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12/01/2008  — 

The End Is Near

One of my day-to-day responsibilities involves troubleshooting problems with banner ads. You might not realize what goes on when your browser loads a page full of ads; most of our brains have been trained to ignore these things. But wow, take a peek under the hood sometime. You'll find some of the hairiest stuff around.

A few folks know what to do: create clean, compatible, polite javascript that degrades nicely. Most create abominations that well... make me reach for my revolver... Today I found something spit out of the 'industry standard' adserver that I had to share with a dood I know. Chat transcript follows...

    ME: dood?

    DOOD: yo

    ME: I think I'm surrounded by the worst technology in the world

    ME: ever get that feeling?

    DOOD: yes

    ME: I get that when I come across this kind of thing:

    ME: document.write('<noscript><a href="http://ad.doubleclick.net/click%3Bh=v8/378a/3/0/%2a/d%3B209144603%3B0-0%3B1%3B23113405%3B3454-728/90%3B29241525/29259404/1%3B%3B%7Eokv%3D%3Bkw%3Dgamechannel%3Bgame%3Dgamechannel%3Bgenre%3Dstrategryrpg_game%3Btile%3D2%3Bdcopt%3Dist%3Bsz%3D728x90%3B%7Eaopt%3D2/1/7b/0%3B%7Esscs%3D%3fhttp://clk.atdmt.com/TGM/go/125488438/direct/01/" target="_blank"><img border="0" src="http://view.atdmt.com/TGM/view/125488438/direct/01/5298130" /></a></noscript></iframe>');

    DOOD: !

    ME: does that juse blow your mind

    ME: OR WHAT?

    DOOD: who wrote that? Someone on our team or a 3rd party?

    DOOD: I mean your team

    ME: some 3rd party

    DOOD: amazing

    DOOD: they don't get anything

    ME: some 3rd party WHICH IS AN INTERNET STANDARD. THE CADILLAC OF AD SERVING

    DOOD: wow

    ME: we're doomed

    ME: as a species

    DOOD: totally

    ME: just thought you'd like to know.

    ME: enjoy life. the end is near.

    DOOD: I just spent 2 months working with one of the the world's worst engineers. They canned his ass last week

    DOOD: this guy was an imbecile, yet he commanded a huge salary and concessions because we thought he was an 'expert'

    DOOD: I spent all of my time re-writing and debugging his crap code

    DOOD: some of the worst programming I've ever seen

    DOOD: and it made me doubt the future of mandkind, as we are all brothers.

    ME: I'm there.

    ME: document.write('<noscript...

    DOOD: that gives me an idea for a netscrap feature. Have a contest where people submit real source code that can never execute

    DOOD: this is a plum example

    DOOD: there are others

    ME: that's a good one.

    DOOD: but they have to be real, culled from real source.

I guess the reason this gets my goat is that I face this question every day: does it matter if software is 'done right'? Ultimately it seems that the true measure of 'rightness' is whether the business is succeeding, not the correctness of the minutiae. For a guy whose background is QA, this is a tough pill to swallow.

Anyway, Dood -- good thinking about the netscrap feature. So toss a few things onto the scrap heap (put in the Tech category) and I'll put them up.

PS- For those of you not in the know, one way javascript puts things on the page is through document.write. In this case, the code is using javascript to put a <noscript> tag -- which usually contains something for the browser to show if it doesn't support javascript. Use javascript to deliver the payload to use if you don't use javascript. Boom!

02/07/2008  — 

29 Songs: Day 4,5,6:

I offer a few recordings tonight: Sing the wolf song is to the lyrics that eve wrote me the other day. Apologies in advance if you listen with dogs in earshot. I added a few more tonight since Eve & I were sitting around with the mic on. We recorded " Always on the Sunnyside" which is something she sings at school, you're supposed to tell some kind of joke in the breaks... something I screwed up of course. This led us toward the ban ana knock-knock, which I also screwed up horribly.

Last night's tune 'i had nothing' was recorded at a rehearsal space with my bandmates (weekly jam-mates?). I basically said, "When I hit record, just start playing." woomp! there it is.

Thanks a bunch for all the notes you've sent me on these things.

Finally, I updated that web page. It's a klunker, but:

  • you can get to everything without digging through directories
  • you can listen to everything through the doodad.
  • the feeds will let you get a ping if there's a new tune.

I think I'm somewhat caught up on the listening now.

Bruce-

Seth-

  • Thanks for putting that itunes doodad together today, if the RSS thing I responded with won't work to pull in the latestgreatest, let me know and I'll cook up a dynamical version of your xml file.
  • t he biggest risk is great. I like the way the energy kind of goes from 0- 60 in the prechorus. Also, nice organ moment, I missed that first time around.
  • eve had a comment on decelerating repetition: 'that's not funny' when I played it for her right before bedtime.
  • free from me is so nice. isn't it amazing how just an additional vocal track can kick up a demo recording?
  • Also, sweet & flavorful AND i n my right time AND the plan in the same upload pile? wow. send more, what are you waiting for?

Peter-

  • I'm in touch with your blog. I enjoy catching the recording detailz over there. I'm not really making too much of an effort to engineer any of my recordings. I'll start to pay a little more attention to this and put some factoids together.
  • Lyudmila works! Is that a love song about this betty?
  • I enjoyed stat ement of too. It comes across as very thought-out and deliberate.

Derek-

  • It's been a treat to hear these gems. I mentioned this to you in an IM the other day, but I'll mention it here for the groop: Your recordings are so hi-fi! In a rush, I downloaded baker sfield to my phone while I was on the bart. I listened to it on the .5 inch speaker and wow... I heard all the backup vocals even...
  • dow n the hole- I love it. It's serious! I don't think I've heard you open up like that before! Beautiful.

02/05/2008  — 

29 Songs: Day 3: More To Come

So I flaked out a little tonight. I was under a schedule crunch today... so I dealt with it through some guitar crunch: partial rock, maybe I'll finish off Drums & Vox along with another song on another day. Here's something... zvex nano head in the house! Mo re to Come

A few other notes on the recent gems:

02/04/2008  — 

29 Songs: Day 3: If Yes, Then No

Ok, so technically my 2/3 entry arrived on 2/4. But it's there. I was too beat to drop in the rippin' guitar solo in the 3rd verse so please imagine something good.

Website housekeeping note: I moved everyone's ftp directories from /29/you to /29/players/you. I'll delete the other directories soon. This will help with a page that will do automatic updation as the files come in.

Seth + Peter: I too am really digging listening to everyone's songs. I can't express how psyched I am that youses (an EXTREMELY talented bunch) are kookoo enough to try this with me.

This week will be tough! It'll be our first time balancing this with work. Anytime you sit down to write, try writing two. Have a few ideas in your back pocket for those time crunches. Also, no penalties awarded for digging up something a few years old too.

Speaking of a few years old -- when I told eve about this she was interested in helping. She asked me to transcribe a song she wrote which I'll try to put to music on 2/6:

http://29.netscra p.com/29/players/greacen/lyrics.txt

Finally, Michael Tornatore dropped off a drum kit today, a loaner for the month. I didn't have a chance to use it yet but I'll likely switch from recording exclusively on the laptop to start using my 'studio' (finally) which means some elec-trific-o-rock-i-fication in my (and therefore your) near future.

Good luck this week!