Archive for April, 2012


Monday, April 30th, 2012

I’ve been keeping up with Code Year‘s JavaScript and CSS lessons since the beginning of the year. As part of that, my Syyn Labs friend David Guttman has encouraged me to participate in the JS.LA meetups. Last week David happened to present a new tool he had developed: EasyEars.js. EasyEars helps you build sound reactive javascript by using the Web Audio API. Give EasyEars an MP3 and it will give you audio data representing the lows, mids, and highs. It’s the same sort of data David uses to build live visualizations like Sonic Stalagmites. My favorite part of this project though is the live demo page you can play with.

David mentioned that one of the things that he loves about visualizations is the ability to connect unrelated things. As an example of this, he noted that many years ago he read a review of Monster Rancher that stuck with him. It covered the game’s ability to generate new monsters based on completely random CDs inserted into the game console.

Controlling Onkyo / Integra receivers via RS-232

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

Integra DTR-4.6 RS-232 port
About six years ago I bought a home theater system with an Integra DTR-4.6 receiver and for some reason last weekend I suddenly wanted to control it remotely. I’ve never really used the actual remote control because the receiver sits in easy reach of the couch and the remote has about 50 buttons when I only use three. I generally leave my receiver at the same volume and just switch the input from the Mac mini to the Xbox 360 and back. I thought it would be nice to power on the receiver from my desk across the room with the proper input selected.

New adventures in avoiding YouTube Content ID

Friday, April 27th, 2012

YouTube has Content ID, an automated system where publishers can identify and remove their works from YouTube if others upload them. This is why if you search for popular shows, you’ll usually only find shaky-cam or horizontally flipped versions on YouTube. Cnelson alerted me to the latest wrinkle embedded above: tinting the whole video to avoid detection.

I’ve been curious about the lengths people will go to post content. A couple years ago, Scott Smitelli tested the audio identification engine to see just how much he had to modify a track to have it go unnoticed. Andy Baio has recently covered how YouTube’s Content ID puts too much power in the accuser’s hands.

Are you still mad about Firefly?

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

I’m not sure who made the original image above but I’ve seen it a couple places in the last day. Are people still mad about Firefly being cancelled? It’s been 10 years. Move on. Anyway, after talking to Lon about the great injustice of the standard firefly page taking precedence over the series page on Wikipedia, I made the following image: