Various things that are good…

…but which don’t justify blog posts in their own right:

* Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian. Possibly the most violent book I’ve ever read, and as cheerful as The Road. By “cheerful” I mean “thoroughly depressing”.

* Newsgator’s online RSS reader. Syncs with NetNewsWire (and I think FeedDemon on the PC), has an iPhone version, enables you to clip interesting things. Superb.

* Shazam, the “what the hell is that song?” mobile phone service. Much easier than annoying bemused bar staff when you want to know what you’re listening to.

* Radiohead’s In Rainbows, still. I’ve bought it on CD as well as on download, which means I’m clearly a diddy. But hey! Stickers!

* The iPhone, still. There’s a firmware update on the horizon and the SDK is imminent too, so it should become more useful in the next few weeks.

5 replies on “Various things that are good…”

Yes, if you ever want to get a handle on the real wild west, Blood Meridian is a good place to start. I remember studying it, when I was reading Lit at uni. I believe it’s supposed to be historically accurate, at least in terms of what it was like to live through that era. I didn’t find it as disturbing as Last Exit to Brooklyn mind…

I read a fascinating interview with the creators of Shazam, before Shazam existed. At the time, they were talking about this astounding technological discovery of theirs for which no-one could think of any application. Seems so obvious in retrospect, but apparently it wasn’t.

The tech is amazing. I forget the details, but what Shazam recognises is some sort of mix profile. It’s like a sort of generic EQ profile (or something) unique to every recording but unchanging throughout each recording. Which means their databases don’t even need to contain any audio files.

Chris –

if you ever want to get a handle on the real wild west

Think it was really that terrifying? Like most people I grew up with the Hollywood version, which is considerably less nasty…

If I ever get spare cash I’m going to order everything McCarthy’s ever written. BM is the third McCarthy I’ve read (well, half-read, I’ve a bit to go yet) and I’m gobsmacked by how good the writing is.

S2: don’t suppose you’ve got a link to that interview? i’d love to read it.

Stephen: yeah, it’s one of those “wow!” things. And dangerous – my “things I haven’t listened to yet” playlist is already terrifyingly big, and thanks to Shazam it’s getting bigger. I wonder if you can use it to cheat in pub quizzes too?

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