Loo And Placido

Imagine, if you will, a conveyor belt with some of the greatest music hits and music artists to exist slowly moving past two people. These two people pick the bits and pieces they want and seamless mix them all together to make one awesome mix.

The two people are Loo and Placido. Actually they are two musicians that make new music from old music. If the Beatles were available to duet with The Black Eyed Peas then it would of sounded very much like Loo and Placido made it sound when they mixed it in the track entitled "Black Beatles" which is exactly that - with a bit of Ludacris thrown in for good measure.

But imagine a line-up of artists including: The Beatles, The Doors, The Rolling Stones, Nirvana, Queen, Kanye West, and hundreds of other artists all mashed together and spat out as the ultimate 2 hour mashup from Loo and Placido. Well imagine no more. Because about 2 years ago they did just that with the 2 hour mashup entitled "Electronic Popstar Killers".


But to say that these two artists are just a couple of great, and awesome, mixes does them an injustice. Time and time again Loo and Placido prove why they are the benchmark that other mashup artists try to reach; with mashup after mashup reaching millions worldwide.

Want more of Loo and Placido? Their website is LooAndPlacido.com.

And then look for other mashup masters such as Aggro1, Go Home Productions, Party Ben and many, many, more.


If Only Twitter Was Around

Over the last couple of years Twitter has been instrumental in getting news to people; from the Japanese tsunami to the recent London riots. It is possible to read the news on your Twitter timeline almost as it happens live.

Makes you wonder, well it made me wonder, what other tweets we would have seen had Twitter been around.

Imagine if God had Twitter. Instead of making Moses climb the mountain and carry two heavy tablets of commandments he could have just sent a few direct messages through Twitter; and if he changed his mind later he could have deleted a couple of them and written new ones.

And then, of course, if Jesus had Twitter instead of 5,000 people turning up with no food he could of tweeted "Big gathering tomorrow. Might want to bring some snacks."

And as time, and ultimately history, progressed it would allow everyone a deeper look into the people that have made the news over the last 80 years.

With Hitlers true intentions tweeted for the world to see maybe World War II could have been averted. Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister at the time, may have read that tweet and tweeted back to Hitler: "I don't think so pal. Stick to running Germany." Thousands of lives saved thanks to Twitter. But alas it was not about so 62 million lives were lost.

Had Susan Atkins had Twitter Charles Manson could have been cleared of any involvement in the 'Tate Murders'.

Because if she didn't want Charlie to find out he obviously knew nothing about it. He could be free and President of the U.S. by now.

Could the Million Man March have been bigger? Possibly. Had Louis Farrakhan had Twitter back in 1995 it could have been the 2 Million Man March or even bigger than that.

Milwaukee police may have been able to stop Jeffery Dahmer just that little bit sooner if Twitter had been about:

Yet again lives may have been saved. The killings of Dahmer could have been over had he tweeted about killing. Not a smart move; but hey the guy ate body parts while working in a chocolate factory so he wasn't that smart.

And had Twitter been around in 2004 we may have got a better understanding of how Bill Gates' mind worked:

OK, that one is not so likely, but I do know of at least one Microsoft office that is running on RedHat servers rather than Microsoft servers; which I find that little bit odd.

Twitter, with the 140 character limit, may seem like a pointless tool in a society where you can send videos, talk with people across the world with video conferencing, and generally do a ton of other stuff may seem a little out-dated; but at the end of the day Twitter gives you the world in short bursts as it happens. And who knows; the next tweet you read might be a historic moment when the world looks back.


Music Is International

The reason for this post is the fact I was on Youtube and wanted to watch the great and classic Chemical Brothers track - "Hey Boy, Hey Girl". Typed it in, first result was from EMI, the music publisher of said track, with the official video. Clicked it and the little message came up saying:

"The user has blocked the content in your country."

No, I don't live in Outer Mongolia. No I don't live in a country like China with high Internet censorship. I live in the U.S. And EMI didn't bother blocking it from MTV in the U.S. And one result down was the official Chemical Brothers channel which did allow the track to be played.

Youtube is possibly the biggest video sharing site on the Internet. It is used for a whole host of reasons. But music videos on Youtube are put there by record companies, or the artists themselves, purely as a promotion; in the hope that people seeing the video will go and buy the CD or follow the Youtube link to iTunes and download the official MP3.

So why the fuck do some companies (read as businesses) feel the need to block something on Youtube which is a marketing opportunity to sell something? And let us be honest here just because someone lives in one part of the world does not mean they only listen to music from that part of the world. I hate Country music - something the U.S. id famous for holding on to.

And what are Youtube, who are owned by Google, doing about this? Absolutely nothing. Google keeps going on about being open and global in all their services and products. So why don't they say if someone wants to make content area specific only it will not be allowed on Youtube as their 'Openess ethos' does not allow geographic censorship unless enforced by a country's government.

