January 2006

The Annotated "Paul’s Boutique"

by Joey deVilla on January 26, 2006

Cover of the Beastie Boys' album 'Paul's Boutique'.Pure funky music geek gold: The Paul’s Boutique Samples and References List site examines every song off this seminal Beastie Boys album, sourcing its samples used in every song and explaining every reference in its lyrics. Shhhhake your rump-ahh!

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0100

by Joey deVilla on January 26, 2006

(0100 is one possible binary representation of the number 4.)

Mathew Hoy at HellaBoss got tagged to make a few lists of four items. He then tagged Grant Hutchison at splorp, who made his lists. Grant then tagged John Martz at RobotJohnny, who made his lists. Johnny tagged Deenster at pony, who made her lists and then tagged me.

It’s my turn now, so here goes:

Four Jobs I’ve Had

Four Movies I Can Watch Over and Over

Four Places I have Lived

Four Television Shows I Love to Watch

Four Places I Have Been on Vacation

Four of My Favourite Dishes

Four Websites I Visit Daily

Four Places I Would Rather Be Right Now

Four People I am Now Tagging to Prepare the Same Lists

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Accordion City Geeks Gather at DemoCamp 2.0

by Joey deVilla on January 25, 2006

(This article was also posted to Tucows Developer.)

Last night, the second Toronto

DemoCamp — a monthly series of meetings of

developers where they show the projects they’re working on — was held

at the offices of Radiant

Core in the “Liberty Village” area of town (the same

neighbourhood as Tucows). Judging by the crowd, which was around 60

people at its peak by my count, I would have to call the event an

success.

(Here’s

a video [5MB QuickTime] that I shot. I’m panning from one end

of the room to the other to show you just how crowded it

was.)

Last night’s demonstrations

were:

  • Radiant Core

    Foundation: A very user-friendly web content

    management system developed by Radiant Core, a web design and

    development shop run by my friend Jay Goldman. Radiant Core developed

    Foundation so that they wouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel for every

    new client. It boasts and easy-to-use interface that minimizes the need

    for clients to run to them for help and also exposes an API for clients

    with development teams who want to do some serious

    customization.

  • 2ndSite Online Invoicing: Another

    user-friendly web tool for business: this time, it’s a web invoicing,

    timesheet and support ticketing application. It’s a good example of the

    type of business application that can be moved from the shrink-wrapped

    pay-once desktop app model to the subscription-based web app one. They

    also brought up some a very important point about pricing schemes that

    they learned through experience: simpler is

    better.

  • Kweschun: Chris Nolan’s social

    software project that harnesses “the collective wisdom of the net to

    predict the future”. It allows you to pose questions and suggested

    answers, track the responses and search for questions by

    tag.

  • WaveDNA: The only desktop

    application of the evening, WaveDNA is a “music reverse engineering

    tool” whose purpose is to analyse music for patterns. It breaks down

    music into fundamental units of pitch, duration and “feel” and perfoms

    analysis on those elements and their arrangement. The potential uses

    for this application are vast and interesting, ranging from analysing

    what makes a good commercial jingle (by analysing the most-remembered

    ones and seeing what their common qualities are) to a Ph.D. thesis

    project in which a researcher is trying to determine what makes a song

    a lullaby. The University of Toronto and a local music recording

    studio, MetalWorks, are involved in this

    project.

  • Favorville: Another social software

    application: this one’s a “bulletin board” where people who need

    favours — perhaps they need work done, or advice — can post those

    needs and people who can help can see them. It’s an excellent blending

    of social software technologies and local community

    involvement.

  • Canada’s SR&ED

    tax rebate program was explained by Wayne

    Bradley from Development Associates. This tax rebate program gives

    money to Canadian companies to encourage them to work on R&D.

    You don’t have to provide a business plan or promise profitability —

    in this case, the criterion for qualification is that you’re breaking

    new ground or advancing the field. You can make up to 66% of your

    salary investments if you qualify.

As with the

first DemoCamp, which was held in December, it was a good opportunity

to meet with other developers in town and see what they were working

on. Even better was the palpable feeling of inspiration that came from

being in a gathering of people who want to write cool and useful

software. I expect great things from DemoCamp in the months to come. My

heartiest congratulations to David

Crow for making it a success!

The next

DemoCamp, which will be held in February, is already being planned.

I’ve offered Tucows as the location — watch this space for more

details!


More DemoCamp Reading

David Crow: DemoCamp 2.0 Rocks the

House

Here’s a flickr photoset

of TorCamp photos.

The BarCamp

wiki. Here’s the wiki’s DemoCamp

page.

An explanation of what BarCamp

is.

Here’s

Foo Camp — short for Friends Of O’Reilly Camp — which led

to the creation of

BarCamp.

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Interviewed by Canadian Press

by Joey deVilla on January 25, 2006

Yesterday, Michael Oliveri from the Canadian Press conducted a phone interview with me about the election and Sam Bulte.

