Author Archives: Alan Cross

More Growth in Listening to Online Radio

December 16th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Okay, so these are American figures, but I'd bet that the numbers for Canada (where high-speed Internet penetration is higher) are the same if not higher.  This is from today's RAIN (Radio and Internet Newsletter):

While most news sources focused on the report's dire predictions for print media ("Most print newspapers will be gone in five years"), kudos to Inside Radio for digging a little deeper for this tidbit: 22% of study respondents report "going on the Internet at least weekly" to "listen to online radio."

While that figure was outranked by online activities like general web-browsing, online banking, social networking, and gaming -- it's interesting that 22% isalso the share of respondents who pay bills online. Also keep in mind that the "to listen to online radio" response was distinct from the "to download or listen to music" response (38%).

iTunes Match Goes International–For Real This Time

December 16th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

I thought something was weird when iTunes declared that it needed to update itself last night.  Given that I'm at the Caribbean Command Centre, I thought my current IP might be tricking Apple into giving me something due only to citizens of France and its overseas territories.  

I, however, was mistaken.  The update is part of a widespread international update that gives non-US residents access to iTunes Match, the service that allows everyone to, er, launder their music library for a annual fee.

Here's how to works.

Foo Fighters Make the Earth Move. Literally.

December 15th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

On August 8, 1982, the good people of London began ringing up their local police.  "Feel that, mate?  That's a bleedin' EARTHQUAKE! In London!"  

So many calls came in that various constabularies telephone the British Geological Survey.  "We're getting calls saying that parts of the city are swaying.  Is Her Majesty's island about to sink?"

Seismologists were stumped.  They checked their instruments and they found that, no, there wasn't an earthquake--but there had been some kind of seismic disturbance.  What was responsible for all the shaking and rumbling?

In a word, ska.  

You Knew It Had to Exist: The iPod/iPhone/iPad Fireplace App

December 15th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Why bother gathering wood, chopping it, drying it, going out into the cold to get it and lighting it in a fireplace you probably don't have when you can just fire up an app and get (almost) the same cozy effect virtually for a tiny fraction of the cost of a real wood-burning fireplace?

In fact, that's what it's called:  A Very Cozy Fireplace HD.

More pictures after the jump.

It’s Not Your Imagination: Loud Music Makes You Drink More

December 15th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

If you're going to volunteer to be a subject in a medical experiment, then this is the kind of gig you should look for.

UK researchers have determined that beyond deafness and a tendency to make you drive faster, listening to loud music has another potential pitfall.  It tricks the brain into thinking that alcohol tastes better.  And the more you drink, the sweeter it tastes.  From the original story:

Dr Lorenzo Stafford, a psychologist from the University of Portsmouth, conducted the first experimental study to find out how music can alter the taste of alcohol. He said: "Since humans have an innate preference for sweetness, these findings offer a plausible explanation as to why people consume more alcohol in noisy environments."

The “Rehabilitation” of Indonesian Punk Rockers

December 15th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

This story is so big that it even made the front page of the local newsletter here at the Caribbean Command Centre this morning. Here's an excerpt from the National Post:

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia — Indonesian sharia police are “morally rehabilitating” more than 60 young punk rock fans in Aceh province on Sumatra island, saying the youths are tarnishing the province’s image.

Since being arrested at a punk rock concert in the provincial capital Banda Aceh on Saturday night, 59 male and five female punk rock fans have been forced to have their hair cut, bathe in a lake, change clothes and pray.

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