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 thoughts on “Various things that are good…

  1. Chris says:

    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…

  2. Squander Two says:

    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.

  3. Gary says:

    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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