The Null Device
Heritage-rock bible Mojo Magazine has published its list of the 50 greatest UK indie records of all time. For the most part, it's quite solid, being a melange of Glasgow-school new-optimists, C86-era janglepop and the odd bit of arty post-punk. The only concessions to recent commercial/populist Carling-indie are The Libertines and The Arctic Monkeys, inexplicably placed at #26 and #7 respectively. The Sarah Records roster is represented by one track, The Sea Urchins' Pristine Christine. (I would have expected that a label that defined a big chunk of what British indiepop was for a stretch of the late 80s and early 90s would have had more; perhaps Heavenly's Hearts and Crosses or The Field Mice's Emma's House?)
Looks like Microsoft is up to its old tricks: the latest AJAX-enhanced version of Hotmail refuses to work if the web browser identifies itself as Firefox 2; if one reconfigures it to identify itself as Internet Explorer, it works perfectly. What does this mean? Well, given that Microsoft are likely to buy Yahoo! (a lot of analysts now rate Yahoo!'s chances of escaping their clutches as slim), taking control of Flickr and del.icio.us, those who use those sites from non-Windows, non-IE platforms, and with non-Microsoft web applications, have yet more reasons to feel uneasy.
When voters in Chicago found that the pens they were given to mark ballot papers didn't work, the officials told them not to worry, as the pens contained invisible ink, which would be counted by the scanners. Surprisingly, 20 people accepted this and turned in blank ballot papers.
(via Boing Boing)
Norwich-based comedian and reviewer of dubious far-eastern video game machines Dr. Ashen (he's the "sarcastic British guy") reviews the Vii, a cheap video-game console of Chinese manufacture which attempts to imitate the Nintendo Wii without having much of the technical innovation. If you ever wondered what one of those could possibly be like, here's all you need to know. (Capsule summary: don't bother importing one.)
Is anybody else having problems scrobbling tracks to last.fm using third-party software?
My home music-playing setup consists of a Linux box running MPD, a client-server music playing system. To this, the mpdscribble client is attached, monitoring its status and sending the details of tracks played to last.fm. As of a few days ago, though, mpdscribble stopped working; it connects to last.fm's servers well enough, though once the time comes to send a track, it reports an authentication error, as if the password were incorrect.
I have tried the same username and password combination for logging into the website, and for using the official OSX last.fm client, and it works. I have also tried two other, independent, MPD/last.fm clients (scmpc and lastfmsubmitd), and found that they had the same problem; as, indeed, does the (somewhat old) third-party iScrobbler client for OSX. (This was, needless to say, on two different machines.)
Could last.fm have broken an older version of the AudioScrobbler protocol used by a lot of open-source software? (It appears that these clients use protocol 1.1, whereas there is now a 1.2 protocol.) Oddly enough, a Google search fails to reveal anybody else reporting this problem.