAA Radar will help separate libre works from oppressed works.

Remember if you're pirating RIAA licensed music, you're giving them free advertising (not that they appreciate it). We need to cut our ties to them at every level and let them be destroyed by their own greed and desperate need to have total power over what we are allowed to listen to.