iTunes 11 still sucking.

Remember last month when I said I had found a solution to re-implementing "Play higher rated songs more often" in iTunes 11? Well, it turns out my solution kind of sucks in a couple of ways:

  • Let's say you haven't bought music in a while, or haven't rated too many things with five stars lately. That "Recent 210 ★★★★★" playlist might have a couple hundred tracks in it that aren't really very "recent". You might choose to also limit that playlist (and the other "recent" playlists) to "Date added in the last 12 months" to keep only recent-ish highly-rated tracks in it -- but now the carefully-chosen ratios will be out of whack, and your recent five-star songs might actually end up being played less often than your more-numerous recent three-star songs.
  • Often, even though the Mini-Player is set to shuffle from the "75% Recent 25% Library" playlist folder, it will play six or ten songs in a row by the same band! All of these tracks are present in the playlist, but with a thousand tracks in the playlist it's statistically impossible for this to happen as often as it does if they were truly being chosen randomly. I have no idea what it's doing. The queued tracks are in non-alphabetical order. The chosen column for sorting in the sub-playlists doesn't seem to affect it, but it's hard to test.

It's as if iTunes went out of its way to do the stupidest possible thing.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , , , , ,

Set the Chatbots Free!

Free Sgt. Star: Army Ignores FOIA Request for Artificial Intelligence Records

Sgt. Star is a 6-foot-1, clean-shaven, strong-jawed white male, with eyes that match the camouflage pattern on his combat uniform. His voice is deep, authoritative and carefully enunciative. He seems to be in his 30s, but he is actually only about 7 years old.

Sgt. Star is not a real person, or at least not a corporeal one. He is a chatbot -- an artificial intelligence program designed to hold conversations -- that was commissioned by the U.S. Army to help with recruitment efforts. He can recognize questions and dispense answers, verbally and in text, and also help the user surf the website. According to marketing materials, he has answered more than 11 million questions so far.

Last year, we filed a request with the Army to see if we could obtain him, or elements of him, through the Freedom of Information Act. More than 75 calendar days have passed and the Army still hasn't responded, not even to say they're withholding the records.

Previously, previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , , ,


Tags: , , , ,


Previously, previously.

Tags: , ,

Today in Destruction Facility news

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , , , , ,



Tags: , , ,


Lila Jang:

    Says Jang, "My work represents who and where we are as human beings: in the midpoint of that constant struggle between reality and the ideal."
    Your work represents melty furniture, lady. Why isn't that enough?

Francesco Albano:

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , , , ,

SF's Best Flaming Drinks

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , , , ,

Large European Acoustic Facility

"There's no use trying to talk. No human sound can stand up to this."

This is the most powerful sound system in Europe -- but no human being could survive hearing it at maximum output.

Engineer Kees van Zijtveldt is standing beside the largest sound horn of ESA's Large European Acoustic Facility (LEAF), capable of subjecting satellites to the same noise a launcher produces as it takes off and flies through the atmosphere.

LEAF is an integral part of ESA's ESTEC Test Centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, a collection of spaceflight simulation facilities under a single roof. One wall of the chamber -- which stands 11 m wide by 9 m deep and 16.4 m high -- is embedded with a set of enormous sound horns. Nitrogen shot through the horns can produce a range of noise up to more than 154 decibels, like standing close to multiple jets taking off.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , ,

Exorcisms Via Skype

"Why would anybody do that? I have no idea."

A 60-minute Skype exorcism costs $295, and is considered a tax-deductible donation to the International Missions Program. [...]

"It's real," Larson told the station. "There would be no reason to theatrically stage this for any reason. Why would anybody do that? I have no idea." [...]

Reverend Isaac Kramer, the director of the International Catholic Association of Exorcists, an organization that trains and ordains new exorcists, says exorcisms can't be done over the Internet.

"If a person is fully possessed, the demon inside of them will not let them sit in front of the computer screen to be exorcised," Kramer said.

Bob Larson's International School of Exorcism®:

I'm so glad that you are interested in learning more about our new International School of Exorcism®. Our mission is to empower a generation of spiritual warriors who know how to effectively push back against the Forces of Darkness, in our country, in our homes, and in our individual lives. The curricula for this School are brand new. The teachings have never before been released in any format. As you study each course you will truly be able to declare of Satan that you are "not ignorant of his devices" (2 Cor. 2:11). You'll receive fresh insight into ways to protect yourself and those you love against every assignment of the devil and walk in victory you never thought possible. With each Course you'll discover more about the destiny of your life to walk in blessing and favor with the Lord. Together we'll journey to receive personal healing and freedom, and better prepare ourselves to reach the lost and hurting with the message of God's love. For those in full or part-time ministry, the School will reveal new truths that will apply in the pulpit, in the classroom, and in everyday life. Whether you are a pastor priest, teacher, preacher, Christian leader or a concerned layperson the principles of our School will inform your life for personal enrichment as well as more effective ministry.

Previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , , ,

  • Previously