Since acquiring Youtube Google has given us VEVO, which censors music videos all the time, which may indeed be against the 1st Amendment rights of the U.S. Constitution, seems Google is based in the U.s. And in an attempt to get broadcasters backing behind other Google products they allow these promotional videos, which have already been plastered on U.S. TV to be blocked.

Music is international. Time and time again artists that are known all around the world have proven this. Youtube/Google not only do a great dishonor to the millions of Internet users that have made it what it is; but hey have also done a great disservice to the artists around the world that have been blocked in certain areas.

But it doesn't just rest with Youtube. It rests with the artists as well. Artists can go to their publishers and say "Hey fuckers why can't a fan in Russia see my video. Remember you work for us. Without artists your publishing company would be nothing. Sort it out now!"

If you get a video blocked, email the artists website and let them know that as a fan of their music you feel it unfair. Because if enough people complain eventually something will be done.


Search Engines

A recent study stated that Bing and Yahoo resulted more in a hit to a website; compared to Google. Which basically states that allegedly Bing and Yahoo (which is powered by Bing) are more accurate than Google.

But is it true or a load of old Google-bashing bullshit? After all the reports on the study do state that Google accounts for 66% of all searches with Yahoo only getting a modest 14% and Bing also gets a modest 13%.

So does that say that the majority of people using search engines are fucked in the head for sticking with Google compared to Yahoo or Bing. Basically picking popularity over accuracy? No. It says the study knows very little about the people using search engines.

So on to a test between Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

When testing the accuracy of a search engine it is always best to actually know what you are looking for. So, in theory, if you was looking for the official website concerning the upcoming Michael Jackson Tribute Concert you would enter that in as the search query and expect to see the web page for it in the first 2 or 3 results.

With all 3 search engines using the standard settings (which means none - just going to the search engine without any cache or cookies or logging in) and without any form of plug-in ad-blocker running; searching for Michael Jackson Tribute Concert gave the following results:

Google - The official website turned up on page 3 of the results.
Yahoo - The official website turned up on page 4 of the results.
Bing - The official website turned up on page 4 of the results.

In theory that would mean that Google got you there one page earlier than the other two search engines. But that is just one query about a popular search term. What if the search was a little more obscure; in the fact you were actually searching for an answer rather than an actual website. So searching the question When is the Michael Jackson Tribute in Wales? could give a whole different view as it doesn't matter which website tells you the date you are looking for as long as it is reputable enough.

Google - Page 1, about 3/4 down, with the date October 8, 2011.
Yahoo - Page 1, 4th result, with the date October 8, 2011.
Bing - Page 1, 5th result, with the date October 8, 2011.

So, although the first search made it look that Google was superior the second actually put Google behind Yahoo and Bing. So what does it mean? absolutely nothing. On any given search one search engine may outdo the others and then on your next search be completely shit. How does that help the average person using search engines? It doesn't really. Search engines are notorious for getting things wrong.

As an example of search engines getting things completely wrong imagine the following scenario: A person who has their search engines all open to every result (meaning Safesearch and the like are all turned off) is doing a project of some sort on culinary delights around the world. They have done England and their fish and chips, Italy and their pasta, France and their cheeses, and they make their way to the United States and are working on the culinary subject of "cream pie" and decide to add a picture. But what do they get?

Google Image Search - The first image is a cream pie. The second image displayed is of an x-rated nature.
Yahoo Image Search - The first 12 images are x-rated with the 13th being a cream pie.
Bing Image Search - The same results as Yahoo which is not surprising as Yahoo is powered by Bing.

One thing to note at this point is that both Yahoo and Bing asked for confirmation that you wanted to turn the "safesearch" feature off before saving the preferences.

There you have it. Search engines perform better at certain things than others. For the 3 searches completed Yahoo and Bing did better at answering a question; but Google succeeded better with phrase and image searching.

So although every now and again studies will appear saying one search engine is better than another; it does all depend on what you are searching for.

There are 5 main search engines all worthy of looking at:

Google - www.google.com
Yahoo - www.yahoo.com
Bing - www.bing.com
Ask - www.ask.com
Dogpile - www.dogpile.com

Just give them all a go and see which is best for your needs. My personal favorites are Google and Duck Duck Go (www.duckduckgo.com). And try to remember that the results you get are not always the fault of the search engines but sometimes the results are messed up because HTML programmers are constantly trying to get higher and higher on the results and using various 'coding tricks' to achieve that goal.


HUD Housing

(The view of the back of the house)

Allegedly the HUD stands for Department Of Housing & Urban Development. If you ask me after today it really stands for Homes Under Development.

If you were reading my tweets yesterday then you know to today I went to see a HUD approved home; which was $125 per month rent that HUD would pay. Although the lady I spoke to at HUD said they would pay that because I was homeless and she never said if they would continue to pay it if I moved in.

Well, I will describe the day as it happened.

9.00AM I arrived at the house ready to Angela from HUD for a tour of the house. I waited for 25 minutes before Angela turned up. while I waited I met a couple of my new neighbors. Tyree and Shawty were sitting on the porch when I walked over. Then a conversation started.

Dave: Hello, I am your new neighbor. My name is Dave.
Tyree: Motherfucker you better get your lily white ass out of this neighborhood.
Shawty: Yeah. What he said.
Dave: Well I can't very well get out if I am living here.
Shawty: (laughing) Oh hell no. You won't be living for long.
Tyree: Yeah, crackers get jacked and then we smoke them.
Dave: I am homeless right now so I need to live somewhere.
Tyree: Not here motherfucker.
Dave: Well no not here. Next door.
Shawty: Fool you be tripping.
Dave: It is these shoes. I stole a size too big.
Tyree: Why you still here?
Dave: I'm waiting for Angela. She is going to show me round the house.
Shawty: (laughing) Oh she is not coming.
Dave: Yes she is. I just called her before I got here.
Tyree: You got a cell phone?
Dave: Yes it is from the feds ...

Before I had time to finish my sentence both Tyree and Shawty had left. Maybe they were going to try and and get a federally funded cell phone.

Anyway, at 9.25AM Angela showed up. I don't like to judge people but she seemed a little nervous. She was forever looking around. And when this car back-fired she fell to the floor and put her bag over her head.

We walked to the front door, which was not locked, and Angela pulled the police tape to one side so that I could go in. It wasn't exactly inviting but I quickly pictured in my head what it could look like if I fixed it up a little bit. Then suddenly a skunk came down the stairs, ran past me, and headed outside. Not an ideal pet but beggars cannot be choosers - If he came back I would call him Pepe.

Angela then showed me the front room. I am no genius but I am guessing that 6 people lived here before because they had drawn round themselves on the wooden floor. There were also some numbered cards on the floor. Not sure what they were and when I asked Angela she said "Let us go look at the kitchen."

The kitchen was not too bad. There was a sink. Well that is all there was. I did notice some holes in the wall. Whoever lived here before was really bad at putting pictures up - they had tried hundreds of times and just left holes all over the wall. But I used my imagination and imagined what it would look like when I finished.

Next was a closet under the stairs. I cannot tell you too much about it as I did not see that much of it. Angela opened the door and someone shouted "Bitch shut the fucking light off." Angela shut the door, and so nobody else would disturb the person she kindly locked it. And she headed upstairs saying "Let's go to the bedroom." I tried to explain I was saving myself for Ms Susan Boyle but she was already halfway up the stairs.

At this point I must admit I was wrong about the 6 people living here previously because in the first bedroom there was another 4 outlines they had drawn; numbered 7 to 10. Angela said someone would come and clean them up before I moved in.

The second bedroom didn't have any outlines in it. But it did have two people in it. Angela left the room saying she was calling the police. I decided to introduce myself.

Dave: Hi. I am Dave. This is going to be my house.
Shannon: No way love. This is where I conduct business.
Mark: Who the fuck is this fool? Is he extra?
Shannon: Yes $75.
Dave: Well if you want to rent the room I'm sure it would be a little less than $75.
Shannon: I'll pay by the hour.
Mark: Who was the uptight bitch that left; I thought she would join in?
Dave: That is Angela, she is with HUD, she is calling the police for something.
Shannon: Oh hell no. I'm out of here. I can't afford to be booked again this week.
Mark: Bitch you aint going nowhere.
Shannon: Fuck you. I got probation. I get caught again I'm doing big time.
Dave: Don't worry I'll tell the police you are my friends.
Shannon: What the fuck?
Mark: Just who the fuck are you?
Dave: Dave.
Mark: And the other one is Angela?
Dave: Yeah. I'm not sure where she went to make a phone call she could of used my cell phone from the feds.
Shannon: Fuck it is a trap.
Dave: No it is a Tracfone. Not exactly an iPhone but it does what I need.

Shannon and Mark decided they needed to leave. They had to be in a real hurry because Mark left his trousers on the floor. They ran down the stairs and then there was gunshots and then it went quiet. I found $124 in Mark's trouser pockets.

Angela came back upstairs and was escorted by a policeman. I tried to explain that Mark and Shannon were friends but Angela said it would be better if we just left via the fire escape out the back.

When we were outside, and down the fire escape, Angela said that the house was not going to be available for a couple of months. I kind of guessed this; as there was a policewoman putting up some more police tape where Angela had ripped it down.

I asked Angela when another house would become available and all she said was "I'll call you when I get back from vacation."

So I am still homeless. But I did meet some new friends: Tyree, Shawty, Shannon, and Mark (although Mark's funeral is being held as soon as the police release his body). I don't think I'll go as I don't know him that well; and someone there might guess I took the $124 from his pockets.