Free Music

Regular readers may recall a post towards the end of last year celebrating the news of a new Apparatjik album to be released early in 2012.

The good news is that the latest versions (draft 6) of the album tracks are now available for listenage and downloading on Facebook. It’s still got that 80’s electronica feel, with a touch of house and a hint of Röyksopp. And yes – you can hear the influence of Guy from Coldplay and and Jonas from Mew. Less so Magne, but it’s still great listening.

If you only have time for one song, I’d recommend Aretïve (the piano remix of Sequential) for those who want to get a quick feel (ooer!) of the sound.

But – these “auditory documentings” aren’t going to be around forever – get there now, download and enjoy.

You’re welcome. is now on Facebook

With Facebook rapidly becoming the all conquering behemoth as far as the internet is concerned, it seemed wise to finally take the plunge and make one of their ridiculously named “fan pages” for the blog. Now it should be noted that for the amateur [waves], Facebook doesn’t make it easy for you to do this – the interface is horrible and not at all intuitive, the language is confusing and everything is that nasty Facebook blue.
It’s probably for those reasons that I haven’t done it before.

But anyway, all in all, it’s been a steep learning curve and I have a horrible feeling that it will continue to be a steep learning curve. But click that LIKE button in the side bar there ~>, (or alternatively, click here) and bear with me and once things are up and running smoothly, I’ll sort out some Facebook-only competitions to make it seem that the 0.5 seconds it took you to click your mouse button was completely worth your while.

Now let’s see if the app does its thing and plonks this post where it needs to go.

You Like?

After reading Dave Perel’s memeburn post on the new Facebook Like button, I felt compelled to have one.

I find it quite crazy that yesterday I was asking Facebook for some small changes to their Fan Page and then they go and drop something which will make the entire internet a Fan Page.

Last night Facebook had their f8 Developers conference where they announced a whole bunch of new products which may change how we deal with the web.
The biggest announcement was a new button called the “Like” button. Working in a similar way to a Digg or Tweet button, the new Facebook button can be easily installed on your site with a simple line of HTML.

Once installed visitors simply press the Like button and that information is passed onto Facebook which then aggregates it into their news stream. When a friend of yours visits the same article they will see your face under the article saying that you liked it.

With a bit of jiggery-pokery and some not inconsiderable intervention from The Guru, you can now see the result of Travis Ballard’s FBLike plugin below. Click it and tell all your friends on Facebook that you enjoyed this post. Or any other.
Go on – give it a try now.

As Perel states:

Facebook just changed the game… they want Social to become the default for how we navigate the web. I think that with 400 million users they now have the power to make this kind of change possible.

He’s right – if anyone can, Facebook can. And maybe they just have.

Twitter and Facebook attacked

Social networking sites Twitter and Facebook were both unavailable for long periods this afternoon (Central African Time) due to a Distributed Denial of Service attack or DDoS, a process whereby huge numbers of infected computers, controlled by a single “master computer” besiege the servers of a site with demands for data until the servers – and the site – breaks.

Graham Cluley, a computer security expert, likened the attack to “15 fat men trying to get through a revolving door at the same time.” and while this explains the situation nicely, there is no definition of how fat the men are or how small the revolving door is. Some shopping malls (Meadowhall, Canal Walk) have huge automatic revolving doors which wouldn’t have any trouble fitting 15 fat men in. I can only imagine that either Twitter has a very small revolving door or that the men in question were exceptionally obese.
It’s also interesting to note that it is men who are taking the rap for this. In this age of political correctness, I sincerely hope that Graham considered the implications of his perceived single-sex attack. While it may reflect rather negatively on the male sex, I’m sure there will be – at some point down the line – some mouthy lesbian who will claim to have been struggling to get through the revolving door as well.

And already, accusations as to who employed the 15 fat men and the angry lezza are flying around. Some have suggested that Iranian President Mahmood Ahmadinajacket was getting back at twitter for the rather unsupportive stance it took around his brutally putting down opposition protests last month. Others have suggested that it was some sort of coalition or consortium of bosses who just wanted their employees to actually get on with some work for once. Especially those in Port Elizabeth.
But it seems most likely that this was basically an attack by aliens who were just warming up to take on a really big site like this one. But don’t worry, we’ll be on the lookout for a group of fat bastard martians trying to get in through our revolving door. And this being South Africa, we’ll be ready and waiting to defend 6000 miles…the only way we know how: with a gaggle of angry black mamas toi-toi’ing their way to greet them.
There are few sights more terrifying than Nkosazana, Thandiwe and their chums singing and dancing their way towards you while holding up illegible placards made from torn cardboard boxes. Believe it, because it’s true.

Once the large social networking sites have seen how well we in South Africa defend our revolving doors, they will be flocking over to Mzansi, servers in hand. We’ll have a plethora of twits in Pretoria, loads of MySpace in the Karoo and Friends Reunited in Cape Town (as long as they went to the same school). All of which can surely only be good for the economy.

Then all we have to do is somehow stop them from noticing how slowly our revolving doors actually revolve.

The importance of twitter explained

A common complaint of Twitter users is the assumptions made about Twitter and Twitter users by non-Twitter users.

Twitter does have many different uses depending on what you want to get out of it, whether it is organising get-togethers, discussing or seeking solutions to technical problems, sharing photos and news stories in real time, promoting your blog (apparently, anyway) or business. It isn’t just a little chat service for nerds and geeks. Although, of course, it can do that too if you want it to.

So, before you step forward and slate what you don’t know or don’t understand, try looking at it using Brian Micklethwait’s criteria:

I’ve said it many times before, but it will bear constant repetition. When some new technique of communication is invented or stumbled upon, you should not judge its impact by picking ten uses of it at random, averaging them all out, and saying: Well that’s a load of trivial crap, isn’t it?!? How will “I am just about to make another slice of toast” change the world? The question to ask is: Of all the thousands of uses already being made of this thing, which one is the most significant? And then: Well, is that very significant? If yes, at all, then forget about the toast nonsense.

And the other thing to point out is that, even if you don’t care about some stranger being about to make some toast, there may well be some other strangers out there who do. For them, such twitterings may be very significant. What if the person about to toast suffers from suicidal depression, and his mere willingness to attempt any household task however trivial is a source of rejoicing to all his friends?

But there will always be the haters: those who can’t or don’t want to understand. Simon Heffer of the Telegraph, for example:

One very good reason why I would not join Facebook or Twitter is that I cannot imagine there is a soul anywhere on earth that I am not in touch with in any case who could care less what I am doing at any moment of the day. I cannot believe that anyone should want to spectate the ordinariness of my existence, for I certainly have no wish to spectate anyone else’s.

But then again, Simon Heffer is described in this month’s British GQ as “a pasty faced Billy Bunter figure with a penchant for college ties”.
David Cameron wrote of him, thus: 

“The attitude that he personifies – hatred of the modern world – is not just part of the problem. It is the problem.”

Of course, the simple rule for Simon and his type is: If you don’t like it, don’t do it. And stop whining. Yes, you’re going to hear about it in the newspapers and on the TV, but if it really bothers you that much, then skip those stories and read about the war in Afghanistan or the latest goings-on in the World T20.

Or do you really consider yourself so very important that just because you don’t get it, the rest of us aren’t allowed to either?