Steam-Powered Record Player

Go ahead and stop paying ConEd

A friend of mine has a rustic summer cottage on a private island pm a river. There is no electricity. This lack of everything modern is one of the main charms of the place except when it comes down to music listening: You can go through dozens of batteries in a week just powering a portable stereo which is both environmentally suspect and expensive. If only i knew this thing was available.

Steam-Powered Record Player

When Innovation Is Execution

Superior Execution and a Dash of Genius

Gordon Crovitz has written one of the more thoughtful reviews on “The Social Network” in the Wall Street Journal Today.  He echos Lawrence Lessig in making the case that many of the choices made in the film’s artistic license reveals the hostile and proudly ignorant stance that Hollywood still has towards the software industry. The story of success born of superior execution that is the Facebook story is hidden behind the movie’s focus on the highly entertaining but largely bogus lawsuit that FB has faced.

Google did not invent web search. They executed better, simper and faster than their competition. WordPress did not invent blogging software but that community has iterated better in many areas and faster than their peers and now are rightfully being looked at as a premier enterprise web publishing  platform. The Beatles did not invent the three minute pop song . In fact they started out mostly covering other songwriters. These are success stories born largely through superior execution. Rising to the top in an existing crowded space is never easy and it rarely has to do with anyone ‘stealing’ an idea. We should all hope that the legal system does as little damage as possible to the next Facebook.

See:   Gordon Crovitz: The More Exciting Story of Facebook –

Gesture-based Music Apps are Getting Good

Jimmy Page at the Theremin

I have been watching music mobile apps that harness accelerometer and gyroscope for a while. Many of these implementations have been pretty clumsy and toylike rather than offering a serious expression alternative that a serious musician/DJ might be tempted to use. This new $20 AirJ is looking really powerful. You can see it in use with Ableton Live here:  Sonic State – News (Video Item) BPM10: AirJ App Transmits Native MIDI Over Wifi

Put your hands in the air and trigger something.