Shades of Grey

I have a large and legitimate CD collection – all of which (even the copy protected ones) have been ripped as WMAs (no religous alignment to MP3) and shipped onto my 60Gb player. But today, on Channel 4 news of all places, I heard about an album that intrigued me – The Grey Album by DJ Danger Mouse. Even his name is stolen from a UK children’s TV show.

So I did what any one with an ounce of nouse would do – I went and downloaded it to hear what all the fuss was about. Took me about three minutes to find it and about an hour for BitTorrent to download it.

What I don’t understand is what EMI’s action is based on. They claim to be “protecting The Beatles’ prior work” on which the sounds on The Grey Album are openly derived. But when you listen to it you can clearly tell that it is a new, different and un-related work. Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) dis-assembled the tracks on The Beatles’ The White Album and used fragments of sound like snares, kick drums and bass notes.

At what point will the RIAA attempt to copyright the very Do-Re-Me-Fa-So-La-Te-Do away from innovative new talent. Stupid buggers should have just signed him.

If a job's worth doing…

When I was at Uni we watched every year as the University grounds-keepers re-seeded and tended the large lawn next to the Students’ Union. Fencing it off in the spring and lovingly watering it and spreading seed. The end result was a beautiful, lush lawn, obviously well-loved.

Then, in early summer each year, we held a large open-air concert and beer festival on the lawn over two days. We built a huge stage, lighting and PA rigs, burieds cables the full length of the lawn for the front-of-house sound and lighting desks and then had around 2,000 people sit, stand, dance, wrestle, shag, drink beer and destroy the lawn.

The following days would see the grounds-keepers re-patching the turf, seeding, watering and desperately trying to love that lawn back into life. A fruitless task as it never quite got back to it’s former glory until the next year.

This led to us using the phrase “If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing twice” with respect to many of the University staff.

As I sit here and look at an architecture that was lovingly crafted by a guy no longer here I can see how it too has been danced on and had beer spilt on it by the pressures of delivering a project. The job now is to forgive that, as the grounds-keepers forgave us students, and lovingly try to re-seed and patch the holes in the turf.

Subversive Patterns

Well, we all do a jolly good job at making the right technology decisions and having a good go at building great systems for our customers, but from time to time you get one of those situations where some functionality has been chosen or bought and mandated despite it’s lack of suitability.

You know the situation, flashy sales demo is followed by a purchase, the CTO/Strategy Team/Architecture Group/Project Sponsor hands you the box and says “we’re going to use this for our foobits logic processing”.

Well, here are two subversive patterns I’ve used to tackle the problem…

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New Job

Tomorrow is the big day, I get to start my new job working on .Net projects with a consultancy here in the Midlands. I’m really looking forward to getting my brain back in gear and getting up-to-speed with what the team’s working on. I’ll try to keep the blog up-to-date with what we’re doing.