Monthly Archives: July 2010

cashing the check

Apropos of changing the subject, I got an email asking would it be possible to advertise in one of your blog posts? and offering a hundred bucks if I put a particular link in a post, obviously for SEO reasons.

I feel like it would be gross to not take the money. It’s the same question as whether you pick up a penny on the floor. Maybe I don’t even want pennies, maybe the trouble to bend down is worth more than the penny. I try to always take the penny, under the theory that it’s disrespectful to people who really need a penny if I leave it there.

Years ago I took money for mentioning a company in blog posts on gonze.com. Some friends tolerated this, some must have moved on. It is weird to do to people in a personal blog, like signing on to a pyramid scheme that requires you to turn your friends into zombie suckers just like yourself, except at your profit and their expense.

I remember offering to buy a drink for the cyber celebrities Lawrence Lessig and Tim O’Reilly, who I had run into at the bar at a conference. They took it as offering to buy dinner. I guess people often do that for them because they’re celebrities. They took me up on the perceived offer and by the time I figured out what they thought I was too embarrassed to correct them, maybe because of their celebrityhood. They must have seen that offer the way I see this one.

A tip for life: when somebody writes you a check, cash it. So I put the link in, along with a little blurb about the money stuff. (That blurb is how this post started). Also I named the logo image on my site thesefolksgavemeahundredbuckstoputthishere.png. And the guy didn’t dig it.

So I moved the blurb out to this post. But the dude still didn’t dig the image name, and he didn’t like that I prefaced the link with here’s a link that will earn me a few bucks in exchange for some SEO juice. So I said forget it and gave the money back to make him go away. Easy come, easy go.

aural augmented reality

I’m sitting in a cafe and I hear that Phil Collins hit “I can hear it coming on the edge of night” or whatever the title is. That song bugs me. And it strikes me that it’s possible to selectively remove it from my existence.

Picture if you will a noise cancellation headset with a dynamic perspective on what noise is. Rather than identifying background sound as noise, it identifies a constantly changing (but well known) stream of audio signal as noise. The constantly changing audio is none other than a recording of a song which you hate.

Hated songs are identified via audio fingerprinting, like Shazam. You allow your Shazam-like live audio fingerprinting system to be on constantly, so that any time a hated song appears in your audio environment, the software recognizes it. The software activates the Imaginary Dynamic Noise Cancellation (IDNC) controller. The IDNC switches on your noise cancellation headset using the hated song previously identified as the target. Henceforth to the end of the song, that source is filtered from your reality.

*Wham*! Or more precisely, *no* Wham any more, ever, if you don’t dig them. They’d be snipped out of reality.