November 2002 Archives

This is a great little article which really echoes my view that profiling is still in it's infancy.
If TiVo Thinks You Are Gay, Here's How to Set It Straight

There are some small things that can be done to improve the profiling: don't make suggestions until there is a decent sample of data to work from. There have been many times when on a whim i've looked up a CD on amazon and suddenly found my suggestions have been overtaken by this new choice. Doesn't my previous rating of a significant number of CDs have any influence??

Also, I don't have any problem with a single out of the blue suggestion, otherwsie we will all suffer from the stagnation of only buying what we already know we like.

It's a hard problem, profiling accurately personal tastes and one that still needs work.

Over the past few weeks, I've taken to checking Shock record's new release page as I'm eargerly awaiting a proper copy of Opeth's latest Deliverance. Despite the fact that it was available two weeks ago in Europe, still nothing.

However I did notice the following:


as the description says, this is a full length album by the self described "Death metal supergroup". I've heard the previously recorded 3-Track EP - Breeding Death which was great and I expect the full length album to be extremely good. Personally I regard each of the members to be absolute geniuses.

Why then will I probably not be buying this?

One word cash-in

It's entirely appropriate for musicians to record a fun album which pays tribute to the music they enjoyed as teenagers, however that was done quite acceptably with the EP, three songs of brutal swedish death metal to remind the world how it was done in the early 90's

When this sells well, mostly from the short term nostalgia angle. That should be it. The world is reminded, new bands might cover a few classics by bands of the era or move towards incorporating stylistic elements of swedish death metal

I suspect the record company is behind this, the EP sold extremely well. So of course - a one off becomes "we've decided to do a full length album"

The only good I can see coming out of this, is that being primarily Blackhiem (Anders) project, we should see some restrained melodic and poignant yet dissonant guitar lines out of the next Katatonia album, having had an opportunity to work off some of his more extreme riffage interests in Bloodbath.

More dissapointingly though I think that Bloodbath had a mixed effect on the recording of the latest Opeth Opus, Mike's death vocals are astounding, probably due to the warm up singing on Resurrection Through Carnage. However musically, this seems to have pushed Mike away from the European styled death elements, instead focusing heavily on the Tampa, Florida branch of death metal for inspiration. I personally prefer the European style and this overt tribute to Florida death is one of the more grating aspects of Deliverance for me.

Time for a rant, might make me feel better

I try not to talk too much about puters on this blog, they are my job and I spend far too much time with them.

Normally i work with Unix and NT, however recently i've had to some work on Windows 95. Also i've been reminded that a number of my friends and collegues still run Win95 at home.

To be frank, the concept that anyone could be running this OS still disgusts me. If it were up to me, 95 would never have been released.

From a technical perspective, it's a nightmare. It lacks security, stability, a robust and extensible driver model. From a usability perspective, there are so many inconsistencies - file copies that say they will take 10 seconds and end up taking 4 hours are just one example of a complete lack of overall design within the user interface.

Hey, even Microsoft admits that Win95 sucks, in recent report commissioned when they disovered security earlier this year, it's made quite clear that upgrading the large Win9x portion of the 400 million copies of Windows in use worldwide to their newfound security standards is quite simply impossible.

Now I understand that all this technical baggage comes at a cost, the performance penalty is just too high for Pentium class machines to simply load Windows 2000 and bury Win95 once and for all.

Regardless, 95 was a long time ago, isn't it time for people to move on?

For those who don't want to abandon their hardware - I can't see why a concerted effort by some linux hackers couldn't produce a faster, more secure and stable OS that has near 100% compatability with Win32 apps from this period. The biggest obstacle would be Microsoft who would of course prefer these users to upgrade to XP.

Anyway, rant over. To be fair, Mac OS 9 sucks too. Those who can't move to OS X should stick with 8.6.

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