“So, judging from your blog, I take it that you’re pleased with the outcome of the election?” he asked.

“If you’re talking at the federal level, I wouldn’t say ‘pleased’. Maybe ‘satisfied that the outcome was the least abhorrent of the realistic ones’ would be more accurate.”

The resulting article, Bloggers Take Some Credit for Ousting Former MP, also features quotes from Michael Geist and Cory Doctorow.

Because this is my blog and tooting my own horn is its primary purpose, here’s the snippet featuring me:

In 2004, the NDP’s Peggy Nash got 34.5 per cent of the vote in the Parkdale-High Park riding and fell 3,526 ballots short of Liberal incumbent Bulte. This time, Nash captured 40 per cent support and won over Bulte by 2,201 votes.

While bloggers are stopping short of saying they’re the reason for Nash’s 5,700 vote turnaround, they credit the Internet community with being a major contributing force and influencing the decision.

“I think it’s premature for anybody with a blog right now to start saying, ‘OK, now that I’ve got a blog I am a kingmaker,'” said Joey deVilla, a resident in the riding and author of the blog, The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century.

“But I believe (the online campaign) did help. It stirred some discussion online and at the candidates’ meetings, it got the attention of the media, and it became a story.”

For more on the role of the Parkdale-High Park election result and its relationship to the blogosphere, I point you to Michael Geist’s article, Lessons Learned.

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Funniest Picture of the Election: "Spot the Liberal"

by Joey deVilla on January 25, 2006

The picture below comes from Stephen Taylor’s blog — it’s a shot of strategists from the three major Canadian political parties: Susan Murray (Liberal Party), Brad Lavigne (New Democratic Party) and Sandra Buckler (Conservative Party). If I had to sum up the election results using only one picture, I’d use this one.

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Blogstravaganza This Friday!

by Joey deVilla on January 24, 2006

The characters from 'Suerfriends' and 'Space Ghost' at an illegal underground monkey knife fight.

The Preamble

Back in 1999 — this is the pre-accordion — I lived in a condo at the corner of Yonge and Carlton and sometimes got together with friends and friends-of-friends at Fiddler’s Green and talked over beer and pub grub. One particular night at the Green stands out in my mind: I think we all drank a little too much and one of the girls, in one of those “Too Much Information” moments, told us stories of her offbeat sexual proclivities.  You can’t unhear such things once heard; I will simply say that thanks to this story, I cannot  ever again watch A Charlie Brown Christmas — especially the ending — without cringing.

The night after that, I got into the only bar fight I have ever started in my life: I clobbered my gay friend at a gay bar. It wasn’t a queer-bashing thing; he was monopolizing the girl with whom I was on a date. He has since forgiven me and The Code of Dudes clearly exonerates me in this matter (statute 5: “Cock-blocking is wrong, dude”).

Ah, good times, good times.

I Guess That Makes This the “Amble”

Anyhow, this is all preamble to my reminding you that the Blogstravaganza, which I mentioned earlier, takes place this Friday at good ol’ Fiddler’s Green. Organized by Bob “Let it Bleed” Tarantino (and supposedly by Jason “Cherniak on Politics” Cherniak, but I’ve been plugging the event harder than he has), it’s a gathering of Accordion City’s bloggers, blog readers, curious onlookers and people who just need to know the details behind the Charlie Brown Christmas story.

I’ll let Bob do some of the talking:

Everyone walks away from last night’s excitement with something to keep

them happy: Conservatives have a victory, the NDP has an increased seat

count and the Liberals remain a relatively strong Official Opposition.

Which means everyone should be in a good mood for Friday night’s blogstravaganza!

C’mon down! Once again, it takes place at Fiddler’s Green, located at 27 Wellesley Street East, on Friday, January 27th at 8 p.m..

Fiddler’s Green is a decent Irish pub that I used to frequent back when

I lived at the corner of Yonge and Carlton. It’s a nice central

location that’s also right on top of Wellesley Station.

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Sideshow Bob Explains the Conservative Party’s Appeal

by Joey deVilla on January 24, 2006

A couple of days ago, Damian “Daimnation!” Penny wrote a blog entry in which he speculated how various characters on The Simpsons would’ve voted in last night’s election. It’s an amusing read, and the comments range from the  funny to the foamy (I suspect that that commenter is shopping for Asian mail-order brides and some marital brass knuckles).

I’ll throw my hat in the ring by suggesting that Harper use the speech that Sideshow Bob made after getting elected mayor of Springfield, with the appropriate word substitutions. I think it shows what attracts people to the Conservatives and how their policies simply replace the “nanny state” they despise with a “nunny state”:

Because you need me, Springfield. Your guilty conscience may move you to vote Democratic, but deep down you long for a cold-hearted Republican to lower taxes, brutalize criminals, and rule you like a king. That’s why I did this, to save you from yourselves.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a city to run.

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