Rage Against the Machine


Lara St. John and her favorite non-furry friend


The ever-interesting violinist, blogger, and musical entrepreneur Lara St. John on Wagner and Madison Avenue’s idea of what constitutes “classical” music. Okay, I admit I ranted to her about it, but i’m grateful to her for the research and the writing. C’mon Rick Rubin, you can do better than that!
Rage Against the Machine

It Ain’t Over ‘Til Its Over, Pt. 2: “State of the Art 1940s Technology” – The Future of Light Bulbs?

Count me among the LED- compact flourescent haters for home lighting, so it was fascinating to read a story in today’s Boston Globe  (cribbed from the New York Times) about two startup – get this – light bulb makers right here in Massachusetts.   Yes, the demand is there:  As the story relates,

Incandescent bulbs — whether leftover store inventory of standard lights or halogen models that meet the new regulations, which went fully into effect in January — outsell other types by far at big-box stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s, lighting executives there say.

One of the new bulbs is called Finally, created by a Babson College grad named John Goscha who also came up with Idea Paint, the dry-erase whiteboard-type stuff that permits you literally to scribble all over the walls – and recently installed in many a ‘GBH conference room.  Turns out Goscha was a hater too:

Unhappy as a consumer with compact fluorescents and LEDs, he said, he decided to pursue making an alternative.  “I thought, ‘I don’t really want those, and there have got to be other people who don’t want those either,’ ” he said.

The Finally folks have term their bulb “Acandesence,” to explain their use of a hepped-up nano-sized version of old-fashioned induction technology found in your common long-running electric motors.  According to a review in the tech blog Gigaom today,

The big upside of the Finally bulb is that the company says its quality of light is similar to an incandescent — a warm solid glow — but without the crazy-high LED prices. Many consumers hate CFLs, because the light can be such a low quality, and until very recently LEDs have been in the two-digit dollar prices. The Finally bulb is 75 percent more efficient than an incandescent and lasts 15 times longer.

But before the Finally bulb hits the stores (still waiting, it seems to clear a plethora of regulatory hurdles), it may be beaten to the punch by another new bulb type – the VU1, which according to the Times article,

uses a technology like that of cathode ray tubes in televisions, a “state-of-the-art 1940s technology,”  …in which electrons hit a cocktail of phosphors on the glass, which then glows.

The Vu1

The Vu1: Coming Soon to a Big Box Near You?

‘Course, they have their own name for this new-old technology “Electron Stimulated Luminescence™, or ESL.  Whatever.  Here’s hoping these better bulbs-in-theory open to, er, glowing reviews.   Time to cue the Hank Williams...


Life imitates….Video Games? The Guitar Zeroes

The Guitar ZeroesI am perhaps the only person in the blogoverse to look at this and think immediately of the shape-note singing tradition that was developed in America in the 19th century. Back then, they used differently-shaped notes to teach people who couldn’t read music to sing; today, thanks to Guitar Hero, all you need are five color-coded buttons….

Okay, it’s not like I’m obsessed with this game or anything, but isn’t this yet more proof of the the game’s game-changing impact? Watch this entire video from the Plasticky Goodness blog on Current.tv and see if you don’t agree….

HD RADIO: still awaiting liftoff

WIRED checks in today with the latest State of HD Radio story. What’s that, you say? Precisely. The comments are more revealing than the story, methinks, which is essentially an apples-oranges comparison of the HD system in Britain (a consortium of public-private stations with heavy Government backing) versus that of the USA (“HD? Yeah, we’ve got both XM *and* Sirius radios here at Best Buy.”) If only they’d called it “Digital Radio” instead….


NPR’s ‘All Things Considered’ in HD would be like “Meet the Press” in technicolor …